Myrkur – Myrkur (Relapse)

Thursday, 11th September 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

Yet another one of those one-person black metal bands that seem to magically appear out of nowhere with an impressive debut, Myrkur has been gaining some traction and hype due to the fact that instead of the “normal” one-man black metal band, it’s a one-woman one. Not one to let gender studies dominate the review space, suffice to say the writing of this one is on par with the strongest with the nature-loving black metal crowd, regardless of who is steering the ship. Myrkur also happens to balance beauty with brawn with exquisite care.

Myrkur provides an interesting sound because it retains a primal black metal feel at points, but just as often flees to a more melodic and serene tone. While that may sound like a number of “post-“ or Cascadian black metal bands currently storming the gates for your attention, it’s the vocals that set Myrkur apart. While there are some traditional black metal rasps from time to time, the majority of the vocals are of an almost choral-sung, female-chanted variety that provides more of a calm center to Myrkur and gains an accessibility that some black metal purists may frown upon. But ultimately it’s their loss, as Myrkur sounds like a combination of Deafheaven, Ulver, Darkthrone, and Lord of the Rings. Songs like “Frostne Vind” engage in acoustic moments that usher in feeling of longing and the soaring female vocals really provide some graceful power. While those looking for more black metal potency will find the blackbeat and tremolo-riffing combo of tracks like “Latvian Fegurð” or “Nattens Barn” quite to their liking. The way that the melodies are incorporated into the tremolo riffs are quite stunning.

The way that Myrkur tackles black metal will be a love it or loathe it response. However, if you are looking for a unique black metal vibe that is as much beauty as it is beast, Myrkur will provide you with a new band to keep your eyes on. Only being an EP, hopefully that there won’t be too long a wait before a full-length rears its head (we all know how fast some of these one-person bands can operate).

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