Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Myrkur : " M"

If you were hoping Chelsea Wolfe's new album would have been more metal, then this Norse singer's black metal project might be what you were looking for. Her first ep sent the world of black metal a buzz as she blends very pure folk vocals with atmospheric black metal. Her full length ties her to the upper tier of second wave black metal as its produced by Garm from Ulver and features members of Mayhem and Nidingr helping out with some of the instrumentation . Since the songs are in Norse I'll go ahead and translate them for you as we jump into this one.This first song alone covers more ground than most black metal albums do in their entirety. Her singing voice can go up into a soprano range with fluid ease, and while many singers claim to be classically trained, you would expect her to be. She holds off on the raw blasting until the second song. The angelic folk is more of  a decorative accent than the focal point of this song that slows into a drearier paced offering. "Evil Born" almost feels like the more melodic extension of the previous. Her dreamy vocals float like the Cocteau Twins of the metallic pulse.  Vocal interlude that flirts with chamber music leads into the doomy "I am God, I am Servant".

"Northern Lights" is another interlude consisting of voice and piano that serves as the intro to the classic metal chug of "Murder" which is the most straight forward song on the album with the vocals sounding like a possessed honey badger attacking. This is also the only song that I had second thoughts  about . Going back and giving it a harder listen , there is the darker section that provides some dynamic atmosphere midway into it and goes into a more tribal drum section before speeding back up into the blasting and fades out.  "Byssan Lull" fades back into a classical folk piece that is once again just piano and voice. "Deep in the Forest" has a slight post-punk feeling to the opening guitar riff as her vocals glide over it. It hovers on that more shoe gazing metal feel leaving no corner of black metal unturned on this album. There is a harsher turn following this one up on "Skadi" which finds the guitars creating a beautifully ugly dissonance before the more melodic elements are layer onto the song. The song goes into more of a gallop when her graceful vocals return to haunt the din. The album ends with the delicate piano piece "Norn"

Its albums like this one that further my upset that I can't find my iPod and make me eager to replace it if it has indeed fallen into the abyss as this is music that I need on hand at all times especially as we head into the fall. This album shows you can make dark icy black metal without having to compromise melody and resort to blast beats all the time. In fact it makes the more raw and feral parts that much more effective for providing a broader range of dynamics. She is one of the best female metal singers in the game and that goes for all the frilly symphonic bands that want to be Night Wish as well. This is an album I can just leave on and not get enough of so it deserves at least a 10, maybe even a 10.5 for going above and beyond we what have begun to expect from not only black metal but metal of any genre.If you are fan of dark metal black or otherwise this needs to be heard.

This album comes out August 21st on Relapse.

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