Sunday, September 3, 2017
Myrkur : 'Mareridt'
The title track that opens with an atmospheric folk piece that feels more like an intro for the song that follows that a sung in and of it self. At first blast beat you might expect this just to be same kind of black metal that we heard on her debut full length, this is not the case. There is an even greater blending of folk and ambiance in the songs ebb and flow. There is a darker tone to "the Serpent" that builds tension , with her singing with a more sultry manner that holds a sexuality not explored in her previous work. Production wise the vocals are going through a distorted filter, but this more spacious, without feeling pretentious and overblown, however not the kind of lo-fi affair fans of black metal might prefer. This is not always black metal. Get ready for this, sometimes this album is not metal at all. "The Serpent" is totally out of left feel from what a band like Lacuna Coil might do if they felt adventurous.
Strings color "Crown" which is more along the lines of Marissa Nadler. I like the varied layers of vocal and at the end of the day the interesting vocal preference makes up for the fact this is not metal. The vocals are extremely well done, though more conventional.We do not get back something closer to black until "Elleskudt". The time the black metal has more of a symphonic flare. I would say it is certainly not what the more cvlt minded black metal fan would accept as being truly black metal. "De Tre Piker"is another folk song that feels more like an interlude and not something I would feel to keep around on my iPod. Already on this album that have been moments that felt inspired by Chelsea Wolfe, it's not until "Funeral" that they actually sing a duet. Their voices work well together . The song is more at a sludged out doom pacing that Wolfe would favor.
The darker intervals of black metal are applied to "Ulvinde" though the song it self is more like dark indie rock . The distorted chord just lurk under the melancholy melodrama until they snarl out of it midway though. But if you are wanting this to be more of a black metal album, don't get your hopes up as it's only a an odd break away into the scowling vocal or less than a minute. Not that it's not a good on it's own merit, the black meta is just getting shed to make room for a more mature song writing approach. I live blast beats are just the under current for the ethereal folk of "Gladiatrix" which might be my favorite song on the album.The songwriting is very concise no sprawling drones to bore you. Nor would these songs need the extra time as she knows how to make everything fit in the frame given to the songs.
Not only does another folk interlude follow this song, but something weird and theatrical that could be the intro to a King Diamond closes out the album. It's like a little girl talking about demons. I appreciate the though but once again not something I need on my iPod. So when you strip away some of the atmospheric interludes and just look at this album in terms of songs it's really strong. I'll give it a 10 as they most outstanding moments compensate for the more odd Lacuna Coil like steps into convention which are not bad just not what I was warmed up for. This album will without a doubt bring her a larger audience and this was not done by really selling out even though the black metal was dialed back to make room for it. This comes out September 15th.