On August 21st, 2015, the world will be presented with one-woman Black Metal act Myrkur’s debut LP, her second release to date titled simply M. Despite being a solo act, this debut LP is going to have a plethora of talent from many other musicians collaborating on it. The album is being produced by Kristoffer Rygg of Ulver, and features Teloch of Mayhem on guitars, with Øyvind Myrvoll of Nidingr on drums. It also includes a guest appearance by Christopher Amott, former guitarist of Arch Enemy. Musically, I think it’s safe to say we’re in for something special. At the time of writing this, there have been three songs released from the album, and based solely on these tracks I’m left with the feeling that Myrkur (meaning “darkness” in Icelandic) is presenting a much more focused take on music than her previous release.
Behind Mykur is Amelie Bruun, who first arrived on the scene with her indie rock band Ex Cops, who were famously asked to play SXSW by McDonald’s as a way to get “additional exposure,” as the corporation stated. What followed was a great open letter to the company written by band member Brian Harding. Unfortunately, however, Amelie’s work in Ex Cops seems to draw a lot of criticism from the Black Metal world from people who are quick to dismiss her as just a “pop artist trying her hand at metal.” Despite that, Bruun describes herself as a “black metal girl at heart,” and I urge anyone who might want to dismiss her to simply listen to the three tracks that have been released from her debut LP.
What I love about the metal genre is how artists can take the basic mold of the music, and interpret it and shape it in their own way. This is where metal truly shines. Purists might be quick to say “no, metal has to sound a certain way”, but in my opinion, metal is at its strongest when experimented with, and that’s exactly what Myrkur does. Mixing in equal parts operatic harmonies, atmospheric guitars, and folk melodies, Myrkur may not be “True Black Metal”, but that’s precisely why she’s great.
To date, Mykur has only performed one single show that took place on July 4th at the Denmark Roskilde Festival, which was backed by The Norwegian Girl’s Choir. I can only hope and pray to the metal gods that Myrkur will eventually tour in North America.
Written by Dominic Abate
Header Photo by Trine + Kim Design Studio
*edited by Kate Erickson