Myrkur: Mareridt (LP, Relapse Records, September 2017)


This is a lot of fun from Amalie Bruun. It’s basically a cross between Scandinavian black metal and vaguely Celtic folk. She sings, mostly in her native Danish, with a style that ranges from a the more full-throated end of folk up to a melodramatic Kate Bush — and, just occasionally, a nice bit of shrieking for good measure. The music combines traditional metal guitars with some ferocious fiddle-work, the percussion goes from some equally high-octane metal drumming to something you could almost imagine was a bodhrán. Oh, and she apparently plays (among many other things) a nyckelharpa, which was new on me and I think might account for the almost medieval sound to some of it, and one track prominently features a jew’s harp. It has a nice line in spooky atmospherics, too, and some cracking tunes. Some tracks are more obviously folky, with just an underlying sinister growl to hint at its other side. Others are more straight metal. But it’s at its best, for my money, are the tracks where the two seem to be battling for dominance, coming on like The Devil Went Down if one of the duelists had turned up with a guitar and a stack of Marshalls instead of a fiddle. How could that not be brilliant?

I bought this from Boomkat. They call it Dark Ambient / Drone / Metal.

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