When you hear the term “black metal”, images of Norwegian men with long black hair, wearing upside-down crosses, and faces covered in corpse paint come to mind. It’s a style of music that prides itself on over-the-top symphonic brutality, often with anti-religious imagery. Based on appearance alone, it’s easy to consider it some kind of musical side show, but the musicianship and fans of the genre are as serious as it gets. What happens, however, when the genre of misunderstood grandeur is played by a young, seemingly innocent looking female who leaves the traditional garb out of the equation? You get Myrkur.
On her 2015 release M, Danish singer/songwriter Myrkur (Icelandic for “darkness”),sways back and forth between black metal blast-beats, howls, and borderline new age soul. Even the most hardened black metal fan can admit that getting through an entire album of doom and gloom in one sitting can be a daunting task. Fortunately, Myrkur’s unique vocal range and seamless transitions make listening to M from start to finish, not only easy, but also quite enjoyable. Songs such as “Onde Børn” and “Mordet” bring a sonic ebb and flow that make M feel like a rainbow in the middle of a tornado. Take cover.
M is currently available on Relapse Records.