Published Aug 19, 2015The self-titled debut EP by this one-woman Danish black metal project carved a surprisingly deep mark on the landscape of aggressive music when it appeared last September, with many critics lauding the record's delicate, multi-foliate textures, while others dismissed the effort as a publicity stunt from Amalie Bruun. A lot of the criticisms of the record were rooted in base sexism (while solo projects remain common in black metal, a lone woman making this kind of music is still perceived as a novelty), and the full-length follow-up, M, now puts any lingering doubts about the brilliance of Myrkur decisively to bed.
Produced by Garm of Ulver, the textures of M are even more finely hewn and interwoven than its predecessor, resulting in a record that is at once profoundly tactile and deeply sensual. There is something meditative, even classical about the way the song structures unfurl, both intensely evocative and demonstrative of Bruun's exquisite understanding of the use of space. In "Onde Børn," there is a particular moment that makes you feel like you are deep in a forest and entirely alone that is like a tiny, intellectual gasp, when you come to grips at once with what it means to be in a solitary space (most of us are so often really alone) and to be so surrounded by a living, curious, not necessarily benevolent environment; M is able to place a finger beautifully on that moment and explore it fully.
There is something deeply seductive about Bruun's vocals, or perhaps alluring is a better word — it's the draw of something beautiful but distinctly unseemly, lovely and hostile, dangerous and irresistible. She has the voice of a creature leading you to drowning, or devourment, or damnation; but oh, you go anyway. (Relapse)