Mareridt: Myrkur

Rating: 90%

Myrkur,_Mareridt_Album_CoverDuring the later half of 2017, Myrkur released her second record “Mareridt”, meaning “nightmare” in Danish. I remember when her first album came out and how metalheads bashed her being more or less a Pop star, which she was. But, I really enjoyed her first album and saw a lot of potential for the crossover success.

Musically, there’s a lot of things going on that makes this album very exciting. I really like the Folk Metal elements she has used along with some of the experimental styles such as Goth that makes this album fall more or less into Ambient Metal style. Several of the songs seem to be built around a heavier Atmospheric sound. I really enjoy the mid tempo and melodic rhythms. I think when you combine everything, it gives her style of Heavy Metal, texture.

As far as the instrumentation, I like the usage of crushing guitar riffs one minute and then the blast of drum beats the next. This really helps to break up the pace of the music. The piano work on “Crown” along with the eerie fiddle work is amazing. Her vocals are very strong from her clean to her harsh. Lyrically, this is a concept album about her nightmares that occurred during sleep paralysis.

Track listing:

1. “Mareridt” 3:24
2. “Måneblôt” 3:33
3. “The Serpent” 4:04
4. “Crown” 4:56
5. “Elleskudt” 4:22
6. “De tre piker” 3:12
7. “Funeral” (Featuring Chelsea Wolfe) 3:00
8. “Ulvinde” 4:24
9. “Gladiatrix” 2:51
10. “Kætteren” 2:11
11. “Børnehjem” 2:22

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M: Myrkur

Rating: 80%

Myrkur_M_cover.jpgSo, I heard all of this smack about this woman who is a well known Pop star that turned Black Metal. I was like huh? Then I heard how the Heavy Metal community was all up in arms that this woman couldn’t do Black Metal and instantly, everyone began trashing her music. So, I decided to take a listen. Well, I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure.

Musically, this album contains a lot. Many influences and elements here from classical to folk and yes, classic Black Metal. It’s all thrown together. This album contains a little bit of everything, plus more. Plus, and this is a major plus, she plays everything. She is a one woman band. And talented she is.

The music is very rich and full when you throw in all of the elements of Black Metal, Folk, and yes Pop. Some of the chorus lines are very full. But as broad as this is, somehow Amalie Bruun pulls this off and brings it home. There’s a nice collection of melodies mixed with harsh and clean vocals.  I love the riffs of the guitar all the way down to the folk instruments. With all of the influences, Amalie somehow balances the music out to compliment the overall sound. There’s also some atmospheric pieces which is where the classical or folk comes in. The song structures are pretty good and yet VERY dark.

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So, where are the complaints and controversy? I think, this woman pretty much pulled it off and made an album that isn’t perfect, but an album that damn good. She does have one hell of a good voice and song writer. I think that this album is very underrated.

Track listing:

1. “Skøgen skulle dø” (The whore had to die) 5:17
2. “Hævnen” (The revenge) 3:23
3. “Onde børn” (Evil kids) 4:09
4. “Vølvens spådom” (Prophecy of the Völva) 1:37
5. “Jeg er guden, i er tjenerne” (I am God, you are the servants) 4:03
6. “Nordlys” (Northern light) 2:15
7. “Mordet” (The murder) 3:41
8. “Byssan lull” (Swedish lullaby best known version by Evert Taube) 2:38
9. “Dybt i skoven” (Deep in the forrest) 3:09
10. “Skaði” (Skadi) 4:29
11. “Norn” 2:17

Wanderer On The Continent Of Saplings: Thrawsunblat

Rating: 95%

R-4932313-1379809091-1076.jpeg.jpgAlthough, David Gold from Woods of Ypres came up with this idea, he only recorded one album under the Thrawsunblat name. The first album released was in 2010 and Gold passed away in 2011. So, what do the other members of Woods of Ypres do? They move on while some of them reform this side project and make it into a full time gig.

The musicianship is really, really good. The band consists of bassist Brendan Hayter, drummer & vocalist Rae Amitay, vocalist & guitarist Joel Violette and guest musician Jeff Mott on the fiddle. Together, these musicians blend atmospheric melodies with elements of Melodic Black Metal and Folk Metal to create their sound and style. It works perfectly. 

The song arrangements some of which are drenched in Folk influences are fantastic. The acoustical guitar, fiddle, and clean vocals on “Maritime Shores” is amazing. It would almost stand up to any traditional Folk song. “Lifelore Revelation” has a rich Polka feeling to it, especially the beginning. The Black Metal side of the music including the harsh vocals are performed wonderfully. It’s not overwhelming to the point that it takes away from the harmony. Several of the heavier songs you can still hear the fiddle in the background. This album is very melodic sounding to the point where it almost seems very atmospheric. It got some very nice riffs to it as well as leads. Super fast tempos, but then the tempo changes to reveal the rich melody to the music. I love everything about this album.

Track listing:

1 Lifelore Revelation 4:12
2 Once Fireveined 5:43
3 We, The Torchbearers 5:21
4 Goose River (Mourners’ March) 3:34
5 Bones In The Undertow 5:14
6 Wanderer On The Continent Of Saplings 5:20
7 Maritime Shores 3:32
8 View Of A Million Trees 7:22
9 Borea (Pyre Of A Thousand Pine) 5:22
10 Elegy Across The Silence 2:58
11 Song Of The Nihilist 5:58
12 I Am The Viator 5:07

Panzer Division Marduk: Marduk

Rating: 75%

PanzerDivisionMarduk.jpgIn 1999, Marduk released their sixth album entitled “Panzer Division Marduk.” This World War II concept album is fast, brutal, and dark. It’s got some explosive instrumentation that is balls to the wall on the throttle. It’s got super fast riffs, it’s got some solos, hard hitting drums and growling vocals. Lyrical themes deal with Satanism and World War II. Using these two themes, they begin to put together Black Metal in truest fashion. To me, this album has gotten better over time, but at the same time, it could’ve had more focus and creativity.

The musicianship is really tight and aggressive. Vocalist Legion growls throughout the entire album. Guitarist Morgan Steinmeyer Håkansson shreds on those strings as if a time bomb is getting ready to go off. Bassist B.War is in there some where. Drummer Fredrik Andersson just tears up those skins.

All and all, you have a basic Black Metal album that is good for a listen. I would recommend trying out ” Those of the Unlight” or  “Opus nocturne” first and then work your way into this album.

Track listing:

1. “Panzer Division Marduk” 2:39
2. “Baptism by Fire” 3:51
3. “Christraping Black Metal” 3:46
4. “Scorched Earth” 3:37
5. “Beast of Prey” 4:07
6. “Blooddawn” 4:20
7. “502” 3:14
8. “Fistfucking God’s Planet”