“M” by Danish one-woman atmospheric folk black metal project Myrkur – released in 2015 via Relapse Records – is a full-length album that, while it goes all over the place musically, holds and presents itself very nicely during its thirty-eight-minute runtime.
The album begins with “Skøgen Skulle Dø”, a nice intro for the remainder of the album, as it showcases her sound and style into a nice, compact, roughly-five-minute space. The next track I want to talk about is “Onde Børn”. This was actually the first track I ever heard from Myrkur. At the time, I was obsessed with that sort of “atmospheric post-metal”/”blackgaze” stuff, so this one really interested me, and as such, I decided to listen to the rest of the album. I find it very relaxing; between her voice, the distant-sounding guitars, and the melody, this song is a major high point on this album for me. Next, I’d like to briefly mention “Dybt i Skoven”. This track was another major high point for me on this album, for pretty much the same reasons as Onde Børn was.
Finally, before I go into my overall/ final analysis, I think it’s worth saying that I’d hesitate to call Myrkur simply “black metal”, as her music doesn’t follow that style exclusively – it is more unique than that; if her music could be so easily categorized, I’d say that it includes elements of other styles, such as folk, or, at times, “blackgaze” tied together under an “atmospheric” sound. I wouldn’t abide a comparison of Myrkur to the likes of 1349 or Behexen, for example.
“M” is a really nice treat for the listener, as it proves that Myrkur isn’t one of those projects that picks one kind of sound, and adheres so tightly to it that they start to sound a bit stale if they haven’t done anything new or exploratory within their next few albums. Given I’m writing this after her second album’s been released, I can say with certainty that she does not stray from musical experimentation – nor does she begin to sound same-y. That said, if she were to experiment on every album, yes, that itself would become “same-y”.
As much as I like this album, my one critique is the track listing. “Mordet” is a good song, but, honestly, it sticks out like a sore thumb – it feels quite out of place in the midst of this more atmospheric post-metal-y stuff. That said, I’ll reiterate that variety is something that should be considered more in music generally. That alone puts her a step above most mainstream metal.
The emotions conveyed on this album feel more real – more authentic, and that helps to make it a proper piece of art.
Overall, this is a wonderful album with variety of sound and a good atmosphere that endures with the listener for a short while after it’s ended.
01. Skøgen Skulle Dø
03. Onde Børn
04. Vølvens Spådom
05. Jeg er Guden, I er Tjenerne
08. Byssan Lull
09. Dybt i Skoven