Reviews Myrkur Mausoleum



The project of Amalie Bruun has stirred quite drastically the black metal scene, since the release of her debut, self-titled, EP in 2014. M, the first full-length of the project, came in 2015 and it displayed in glorious fashion the extent of Bruun's vision. Comparisons with early days Ulver are to be expected, with Myrkur's style fashioned around the more direct, melodic black metal realm, and a folk-ish element resting just beneath the surface. M featured a plethora of musicians from the black metal scene, from Teloch and Oyvind Myrvoll (both of Nidingr,) to ex-Ulver member and collaborator Harvard Jorgensen, to Garm of Ulver himself helming the production of the record.

Mausoleum comes now to shed light in a different aspect of Myrkur's sound. In a sense it feels like a Bergtatt and Kveldssanger connection. In the same way that Ulver brought the full extent of their folk identity to the forefront with their second full-length, so Myrkur brings her epic, folk-induced rendition of previously released songs from M and the Myrkur EP, within Mausoleum, and in a live context. Accompanied by The Norwegian Girls Choir and Harvard Jorgensen, Bruun is able to reach a deeply emotional level, forcing these extreme tracks to reform and builds atmospheric hymns from their remnants, recovering aspects that were hidden under the dense layers of elements and distortion of their original form.

The album feels deeply meditative, with Bruun's stunning vocal delivery acting as the channel to serenity. Stripped of heavy instrumentation, she is able to reach new heights performance-wise, as the completely a cappella start with “Volvens Spadom.” It certainly aids the bleak perspective that the ambiance of the work radiates with a magnificent melancholic light. Darker moments arise, with lead lines becoming more twisted, as “Den Lille Piges Dod,” acquiring a feeling of sorrow, with a touch of hope to increase the despair.

Even though Myrkur's approach to black metal has had a melodic and fairly direct approach, the element that is further enhanced in this case makes her work appear quite epic. Covering a track such as “Song To Hall Up High,” is quite a daunting task for any black metal artist, but Bruun does brilliantly in retaining Quorthon's epic vision, while also boosting a more melancholic element. This is also one of the most intriguing aspects of Bruun's interpretation's of the track: she is not taking away the epic perspective, she is arriving to the same destination, just using a different route. This ability of re-working tracks, revealing an additional aspect of her work, perfectly depicts how Bruun's presence in the genre is necessary.

7.3 / 10Spyros Stasis
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7.3 / 10

7.3 / 10

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