Myrkur has made a name for herself in a newer style of black metal that focus more on mood and atmosphere, and less on evil theatrics. Some purists may argue against this style, as church burning, satanism and corpse paint could be considered essential to black metal music. Some artists however, are satisfied with just borrowing the foreboding soundscapes of Burzum (and maybe a Venom riff or two) to make a backdrop for something more eclectic that could almost be considered “Indie Metal” or “Blackgaze”, if there ever was such a style.
Myrkur and her previous tour mates Deafheaven are in the frontlines of this somewhat controversial style of black metal, but now it seems like Myrkur finally abandoned the “metal” part of it all, at least for this album. Her new record ‘Folkesange’ is exactly as advertised, it consists solely of folk music. This might prove a confusing listening experience for the casual metal fan, but educated listeners are of course fully aware of the metal tradition of “going acoustic”, which goes all the way back to Led Zeppelin and beyond. Case in point, Opeth famously released the ever so gentle ‘Damnation’ album which featured ballads only, and Nirvana made punk pretty on their iconic ‘MTV Unplugged’ album. Now Myrkur have released ‘Folkesange’, an album of mostly Scandinavian folk music, prominently featuring her playing the hurdy-gurdy whilst alternating singing in Danish, Swedish and English.
Myrkur is and exceptional multi-instrumentalist and rocks a diverse array of strange traditional instruments throughout the album. But the star of the show is her vocals, which are insanely beautiful and genuine. There is no doubt that she sings these songs with the outmost sincerity and depth, making for one of the most immersive and intriguing albums I’ve heard in a while.
Folkesange is not the first time a heavy music act has discarded all that is heavy in favor for acoustic instrumentation and soft melodies, but it is certainly one of the best.
Date of release: 20/3-20