The Pitch: Expanding on the softer folk elements of Mausoleum, and with the support of Relapse Records, "Mareridt ("Nightmare") is the highly anticipated sophomore full-length from renowned Danish composer and multi-instrumentalist Myrkur." FFO: Thy Worshiper, Enslaved, Ols
What I Like: Myrkur has received quite a bit of flack over the years for not being "black metal enough" but, according to the artist, this was never her intent to begin with. I think that this became more apparent with the beautiful, scaled back Mausoleum release, and now continues to be a clear trend on Mareridt. This album finds Myrkur more fully exploring and realizing various styles of folk music while largely abandoning traditional black metal roots. There are still the occasional moments of blastbeats, distortion, and harsh singing; but these are rare. Furthermore, when present, they form a stronger union with the folk instrumentation as opposed to past outings like M, which saw more of a folk-black metal-folk seperation from track to track. I am delighted by the direction, and absolutely captivated by the Scandinavian and Celtic instrumentation and, of course, Myrkur's angelic vocals. Also catch a collab with Chelsea Wolfe on "Funeral."
Critiques: I really enjoy the bulk of this album, but I have two main complaints. First, it is structured kind of strange. There's not always a clear flow. For instance, "Kætteren" feels like it should have been an interlude instead of tacked onto the end. And second, "Børnehjem" is just a throwaway track. After such beauty, this odd little spoken word experiment is a jarring shift in tone and comes off as cringy.
The Verdict: Mareridt has some structural issues and the occasional misstep, but overall I would call it Myrkur's finest work to date. Take another walk through the woods with this album today.
Flight's Fav's: Måneblôt, Elleskudt, Ulvinde
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