Essential New Music: Myrkur’s “Mareridt”

The discography of Myrkur (one Amalie Bruun) leading up to Mareridt—the 2014 self-titled debut EP, 2015’s full-length M, last year’s live Mausoleum and several singles sprinkled throughout—already put to shame much of the “trve kvlt” sounds to which her mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging detractors consider her a threat (based on a past as 50 percent of indie-pop duo Ex-Cops, plus a modeling career). But Myrkur’s second album is proverbial next-level you-know-what that sheds much of the “great, but not terribly original” minor baggage of the previous releases and is a document of metal progressing forward—the right way. Mareridt finds that rare-yet-venerable sweet spot in the exciting dichotomy that is melodic elements working powerfully and seamlessly with metallic harshness, heaviness and intensity. Bruun’s shoegazey-clean vocal style (which is far more effective than the accessorized choir-girl harmonies) and the unapologetic forays into power metal (albeit a more credible King Diamond fixation) are two more specific elements that almost jar the listener to attention with how perfectly they make sense. One of the more important metal releases of 2017.

Andrew Earles