Although it is just her third output (ignoring those singles and the live album “Mausoleum”), Myrkur has come a long way. Starting with a tribute to the second wave of black metal with her self-titled debut ep, she got a lot of controversial attention. With first full-length “M” her style started to emancipate from many conventions. “Mareridt” is just another step in this development. But there is still some way to go for Myrkur.
Frankly, I was not really fond of the “Myrkur”-ep. I think it was too rumbling and did not catch me. But I really like the turnaround on “M”. It was more a collage than an album, showing many facets and ideas, breaking up traditional genre-boundaries.
Now there is “Mareridt”. And it is not an album that you might instantly enjoy. Even if you liked “M”. First of all most black metal is gone. There are only two tracks, “Måneblôt” and “Gladiatrix”, that incorporate blastbeats. And although there are some other hints towards this kind of music in “Ulvinde” or “Elleskudt”, Myrkur moves into a totally other direction.
There are hints to pop music, similar to Lana Del Rey on “The Crown” or even the blastbeat driven “Gladiatrix”. But on the other side, the is still this dark undertone, bringing tracks like “The Serpent” closer to Chelsea Wolfe, Fvnerals or Sinistro. So it is no wonder that “Funeral” is featuring Chelsea Wolfe by herself.
In the end, there are many influences on “Mareridt”. More than ever before. From (Wave-)Pop to Doom-Folk to reminiscences of black metal. All combined by the omnipresent awareness of folk and medieval instruments and harmonies. “Mareridt” might be even more a collage than “M” already was. In this aspect Myrkur made a consequent continuation. But for me she is still on her way to find her very own style. I’m looking forward to hear her next album and the turnaround it will take.
But I do not want to call “Mareridt” a bad album. It is different. Sometimes it is cheesy. And the spoken-word outro “Børnehjem” is somehow useless. But there are good ideas, from black metal as well as from pop music, that makes this an enjoyable album.