Myrkur – Myrkur

myrkurDuring the Worm Gear hiatus, there have been a lot of albums that have come and gone that at the time I had a lot of opinions about. Thankfully this one was still in the Relapse cue, so let’s see if I can dig back into those old frustrations and anger and rekindle this thought process…

There was a time in Worm Gear’s history where Relapse Records was closely involved with the print side of the zine. They sent out issues with all of their outgoing orders. They advertised. They NEVER tried to influence or censor our raw opinions. They cared and were eager to see it grow. For that, I will always be grateful, for those were indeed some really great times that won’t soon be forgotten. The bands and albums Relapse released back then were influential at times and largely really great. And also in those days, they said they would NEVER release a black metal album. I heard that time and again it seems. NEVER!! So for Relapse 2014 to get behind a “black metal” album, it’s gotta be something really special right? It’s gotta be! So I entered into the S/T Myrkur release ready for something fantastic, especially when bands like Ulver are dropped in the propaganda pages. What hit me was 7 songs of underdeveloped, barren and a just plain terrible attempt at 1 person in a pop band’s interpretation of black metal. This isn’t a “ladies shouldn’t be in BM” rant at all, for opinions like that are ridiculous. For me it’s all about good or bad and Myrkur’s songs are scattered and swirling around the bowl. There is one riff on this release that I like and it appears at the 1 min mark of Ma Du Braende I Helvede with it’s awkward and interesting flow and dirty sound. That was redeeming for a measure, then it was back into songs that really didn’t make any sense with a tone that was lacking distortion and overall feeling. The pitch singing in between tracks is competent for sure, but sounds like it belongs in a different band/style. Her grim vocals are processed in an attempt to make them sound more disturbed and they really are not much of a focus when looking at these songs as a whole. Nattens Barn for example is a disjointed mess from beginning to end. The structure is mostly linear where riffs start, play for a couple measures, end with an awkward transition, and go into another unrelated riff. The whole of this MCD is like this. Nothing concrete musically or structurally to hold onto. The whole thing just sounds like someone with some obvious guitar skills just can’t figure out how to write a real song containing interest, dynamics or feeling to save her ass.

In closing, I have read a lot of really favorable reviews for this release and have seen record collectors on youtube proudly showing off their vinyl copies. I gotta ask…. what the hell is the matter with all of you? You like this? There is no accounting for taste I know, but when the music presents itself like a half assed train wreck, one has to wonder what it is one sees in the result. Did Relapse sign Myrkur on its musical merit? Fuck I hope not. Did they sign Myrkur because it is the project of a woman? I don’t think so! Did they sign Myrkur because the person behind it is in a pop band evidently popular enough to mention in the bio info and is a famous model? Yes! That’s got to be it! And for that point, bypassing musical integrity and something creative in favor of a sound marketing plan, they should be ashamed! Thankfully Relapse, you have held to your promise and haven’t yet released a black metal record even though you think you have. Strike one. -Marty
Relapse Records

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~ by martyworm on March 25, 2015.

2 Responses to “Myrkur – Myrkur”

  1. I don’t really think that this is the first time Relapse has signed something based solely on marketing… They were obviously trying to ride the post metal wave in the 2000’s… I’ve since that time easily assumed that Relapse has no artistic integrity…

  2. Most Relapse releases seem to be aimed at metal mainstream these days. Nothing wrong with that, just don’t expect them to have the artistic integrity wormgear readers desire…

    This “photo model’s guilty pleasure turned into cd release by hip metal label because she’s so cute” shit is incredibly lame…

    For something roughly in the same spirit (musically) that does have quality, check this:
    https://darkher-uk.bandcamp.com/releases

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