Myrkur: Band Of The Day

By on 5 September 2014


It’s an undeniable fact that black metal is a male dominated genre; however, this could all be set to change with the mysterious emergence of Myrkur. Appearing out of seemingly nowhere, but with the faith of Relapse Records behind her, this one-woman black metal project promises great things with her hauntingly beautiful take on a notoriously vicious sounding type of music.

Sitting somewhere between the chilling atmosphere of Xasthur and the subtleties of Ulver, Myrkur’s self-titled debut is sure to win the hearts of black metal aficionados the world over, and each teaser track released so far has been incredibly well received. Handling all of the instrumentals and vocals on her own and citing influences from everything from Dissection to Edvard Grieg, this record is wonderfully diverse and well composed, managing to do what most acts can only manage with several members.

With the album set for release on September 15th, now seemed the perfect time to chat to Myrkur about her music and love of “Nordic melancholy and romance with nature”.

WORDS: Angela Davey

WHO IS SHE: Myrkur
FOR FANS OF: Ulver, Alcest, Deafheaven
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Myrkur’ (Relapse, 2014)
WEBSITE: Facebook & Bandcamp

You state nature as one of your influences – this there any specific place that springs to mind when writing music?
“I have spent much time in Bergen in Norway. There are mountains and fjords and I also like to go to Edvard Grieg’s house and hear a piano concert. I prefer to be in Scandinavia when I write music.”

Are you influenced by any particular bands or artists?
“Mostly classical composers. Dissection, Ulver, Enslaved, Mayhem, and Abigard are some metal bands I like. I feel Edvard Grieg is the godfather of black metal. If you played a piece like ‘Troldtog’ or ‘Anitra’s Dans’ with aggressive instrumentation it would sound like a violent black metal song. I have a dream to turn entire ‘Peer Gynt’ into a black metal album. I like old Nordic folk music, such as visa ‘Fran Utmyra’. I like the tension in this music. Minor / major is unpredictable and you never know when it will be light and uplifting or dark and harsh. I live in the Nordic melancholy and romance with nature.”

What attracts you to black metal?
“It is pure. It is darkness and light, evil and frozen sounds. It is the sounds of my home and my history, it echoes inside my body. It is brutal and beautiful.”

How did you begin making music?
“I started to play classical music when I was a child. I played the violin mostly. Where I grew up it was isolated so I could also sing outside and no one could hear. So I discovered I could both sing in a more classical tone but also do these metal, primal screams. It would become my way to get rid of too much darkness inside, to go somewhere in nature alone and scream.”

What does the writing and recording process consist of, for you?
“I write alone in my house and also record there alone. It is very loud when I record so I have to be isolated. I hear the music in my head as a full peace before I start to record it. When I record my choir parts I hear all the voices and I start layering them one by one. But sometimes I also like to let the music go its own way, so me as a person is removed from it and it writes itself as I record it.”

What made you decide to go it alone, rather than form a band?
“I have never written with anyone else for this. When I had finished recording the EP I asked Rex Myrnur from Sweden to record some drums on top of the demos.”

Are you ever likely to play your music live?
“Yes, I would like to play concerts at some point. It is not easy to set up because ideally I would like to have a full choir with me as well as a band. As of now it has just been me and sometimes Rex Myrnur, so it would have to be translated into a band set up which will be challenging but I look forward to it.”

Black metal seems to have a smaller number of female artists than most metal genres – what’s your opinion of this?
“I don’t have an opinion of this. It is true, there are not many women in black metal now. Perhaps that will change after my album comes out.”

What’s in store for the future of Myrkur?
“I will record a whole album soon and I will play concerts. And black metal will take over the world.”



About Kez Whelan

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