Behemoth, Myrkur | Thalia Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Behemoth, Myrkur 17+ Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Fri., April 29, 8:30 p.m. 2016

Despite the metal-scene backlash Myrkur has provoked, the only mistake she’s made has been to assume the mantle of the hermetic, anonymous Scandinavian black-metal loner upon the release of her lovely self-titled debut EP in 2014. Amalie Bruun, the project’s mastermind, is in fact Danish by birth, but it was bound to come out that she’d lived in New York City for years, where she’d put out a few records with dream-pop band Ex Cops—and metalheads as a class care enough about “authenticity” to resent feeling duped by PR. That said, the great majority of the ugliness directed at Bruun—she says she’s been bombarded with death threats online—has amounted to cretins flinging their poop because there’s a girl in their clubhouse. For the most recent Myrkur release, last year’s M (Relapse), Bruun enlisted top-shelf collaborators: Ulver front man Garm coproduced, Øyvind Myrvoll of Nidingr contributed live drumming, and Myrvoll’s bandmate Teloch (who’s also been in Mayhem since 2011) played bass and additional guitars. But if you’re tempted to dismiss Bruun as a woman propped up by talented men, put down the poop and step away. She wrote everything herself, draping a gauzy curtain of pop-friendly melody over the grim thicket of Norwegian black metal—the songs are often nudged toward northern European folk or medieval liturgical music, helped along by Bruun’s piano as well as by bowed Icelandic zither, Hardanger fiddle, violin, horn, and tuba. Her voice is sometimes a clotted, feral shriek and sometimes a bright silver ribbon, and she often multiplies it into a radiant angelic chorus. Excepting the touches of black ’n’ roll on “Mordet” and “Skadi,” M has a lyrical, pastoral feel—lots of black metal tries to evoke like a remote, unpopulated arctic forest, but Myrkur’s forest grows in the white light and frigid wind atop the anvil head of a towering thundercloud. Bruun typically tours with a three-piece backing band.

Philip Montoro

Price: $30, $25 in advance


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