Myrkur – Spine
Myrkur – Spine
November 21, 2023
“Spine” is a tour-de-force, amalgamating some of the most exciting, innovative, and genre-defying moments from MYRKUR's catalog into something that is haunting, extreme, and brilliant as ever. The album lays MYRKUR bare, at her most raw and unwavering, and is undoubtedly one of the year's most ambitious and cinematic album. It relates to MYRKUR's personal mythology. Written during one of the most difficult times in Amalie Bruun's life. It is the direct result of her experiences following childbirth. From the love and euphoria that comes with motherhood, to the fears of the unknown and the mysteries of the journey ahead, “Spine” is ultimately an album about seeking balance amidst chaos. To Bruun/MYRKUR, the record explores the very human nature of what it means to be a mother, and finds resonances with Scandinavian mythology to do so.”
The album has nine songs, and “Bålfærd” is first. Folky tones dominate the sound, and there is an ominous undercurrent running beneath it. Haunting voices rise and fall, until the fade-out at the end. “Like Human” begins with clean vocals and beautiful melodies that are just a bit sad…a bit solemn. It doesn’t sound like Black Metal, and is much more folky, but eerie and spooky noises run underneath her frail vocals. “Mothlike” has another tender and vulnerable entrance, and the keyboard melody and following groove bring a bright light to the misty sound. The riff gains steam and then dies again. “My Blood is Gold” features a melody line that is simple, but oh so memorable. For me, the ominous piano note represent her strength, while her tenuous vocals represent her sensitive side.
The title track is one of the best on the album, The folky elements are as delicate as they walk the thin line between hope and despair. When the riff picks up, it is thick and menacing, but also very melodic. “Valkyriernes Sang” has that Black Metal fire that you were waiting for. The groove and rhythmic qualities beguile you to join in, while the vocal harmonies break through the clouds like a piercing beacon. The high-pitched vocals towards the end remind you of her amazing versatility. “Blazing Sky” bears a heavy breath in the entrance that lessens and morphs into a slow moving and tender sound that still has a bite to it. It warns, “don’t turn your back on me.” “Devil in the Detail” has strong vocal harmonies to go along with steady piano and strings. “Take my love, take me as I am” she directs, and the more she says it, the more you believe it.
“Menneskebarn” closes the album. It roughly translates to “child of man” in English. It’s a beautiful closing song, and when she utters “sleep my child, I will always be here,” she is speaking to her baby of course. Overall, this pensive album was powerful in its very personal message. There are many melodic moments mixed into the album, which mostly has a Folky sound for me. Her gorgeous voice is probably the best part of the album for me. You can feel her trying to find that elusive balance amidst the storm. In the end, I find that she does.
9 / 10