Being inside The Vigeland Mausoleum is in itself enough to take your breath away. With its massive and explicit frescos barely visible in the darkness, completed by its haunting 15-second natural reverb and low temperatures, it creates a unique and almost magical atmosphere.
Huddling up in blankets surrounded by flickering candlelight, it’s the audience’s time to be a part of just that ambience as Myrkur’s leading lady, Amalie Bruun, moves calm and collected to set the first tone for The Norwegian Girl’s Choir. Also assisted by ex-Satyricon and Ulver guitarist Håvard Jørgensen on guitar, there is no doubt that we’re in for a treat in terms of talented musicians.
And what a treat it is. The music has clearly been carefully handpicked for the setting. Songs like Jeg Er Guden, I Er Tjenerne become sheer beauty in their acoustic form, the lullaby Byssan Lull more haunting than on the record and Skøgen Skulle Dø seems to make time stand still. Even though many of Myrkur’s songs had their vocal tracks recorded in the mausoleum, they become even more captivating live.
Amalie carries an air of authority, in complete control of her own singing and piano playing, while also conducting the girl choir and acting as a part of a whole. She proves not only to be a talented musician, but also a true artist.
The contrast between the controlled and the vulnerable is both striking and moving, turning the concert into a mass of opposites as the beautiful melodies and almost ethereal voicing meet the lyrical themes of vengeance, anger and death, which become combined with the chords and rhythms as heard in the studio versions of the songs. Even though this is an acoustic concert, excluding the blastbeats and screaming, the message still comes across without losing even an inch of the essence of the original music. Together with Jørgensen and the choir, it all becomes sown perfectly together to something raw and beautiful.
The ethereal and sincere combined with the intrinsic strength and power of the music makes up a perfect balance, turning tonight’s concert into a breathtaking experience that captivates and transports everyone present to the realm of the ineffable.