Myrkur / Fen

A night of ethereal and eviscerating enchantment

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Less appreciated here than internationally, UK trio FEN [8] remain one of the more important ‘post-black metal’ outfits.

Tonight is a reminder of just how caustic they are when compared to their peers, the ebb and flow between their slower, more introspective passages and the fierce blackened parts comparable to Winterfylleth, but with even more contrast between the uses of moody atmosphere and outright aggression. MYRKUR [8] also utilise black metal elements without tying themselves to the genre. However, this project – and more specifically its central creative force – has proved so divisive, drawing both love and hatred, that it’s almost impossible to objectively quantify. Even if Myrkur aren’t as groundbreaking as some fans might believe – there is a heavy nod to Bergtatt-era Ulver – you can hardly say that a wealth of groups are doing anything similar.

Amalie Bruun bewitches the crowd

Amalie Bruun bewitches the crowd (Image credit: Kevin Nixon)

Live, the material does deliver. Yes, they could improve their stage presence, but the songs frequently have an emotional pull and if they were delivered without the vocals of frontwoman Amalie Bruun, they would likely have been accepted by many of the outfit’s harsher critics.

That the vocals prove to be extremely effective is icing on the cake and the cover of Bathory’s Song To Hall Up High, performed by Amalie alone on keyboards, underlines the point while proving a bold statement to close with.