Myrkur – Mausoleum album review

Black metal’s hottest property, Myrkur, delivers a minimalist curveball with new album

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You don’t have to spend too long online to spot that opinion is divided on whether Myrkur is black metal’s most intriguing new protagonist or an undercooked case of the Emperor’s new hipster-friendly clothes.

Last year’s largely brilliant M album should have silenced most cynics, but Mausoleum seems unlikely to convince surly Watain fans that black metal is safe in the hands of a young Danish woman.

Recorded at the Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum in Oslo, this pitches Myrkur’s raw but elegant vocals against the similarly haunting tones of the Norwegian Girls Choir, replete with heroic levels of skull-thumping natural reverb courtesy of the venue. Comprising stripped-down, choral versions of seven songs from M, with one brand new song, M out-take Den Lille Piges Død, and an oddly moving cover of Bathory’s Song To Hall Up High thrown in, it’s unlikely to have Dark Funeral fans windmilling in their bedrooms, but it’s startling, extreme in its own way and occasionally rather magical. It’s also roughly the same length as Reign In Blood, but much, much quieter.