Myrkur's new album Spine is her magnum opus and a riveting, emotional odyssey

The chameleonic songwriter has reached new heights with her fourth studio album

Myrkur in 2023
(Image: © Press)

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In the tempestuous waters of contemporary music, where genre lines are regularly redrawn, Myrkur – aka Amalie Bruun – pilots a vessel entirely her own. Her latest album is a riveting odyssey, skilfully merging contrasting sonic landscapes and reflecting emotional tumult in equal measure. Spine is a vast, internal journey informed by the birth of Amalie’s child and our increasingly disconnected world.

Myrkur’s artistic vision has long juggled black metal and Danish folk via her own spiritual alchemy, but Spine deviates markedly from its predecessors. It’s an album that revels in dichotomy yet seeks synthesis, flitting between the human connection of mother and child to the alienation accelerated by the modern era. The opening track, Bålfærd (‘Viking Funeral’), serves as a sonic prologue of both elegy and rebirth: a metaphor for Myrkur’s self-discovery and a marker that signifies a musical exodus.

Musically, Spine navigates a labyrinth of emotions. Like Humans serves a complex cocktail of airy textures and pounding undertones, with Amalie’s celestial vocals as the guiding light. Mothlike dips into pop-noir elements with a pulsating flourish reminiscent of Abba, and Blazing Sky delivers blistering metal riffs that echo the restless tectonic movements of the artist’s internal world. At its core, Valkyriernes Sang – the only track sung in Danish – connects with Myrkur’s pagan roots, its exhilarating infusion of black metal effortlessly linking the mythical with the corporeal.

The title, Spine, suggests strength, purpose and the power of resilience. It’s an album that discovers expansive new musical territories and emotional hinterlands. Here, Myrkur has orchestrated an aural kaleidoscope that balances darkness and light, the euphoric and the devastating, to produce a magnum opus in her ever-evolving catalogue.

Spine is out this Friday, October 20, via Relapse

Joe Daly

Hailing from San Diego, California, Joe Daly is an award-winning music journalist with over thirty years experience. Since 2010, Joe has been a regular contributor for Metal Hammer, penning cover features, news stories, album reviews and other content. Joe also writes for Classic Rock, Bass Player, Men’s Health and Outburn magazines. He has served as Music Editor for several online outlets and he has been a contributor for SPIN, the BBC and a frequent guest on several podcasts. When he’s not serenading his neighbours with black metal, Joe enjoys playing hockey, beating on his bass and fawning over his dogs.