Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Aug. 19, 2016
Unlike most black metal acts, Myrkur – Amalie Bruun of Ex Cops – committed the unforgivable sin of woodshedding in the deeply uncvlt realm of indie rock. On second LP Mausoleum, recorded live at an actual sepulchre in Oslo, the Danish auteur eschews metal completely, refashioning her catalog acoustically. Accompanied by piano, ex-Ulver shredder Håvard, and the Norwegian Girls' Choir, the now-New Yorker strips away intricate instrumental passages and dramatic flourish in favor of direct, oft-soaring communication. "Jeg er Guden, I er Tjenerne" floats through a melancholy mist of ethereal voices, while "Onde Børn" rises on a majestic keyboard and falls gently on a bed of gorgeous harmonies. "Dypt I skoven" and Bathory's "Song to Hall up High" get recast as lonely folk from a simpler century. New tune "Den Lille Piges Død" relies on pretty piano riffs as much as voice, but the a cappella "Vølvens Spådom" trumps it via Bruun duetting with the tomb's natural acoustics. Brutal beauty.