Myrkur - Mausoleum

Acoustic reimaginations of black metal tracks most of the time probably won't go well. There are, however, exceptions to that. The black-metal female-fronted project of Myrkur is an example of that. Mausoleum is by far a better album than the heavy version of these songs were on her debut LP, and has you wondering why she didn't do acoustic folk instead.

To be honest, the sole LP release M was not very good. It had its defining moments, but for the most part was very bland. It's likely the lack of experience; it improved from the EP, but didn't quite get where it needed to be. The music just felt wrong and lacking emotion. The songs that were performed in Mausoleum have a new darkness too them, ultimately sounding much more evil and gory than M was. These acoustic songs are more metal than the actual black metal songs.

The darkness this album generates roots from the cavernous piano that leads most of the tracks. You simply feel oppressed and alone listening to 'Byssan Lull' with the way Myrkur's vocals sing high and innocently above the low bass notes the piano plays that echo through your body. The way the choir echoes throughout the song puts you in an empty room of darkness, a light flashing on you and nowhere to go.



That's the aesthetic for a the first half of the album. 'Den Lille Piges Død' introduces acoustic guitar, which plays quickly and panicked with the piano, which sounds equally as frantic, especially at the high end. 'Frosne Vind' is the point of the album where you really start questioning why Myrkur didn't adopt an acoustic Scandinavian folk project. This song screams Scandinavia. 'Onde Børn' continues, introducing more riveting instrumental movements (the chord progressions are phenomenal). 

Did Myrkur make a wrong decision? Her music translates a lot better into an acoustic setting than in black metal. The only error on the record is the last song, where the clapping did not sound great with the acoustics of the hall she recorded in. I'd like to see Myrkur do a folk album somewhere down the road. Black metal doesn't seem to be amazing from her end yet, anyway. Her voice is much better executed in this setting. Let's see what happens.

Favorite Tracks: Frosne Vind, Onde Børn, Byssan Lull

Least Favorite Track: Dybt I Skoven

Rating: 79