3. “The Serpent”
6. “De tre piker”
7. “Funeral” (Featuring Chelsea Wolfe)
Mareridt (Danish “nightmare”) is the second studio album by Myrkur, the black metal project of Danish musician and singer-songwriter Amalie Bruun. The album was released on 15 September 2017 through Relapse Records. Mareridt was recorded between Seattle, United States and Copenhagen, Denmark, and was produced by Randall Dunn. The album’s title is Danish for ‘nightmare’, in reference to the frequent occurrences of sleep paralysis and nightmares which provided the inspiration for much of the album. The album’s release was promoted with the release of at least three singles: “Måneblôt”, “Ulvinde”, and “De tre piker”. The album received widespread acclaim from music critics upon its release.
Background and style
Following the release of her debut full-length album, M, Bruun toured across the United States and Europe. Returning to her home in Denmark, Bruun found herself plagued by nightmares and episodes of sleep paralysis, which she has described as “one of the worst times of her life.” To cope with these nightmares, she used a notebook to document all the details and symbols in the dreams, and used them as a source of inspiration for her music. Many of the songs were written and composed on a small string instrument in a forest near her home which Bruun used as an escape and source of inspiration. The significant levels of online abuse and death threats she received also partially contributed to her mental state during this time. In July 2017, she released a song titled ‘Shadows of Silence’ as part of the Decibel Flexidisc series, though the song did not appear on the final album itself. It was also the first Myrkur song written and sung in English.
Critics have noted that Mareridt represents a noticeable change in musical style compared with Myrkur’s previous albums. Metal Hammer wrote that the album “mostly leans closer to the earthy, gothic folk of Chelsea Wolfethan post-black metal”. They also wrote that “Where she could’ve bowed to the elitists and charged into heavier realms, instead she’s scaled back the extremity, revelling in the kind of heaviness that favours sensory impact over the hammering of guitars as she flits between English and Danish. ” Some critics have compared the album favourably with artists such as Dead Can Dance, Sigur Rós, while AllMusic’s Thom Jurek argues that the album “not only bridges the stylistic diversity of her three previous releases — the 2015 album M and two EPS — but extends their reach into her own creative space, which cannot easily be defined.” In their review of the album, Decibel wrote that “black metal’s just one of many textures manipulated by Bruun”, and that her compositions “owe as much to Nordic folk music as they do to Ulver.”