Monday, June 29, 2015

Myrkur - Myrkur

Part two in a series covering the unexceptional metal of failed indie rockers of uncertain origins. 

Myrkur is a post-rock/black metal crossover which relies heavily on poor production and distortion to mask a pop singer's attempts at what is little more than Sigur Ros with sloppy tremolo picking. The music has an ethereal sheen from her choirs, yet it lacks a lead vocalist, or any sort of lead instrument. The vocals are arranged like a bright, airy synth used for atmosphere, and add little more. The drum machine sounds straight out of new wave dance music. The guitar work is uninteresting and sloppy, especially the leads, and it sounds like a cheap distortion pedal with a thin tone. Despite this imbalance, they are given prominence in the mix as much as the vocals, masking the most important and only competent part of the band. In a way, that makes sense because the gimmick of this band is that it is "black metal," but it doesn't work out because the music is nothing more than the wimpy ambiance-basking that it aims to be. This isn't a powerful, charismatic lead vocalist - this is a limited vocalist whose skills are limited to sounding pleasant and hitting notes while filled out by choir-style harmonies and lots of reverb. The final track, a solo vocal piece, highlights that her voice is thin and weak, normally hidden behind distorted guitars. However this is just a post-rock crossover gimmick. A better, more distinctive vocalist would have had the presence to make this more than aural wallpaper.

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