For someone who spent part of his career signing his work as Trickster G. it’s eerily fitting to see Garm associated with Myrkur‘s debut full length. Think about it, it’s twenty years after the release of “Bergtatt” and he finds a pretty Danish girl (yeah, this sounds misogynist, keep reading and you’ll get the point) previously associated with modelling and pop music, who happens to write black metal clearly inspired with the aforementioned masterpiece, is signed to Relapse Records and has ton of press.
In typical trickster fashion he gets on board with the mixing of the record, calls up some of his Norwegian buddies to get the instruments just right, and right they are, stepping up in a big way from the first EP. Then again, when you call the likes of Håvard Jørgensen, Ulver‘s guitar player back in their black metal times, and Teloch (Mayhem and Nidingr) to play this kind of stuff, odds are things will sound just fucking right. Then, it’s just sitting back and enjoy the show, with an explosion of praise from the this sounds new and has the right image side of things, with the band being hailed as the future of the genre there, while from the no corpse paint equals shit camp you get the expected pile of shit going their way, stemming from somewhere between misogyny and sheer conservatism.
So, is “M” paving the way for the future of black metal? Fuck no, it’s a cleanly produced and decently written record but highly derivative and not yet as consistent as it could be. Is it absolute crap, then? Fuck no to that as well, if there are plenty of beloved bands derived from Mayhem, Darkthrone, Burzum, Gorgoroth and so on, why in hell can’t there be one that does the same with Ulver? Well, because it’s fronted by a woman who happens to have been a model and had a pop band or some other factor equally irrelevant to the quality of the record, but unsurprisingly enough to get idiots riled up (hey, at least we can identify them).
If only a truly brilliant record like Solefald‘s “World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud” would get this type of attention. Hey, at least Myrkur is not some over pretentious bullshit claiming to transcend stuff (‘sup Lithurgy?) or a snoozefest of blackened post-rock. “M” ain’t that original, sure, but at least it’s inspired in one of the best of all time within the genre and there seems to be potential for much better things to come.