Myrkur is the one-woman atmospheric black metal project of Danish songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Amalie Bruun. The word "Myrkur" is Icelandic and translates to English as "darkness." Born in Copenhagen in 1985, Bruun has been an active studio and touring musician since 2006, has released two albums and various EPs under her own name (none of which were black metal), and is a member of the pop duo Ex Cops. She has also been a fashion model, most notably in the Bleu de Chanel ad directed by Martin Scorsese. Myrkur signed to Relapse Records and issued a seven-track, self-titled debut EP in September of 2014. With the release came media attention as to her identity. She revealed it in an interview with Bandcamp, and claimed that Norwegian black metal bands Darkthrone and Ulver, as well as composer Edvard Grieg, were her influences. Bruun produced and played all instruments but drums. The EP was followed by the demo single "Skađi" in December. In June of 2015, a new Myrkur album was announced through the project's Bandcamp page; it was accompanied by the digital single "Onde Børn." The full-length, simply titled M, was released by Relapse in August. Recorded in Oslo, Norway, the set was co-produced with Ulver's Kristoffer Rygg (aka Garm) and featured contributions from members of Mayhem and Nidingr, as well as horn and string players. Myrkur's first-ever live performance was headlining the "black stage" at Denmark's Roskilde Festival. On the one-year anniversary of M, Myrkur released Mausoleum, a live recording from the Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum in Oslo, Norway, accompanied by the Norwegian Girls Choir and former Ulver guitarist Håvard "Lemarchand" Jørgensen. The set offered stripped-down acoustic reinventions of seven songs from the previous album, a Bathory cover, and one new track.
Having worked on fresh material the previous year, Bruun went straight back into the studio in early 2017 and enlisted producer Randall Dunn. She wrote songs that mixed folk instrumentation into her melodies, including nyckelharpa, violin, mandola, folk drums, and kulning. In May, a video clip of Bruun playing the nykelhaarpa and singing was released, followed by another live-in-studio snippet when the album's title, Mareidt, was revealed. The full-length was released by Relapse in September. ~ Thom Jurek