MYRKUR, the one-woman black metal act from Copenhagen, Denmark has made quite the name for herself over the last two years or so. Amalie Bruun, the woman behind it all, has received great praise for her debut LP M, although she had already started getting traction from her eponymous EP. And now, only a month away from her sophomore album Mausoleum, MYRKUR is already making a splash by covering black metal legend Bathory’s “Song To Hall Up High.”
Amalie Bruun has quite the musical history so far. Other than her work with MYRKUR, Bruun had first brought herself to the public eye via her work in dream-pop duo Ex Cops (who had made headlines last year by blasting McDonald’s for not paying their artists). Perhaps knowing that her pop background would make some metalheads dismiss her before even listening to her music, Bruun and her label, Relapse Records, completely hid the identity of MYRKUR’s mastermind until not too long ago.
Despite Bruun’s long history, MYRKUR’s discography is not a prolific one thus far. Starting with her eponymous EP, she then released a demo tape Skaði (whatever that means), followed by her debut LP M and then a single called “Den Lille Piges Død” (whatever that means x4). Combine this apparent lack of output thus far with covering a song of one of the most celebrated black metal acts ever and you get one ballsy artist.
“Song to Hall Up High” was a cut off of Bathory’s 5th record Hammerheart, only one of the metal act’s highly praised 12 full-length album discography, cut short by band leader Quorthon’s sudden death by heart attack. The band has been credited with advancing the black metal genre and for effectively creating the viking metal subgenre.
To even dare to touch one of such a legendary act’s songs shows MYRKUR’s willingness to obstinately stand in the face of the critics. MYRKUR’s status as a female band as well as her background as a pop artist doesn’t make for a great metal image, but Bruun bravely attempts to bridge the gap between her and the “true cvlt metal”-heads through common admiration for one of metal’s most well-known bands.
Although “Songs To Hall Up High” is more of an interlude track than a full song, MYRKUR does the original justice with her beautiful voice and intimate acoustic guitar playing. Check out the cover here: