Project : Myrkgrav
Single : Vonde auer
Release Date : December 2014
Record Label : Self-released
Genre : Folk/metal
Myrkgrav is a one-man folk metal project founded in 2003 by Lars Jensen in Norway. The band is heavily concept-based, with lyrical and visual themes rooted in folklore and local history from Lars’ homelands, Ringerike and its surroundings. Myrkgrav relies strongly on Norwegian folk music (including the use of traditional instruments) in its sound, while retaining a distinct extreme metal basis, such as to aspire towards bringing folk and metal together like it’s the most natural thing in the world.
The project is finally out with new material – the independently released digital exclusive single Vonde auer. Vonde auer continues where Sjuguttmyra, the band’s most recent musical effort from 2013, left off. As a huge of folk metal, I had to review this record!
When a song is deeply bonded with the Northern folklore, you know it has got to be good! From the start to the finish, “Vonde Auer” has a dynamic approach that I really liked! Musically, the song offers a lot of folk elements and that folk vibe is found in the e-guitar riffs, so this is not a typical “folk” song with a lot of instruments. In the first half of the song, the listener will take a magical and energetic journey. I also liked the fact that the first half of the song does not feature raw vocals; we just hear e-guitars and clean vocals and that’s what makes that half really magical! As a matter of fact, that really reminded me of a mix between (clean) Falkenbach songs and the latest Vintersorg album!
Now you wonder why I divided the song into two parts.. Well, in the second half of the song, we get to hear a very unique instrument more clearly: Hardanger fiddle! This one instrument definitely added another dimension to the song, making it a lot more unique and special. The second half also features ‘raw’, ‘harsh’ vocals which are blended quite well with the fiddle and the e-guitar. This is not it though, if the listener craves more of that fiddle (like I did :D), the second song in the single features an instrumental version of the same song but rearranged a little bit so it is basically like the unplugged version of the song! In this sense, this short single has a lot to offer for the fans who want to headbang to some folk metal but also to the ones who love the folk and instrumental side of metal.
Although I really loved this single and two ‘different’ perspectives of the song, it could have been a lot better if the song had more of a natural approach with maybe more fiddle solos in between so instead of two different songs, a blend/harmony of two styles (the metal part and the acoustic part) in one long song would be a lot more interesting for me to hear. I just felt that the song was too good but too short and that kept me just on the hook.
I think that folk/viking metal fans will really love this single and will wonder why it’s so short because both of the songs really capture the listener from the beginning! Hopefully we will hear more of this one-man project in the future! Well done!
Rating : 8/10
- Vonde auer
- Vonde auer (traditional version)
Lars Jensen – vocals, guitars, flutes, keyboards and programming
Olav Luksengard Mjelva – Hardanger fiddle
Erlend Antonsen – bass guitar