‘Impatient’ would be an understatement to describe how I felt when I found out that Myrkur‘s Folkesange tour would include a Finnish date.
Danish multi-instrumentalist Amalie Bruun was about to play an acoustic set in Helsinki and there was no way I could miss this. The only gig Myrkur has played in Finland thusfar was the set at Tuska in 2016. After that festival show, which combined extreme metal with enchanting clean vocals, the upcoming all-acoustic set sounded more than intriguing.
The venue, Konepajan Bruno, fit the atmosphere of the concert perfectly. Earlier shows on the tour included places such as St John church in London, so, the former machine factory in Helsinki was the right choice. The doors opened early enough to become immersed in the ambiance of the venue; its industrial look, the high ceilings, and the dimness.
Even though not all of the shows on the Folkesange tour had supporting artists, the Finnish event started with violinist Päivi Hirvonen. One could clearly see that the musician kept her performance professional and turned out to be not just an excellent violinist, but a talented vocalist as well. Quite an achievement, judging from the fact that this supporting artist was visibly nervous.
When the first show was over, it was just a matter of minutes for Myrkur to enter the stage. As one could have expected, Amalie Bruun‘s otherworldly appearance matched this special concert perfectly. Clad in a floor length dress and with a black stripe (which looked like war paint) over her eyes, the stunning artist started her show.
The opening song, Skøgen skulle dø from the debut album, could be heard. The acoustic arrangement of this eerie song made a great impression and it was not surprising to hear enthusiastic applause proceeding.
The darkness-drenched evening filled with vocals out of this world had just begun…
Jeg er guden, i er tjenerne was played next. The only version I’ve heard live before was very different than the one played at Folkesange but both were breathtaking. After acoustic arrangements of Myrkur‘s own compositions, the first folk song was played. The Swedish I riden så started with the chanting of guest vocalists who accompanied Bruun on tour. For the Folkesange tour, the Danish artist was joined by the two singers and a guitarist and despite their skills I wondered if this was even necessary. I couldn’t see why there would be any additional musicians needed, with Amalie Bruun‘s vocals drifting throughout the whole set and the musician herself playing first the piano, then the guitar, shamanic-like drum and last but not least the characteristic nyckelharpa.
The next songs, which were Scandinavian folk songs as well, have only proven that Amalie Bruun could have been onstage all by herself and the show would still be impressive. This included a Norwegian song Villeman og Magnhild (known to most thanks to the German band In Extremo); definitely one of the concert’s highlights.
The Folkesange evening in Helsinki was full of explanations about the songs’ origins, translating their titles to those who don’t know Scandinavian languages and interjections that could only be appreciated (and that were the best proof that the Danish artist is in her element when playing folk music as well). I would commend this show especially to those people whom I have heard complaining about Amalie not having an interaction with the audience…
The set was slowly coming to an end when the only song in English was played. With its melancholic guitar and sorrowful vocals, the Scottish ballad The House Carpenter could be heard.
The long-awaited nyckelharpa has been played at last. Next up was the Swedish Två Konungabarn, which Bruun has released last year as a single, and which gained insane popularity (as well as numerous hate comments and baseless criticism which can always be seen in the discussions about the artist). De Tre Piker which appeared on Myrkur‘s latest album Mareridt was played next. Unlike the simple studio version and the usual live arrangement accompanied by the sound of drum, Amalie Bruun kept playing on her nyckelharpa.
Den Lille Piges Død, with its haunting intro on the piano, turned out to be the last song of the winter evening. With an a capella performance in Mausoleum and then Folkesange, what will be next?
Such special concerts are an example of the diversity in Myrkur’s music, and the bands she’s been supporting, ranging from Behemoth through Enslaved to Sólstafir, prove that this artist doesn’t need to narrow down her music to one genre.
Without details being revealed, Myrkur’s first headlining tour has recently been announced on Facebook.
Time of the tour? It hasn’t been specified yet (with Bruun announcing the tour ‘soon’).
Place? North America.
Looks like the European audience needs to wait a bit longer for another Myrkur tour but one thing is sure: it would be worth the wait!