Blown away by their fantastic sophomore record Mareridt I tracked back two years for their debut full length. Simply titled M, we hear ideas and darkly sounds closer to inception, rawer, rigidity in place and without the craft they would go on to display. At this point Bruun was writing alone and recording in the studio with session musicians who had little if no input on composition. It may not be the lone reason but we hear the music in a far more brittle form, the darkness, its uplifting light and rooted atmosphere of folk sounds play out in turns with obvious shifts and turns. Its tracks bleed into one experience as they barely delineate from one another on many fronts.
This initially made the record difficult to get into, its eruptions of snarly screams and harrowing demonic voices forcefully turned the pace of the music as blast beats and shrill guitars would descend on the listener, casting sections of heavenly singing and pagan instrumentation to the side. These three phases are often the focus of the music, her angelic voice, singing softly, gracing over the instruments from an illusive distance. The forcefully harsh and abrasive blasts of ugly Black Metal and the calls of ancestor through horns, violins, fiddles and a helping of atmospheric synth.
There are many moments where these three pillars overlap but often the transitions are rigid, obvious and in sequence. It feels very inspired by the blunt and bold Black Metal of the 90s yet shows the need for the craft, care and inspiration they go on to show in the next record. Initially I focused on this to much and didn't enjoy the record much but with repetition its familiarity let the vibe and mood of the record sink in, which despite some short comings it does has a similar tone to its predecessor... In places... Tracks like Mordet feel cut from the cloth of yesterdays sound of northern darkness but the record charm of swaying from the arms of darkness to the roots of heritage eventually takes over.
All in all M is a decent record that would have been better enjoyed first. The potential it shows feels weaker in retrospect but its ability to cast a spell and create a lasting atmosphere is strong. The sways from black to light and then to heathenish culture are fun and enjoyable. The crafts of subtly and persuasion are not yet with them but blunt the plunges into hell are fun and its gothic edge is charming. Although this may seem like the start their is a short EP beforehand too. I will check that out next.