Amalie Bruun has always paved her own path, challenging underground preconceptions of heavy metal ever since the release of her debut Myrkur EP in 2014. Her first two full-length studio albums, 2015’s M and 2017’s Mareridt, recast black metal in the most personal yet expansive of terms, their blending of Amalie’s Danish folk roots with tempestuous internal struggles breathing new life into a subgenre whose followers can be rigidly possessive.
With the release of her new album, Folkesange, Amalie Bruun has set out to journey into the very heart of the Scandinavian culture that marked her childhood. Folkesange relinquishes black metal for a refined yet far-reaching evocation of traditional folk, combining songs ancient and new to sublimely resonant effect.
After the nightmare-induced visions that wrought themselves throughout Mareridt, Folkesange offers an emotional sanctuary, a means to reconnect to something permanent and nature-aligned. It’s an awareness that’s become deeply bound to the album’s organic, regenerative spirit, from the opening track Ella’s heartbeat, frame-drum percussion and crystalline vocals that become the grounding for a rapt, richly textured awakening, to the gentle carousel of the closing Vinter, with its nostalgia-steeped connotations of seasonal, snowfall-bewitched awe.
Storytelling, rites of passage, and the invocation of a continuity that passes through time and generation are all part of folk music’s tapestry, and Folkesange taps into all these currents in their most essential form. In part a purist’s approach to the genre, free from over- interpretation and fusion, the use of traditional instruments throughout, such as nyckelharpa, lyre, and mandola offer a deeper, more tactile connection to their source, an unbroken line of communication back to the past.
But the album is no museum piece; it resonates in the here and now, aided by the spacious production of Heilung member and musical collaborator Christopher Juul. Cinematic yet intimate, Folkesange exists in a state of boundless reverie, bourne by string-led drones, cyclical, elegiac rhythms and Amalie’s frictionless voice, all carrier signals for deep-rooted, ancestral memories, and associations felt on an elemental level.
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- Rough Trade Edit