Myrkur Hails Satyricon's "Oddly Addictive" Black-Metal Classic 'Dark Medieval Times' | Revolver

Myrkur Hails Satyricon's "Oddly Addictive" Black-Metal Classic 'Dark Medieval Times'

Amalie Bruun sings praises of Norwegian duo's "unpolished and weird" 1994 debut
myrkur_shawn-brackbill_2019_web-crop.jpg, Shawn Brackbill
photograph by Shawn Brackbill

Revolver has teamed with Satyricon for exclusive vinyl variants of their first two albums: Dark Medieval Times (2LP in silver) and The Shadowthrone (2LP in Oxblood). Quantities are extremely limited — grab yours before they're gone.

In 1994, Satyricon dropped their debut full-length, Dark Medieval Times. While the band — led by core creative team of vocalist/guitarist Satyr and drummer Frost — would eventually adopt a more "black & roll" sound on later albums (like 2006's Now, Diabolical), their early work was a grim slice of raw Norwegian black metal that continued in the icy, lo-fi lineage made famous by their countrymen in Mayhem, Burzum, Darkthrone, Emperor and more.

Satyricon's latter-day work may be more accessible (and subsequently more commercially successful), but the duo's early material is still highly coveted by collectors (Dark Medieval Times has achieved white whale status) and beloved by Norwegian black-metal aficionados. Amalie Bruun — the mastermind behind Danish folk-metal phenom Myrkur — counts herself among those faithful fans.

Below, Bruun talks about her history with Satyricon and explains how she got hooked on the "unpolished and weird" sounds of Dark Medieval Times.

TELL US THE STORY ABOUT HOW YOU FIRST DISCOVERED SATYRICON.
AMALIE BRUUN They just sort of fell into the category of Norwegian black-metal bands from the Nineties that a lot of people were listening to. Dark Medieval Times was the first album I heard.

WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF DARK MEDIEVAL TIMES?
I don't know the exact time I heard that record. But I loved how unpolished and weird Dark Medieval Times sounded. Some parts kind of sounded like a video game soundtrack, I guess those parts were supposed to sound like old medieval instrumental music. I thought that was funny but also oddly addictive. 

THAT RECORD IS LONG OUT OF PRINT AND QUITE COLLECTIBLE. DO YOU OWN A COPY OF THE ORIGINAL VINYL?
No, I can't say that I do. But Sigurd [Wongraven, a.k.a. Satyr] should send me some… Sigurd … ?

SATYRICON ADOPTED MORE OF A TRADITIONAL HEAVY-METAL SOUND ON THEIR LATER ALBUMS. HOW DO THEIR EARLY RAWER BLACK-METAL ALBUMS LIKE DARK MEDIEVAL TIMES RANK FOR YOU WITHIN THEIR CATALOG?
Their first album ranks high for me. But also a little bit because of the memories I have with it. I am much more a Nemesis Divina fan, I believe that album belongs with the rock & roll classics, not just a great black-metal album. Unbelievable riffs and just overall very cohesive and influential. I also love Now, Diabolical — the "black & roll" sound which I thought was quite fresh and again very addictive. It's sort of like the Metallica album that never was, including harsh vocals — the grave-robber sound of Satyr. And you can really feel that album at their live concerts. I am aware that some people will heavily disagree with what I just said and so be it.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SATYRICON SONG AND WHY?
"Mother North" [from 1996's Nemesis Divina]. Self-explanatory?

HOW, IF AT ALL, DID SATYRICON OR DARK MEDIEVAL TIMES INFLUENCE YOUR OWN CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT, OR THE WAY YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WRITING MUSIC?
I'm not particularly musically inspired by them … but their spirit and the way this music pairs perfectly with walking around in a Scandinavian forest. They also pair well with walking around in bleak sad Oslo on a foggy day. You can hear the Munch painting "Skriget" ["The Scream"] in it. There's a magic in those [early] albums that captures a very specific feeling that not every band can.

DO YOU REGULARLY GO BACK AND LISTEN TO DARK MEDIEVAL TIMES, OR DOES IT REPRESENT A CERTAIN PERIOD OF TIME IN YOUR HISTORY?
I don't go back and listen to it very often no. But I probably will blast it today.