Mgla … Polish Darkness! (Black Metal) [Music]

Mgla (pronounced “mgwah”) means “Fog” in Polish, was formed in the year 2000 in Krakow, Poland. From the start they where a studio project only, but started to tour in 2012.

If you look at the bands lyrics, dystopia and nihilism is the theme that runs throughout. That’s usually not something that gets me hooked were in black metal I prefer occult lyrics from someone who have studied the topic and know what they are talking about. And since the lyrics are very important to me this can make me not interested in a band, but the music … holy fuck, the music is just so awesome. It’s empowering in a strange way, although lyrically it shouldn’t be empowering, more fill you with despair.

I have a hard time when people call themselfs nihilists or misanthropic and then they hang out in bars all weekend with people, ”The Social Misanthope”?!? … but I think they gave a pretty good answer in Bardo Methodology when getting interviewed by Niklas Göransson:

Isn’t it slightly contradictory though; travelling around the world and taking the stage to proclaim your disinterest in people and life in general? – No, I don’t think so. That is not my purpose for doing this; it’s for the experience itself. I’m hardly ever angry, rarely happy – I don’t feel emotions the way I think most people do. The one moment I can repeatedly feel something is when playing music.

I have been with Mgla since more or less day one or official release one, the 2005 compilation “Crushing the Holy Trinity” with among others Deathspell Omega, Clandestine Blaze and Musta Surma. Their contribution was on one side of LP 3, “Power And Will 1-4”, and it was really good. Together with Stabat Mater and Deathspell Omega my favourites on the album.

In 2006 they released a 3 track EP “Prescence” (7/10) CD or a single sided 12″ on the finnish label Northern Heritage, and they still felt like a band to keep my eyes on, although I really liked what I heard it wasn’t until the next release I was totally sold.

The same year another 7″ was released by the label Under The Sign Of Garazel Productions called “Mdłości”. We get two tracks and they are both just brilliant with a omnious sounding atmosphere that fills you up or should I say empower you. I still listen to this often and I think this could be the best black metal 7″ of all time. 10/10.

Mdłości I
Through the fields of scars and wounds,
shining with dim light of non-existence.

What tranquillity!
What sweet peace!
What inward serenity!
What supreme felicity!
An earnest of bliss!

To reach beyond the web of spiritual deceit
that mankind has been weaving for millennia
and face the most horrible truth of all.

Every single dream… shattered, trampled and lost.
Every single word… silenced forever and evermore.

Descent! Regress into prime, hideous, beautiful…
Descent! Regress into prime, hideous, beautiful nothingnes
s.

So in 2008 it was time for Mgla’s debutalbum “Groza” (8/10) and they where back again on the label Northern Heritage. And after the last 7″ I was really looking forward to this one. But I don’t know if it was my high expectations or what that clouded my initial judgement but I was kind of disappointed and unsatisfied. After revisiting the album a couple of years later, I totally changed my view on it and now it gets played alot.

Groza III
Now I am become death.
Crawling, slithering along the edge.
Shattered splinters, frozen in an eruption of light.

Craving for stench of divine rot.
Scratching the bare core of hideous truth.
Wherewith shall it be received,
when the soule’s precious vessel lies ruined and lost?

Now I am become death.
Pierced by those signals of transcendence.
Right at the 5 minutes of salvation.

The bitter blood of the Lamb.
Shattered grace. Ashen virtue.
The horror. The horror.
A precious jewel of His making.

And as the light embraces the wanderer,
as knees bend as thought is obliterated,
with the very moment that resistance has ceased,
now, I am become death, the enemy of man.

After that we had to wait 4 long years before the next release, 2012’s “With Hearts Toward None” (9/10). But since “Groza” had initially disappointed me they where not a obvious band on my radar anymore. But this one really took me by storm, raw, fast and furious. A masterpiece, although the drumming was kind of mudded and not so distinct I think the total soundscape was just brilliant. Hard to choose a standout track, but with a gun pointed to my head I’ll go with VII.

With Hearts Toward None II
Repent, for the Lord has risen high and proud.
His chariot drawn by rats and vultures,
and adorned with heads of skeptics.

Yes, the Lord is on the prowl tonight,
the Lord will be diligent.
For there are many to be smitten,
and the Lord loves holocausts.

The hand of the Lord is eager to bestow.
Yes, the Lord will bestow his grace
until you pray for the fall.

He shall distress the weary!
He shall disgrace the meek!
He shall rip out the eyes of the lame?
and he shall cripple the blind.

Repent, praise, repent!
Praise the Lord of hosts,
of bestial and human filth,
of blistering gangrene.

And crawilng carnage,
of death piled upon death,
the great sower descends
to reap the crops.

In 2015 it was time for album number 3, “Exercises In Futility” (10/10). Here we have the masterpiece. Not a single filler track, this is a complete album. A clearer soundscape than the album before, haunting melodies and the same empowering feeling Mgla always gives me. I just want to put my headphones on and take a walk through the forest at night with this album on.

Exercises in Futility V
Blessed be the tailors 
The masks are cut to fit 

Blessed be the woodworkers 
The crosses and the gallows 

Blessed be the forgers of iron 
And the spikes and the barbwire 

Blessed be the stone cutters 
It took a quarry to bury the dreams 

Blessed be the misery, the filth, the discord and the horror 
Blessed be the lies, the guilt, the fear, the woe and the betrayal 
For these ones didn’t need any outside source 
For these ones come from within 

And here it is 
Grown from within 
An invincible stronghold 
Adorned with death 

A suit of shining armour 
Replaced the skin 
And calligraphed sins 
Are as coat of arms 

Hollow

And then we come to the new album, and it seemed to come out of nowhere, 2019’s “Age Of Excuse” (9/10). The bonegnawing sound as a intro to track one sets the tone and a beautiful omnious atmosphere emerge. This feels like a natural continuation of ” Exercises In Futility ” but with a more complex, almost progressive sound.

Age of Excuse I
A species had been armed with a double edged blade
A guardless weapon of delusion
Forged of a mirage of inherent transcendence
In the tangled mechanisms of life itself

As the curtain is being unraveled
The ego writhes in a spasm of insight
Delighted gods grunt like pigs
At the mere notion of a raison d’etre

From the gardens of Semiramis
To the trenches of Ypres
A meaningless uproar

Sublime truths are revealed
In the hammering of hobnailed jackboots
And there’s wisdom to be found
In the shameful epitaphs of cowards

From the gardens of Semiramis
To the trenches of Ypres
From the grounds of Comitium
To the cellars of Tuol Sleng
From the spores of presence
And a swarm of pest
Unto the ironies of being

Falling hopes whip the ground
Among laments of sunken millennia
There are no paths to follow
But a nightmare of endless repetition

Those who peruse the annals of humanity
Demanding patterns, connections, developments:
Were there any to be found?
And was it sapience indeed that kept pushing this broken cart?

The wonders
The misery
The ascent
The emptiness

Falling hopes whip the ground
Among laments of sunken millennia
There are no paths to follow
But a nightmare of endless repetition

Click to tweet this article!