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MGLA : ‘Age of Excuse’ Review

MGLA : Age of Excuse album art

In recent years Mgła, (Polish for fog) has moved up in the world of black metal. They have provided inspiration to bands that resonated with their sense of melody, even before the release of ‘Exercises in Futility’ in 2015. Initially Mgla was only a studio project formed in Poland in 2000 by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Mikołaj "M." Żentara; with the collaboration of drummer Dariusz "Daren" Piper, both originally from the band Kriegsmaschine. In 2006 Piper was replaced by Maciej "Darkside" Kowalski.

It wasn’t until 2012 following the release of Mgla's second full-length album; ‘With Hearts Toward None’ that the live band was put together to take them on the road. With the success they’ve seen with each album’s release.

More recently on August 3rd, 2019 Mgła dropped the news of the impending release of their fourth studio album ‘Age of Excuse’ and the second track of the album for fans to titillate over. And less than a month later on September 2nd the album was released via bandcamp; and their imprint of Northern Heritage, No Solace

MGLA‘Age of Excuse II’ either here in in the beginning

Onto the music itself. Mgła has a very distinctive sound; in that rather than the typical higher register vocal that is distinct to black metal “M.” instead goes for a more guttural growl that is still largely legible to the attentive listener. If the nihilistic lyrical content isn’t enough for you I still implore you to listen closely to the instrumentation. The intricacies of the guitar melodies and complexity to some of the drum parts are what has kept me coming back for more.

Black metal newbie info:

Like most black metal, Mgła’s credo leans more to the “keep it simple stupid” philosophy. Parts are often repeated for a listener not used to black metal that can seem tiring. However letting yourself relax and losing yourself in the atmosphere leads you to appreciate how the relatively simple parts fit together into a much greater whole.

In the same vein as keeping things simple; Mgła has a very clean way of putting together their records - with roman numerals! (Although maybe not that simple seeing as when I was searching for a new copy of Final Fantasy X/X-2 Remastered for my Switch; two different GameStop employees had to ask me the roman number for ten… ) Maybe arabic numerals would be easier for some people. Also if your wondering what arabic numerals are right now - google it then go fuck yourself. 

The most beautiful thing about all of this is that I’m not just talking about ‘Age of Excuse’ either. I can attest and stand by any one of the Mgła full-lengths as having these qualities. ‘Age of Excuse’ may seem to be more of the same but even if that’s true then it’s more of something that was already great before. 

Listen to Mgla 'Age of Excuse' below!

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