Exercises in Futility
Northern Heritage / No Solace
September 4th, 2015
And here it is
grown from within
an invincible stronghold
adorned with death
This quote from one of the tracks on Exercises in Futility might be the best way to describe the new Mgła album. It is an indestructible fortress of M. who yet another time proved to be an overseer of black metal in Poland. This kind of black metal which I always look for – music brimming with determination and passion. The previous opus, With Hearts Toward None set the very high standards which left me with enormous expectations about new material. Once again, M. did not let me down.
‘Put all experiments aside and stick to what works’ – I think this should be a motto of more bands these days. Mgła kept its unique spirit and sound that make it very expressive and characteristic. The album opens with a decent composition that defines what the band is about. Quite complex but harmonic melodies feature no unnecessary chaos. Also, the depressive aura has been kept which, paradoxically, makes me ecstatic. This is exactly what I expect and desire from Mgła.
Darkside’s drumming adds a lot to the record and feels to be a bit more imaginative than on the previous release. Exercises in Futility, however, does not destitute of good classic blasting which works so well live. Indeed, this is one of those bands that need to be seen live on stage to fully comprehend its essence. The sublimity of each track is overwhelming and some Burzum-like moments are filled with death and bereavement. These kind of poetic measures are the best way to describe music that M. is composing.
When I made myself familiar with Mgła 4 years ago, it overpowered me with its atmosphere. Since then, I have developed a quite emotional approach to the band. This is why my expectations about Exercises in Futility were so high. Therefore, it makes me even more delighted not to be disappointed with the record. Mgła remains one of the most prospering Polish outfit, gaining recognition around the world. Good. This is what Polish black metal scene needs to be fully appreciated…