MGŁA

Black Metal • Poland
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Mgła, meaning "fog" in Polish, is an underground black metal band hailing from Kraków, Poland. The band formed in 2000 as a side-project of Kriegsmaschine’s member M. Their line-up owes to members of other prominent Polish bands, such as Kriegsmaschine, Massemord (not to be confused with the Norwegian Massemord) and Crionics.

Their lyrics deal with theistic satanism (from Theism: the belief in the existence of one or more divinities) and self-destruction. The first full-length titled Groza was released via Northern Heritage in 2008. The approximate pronunciation of Mgła is "Mmgwaah".
Thanks to Vehemency for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

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MGŁA Discography

MGŁA albums / top albums

MGŁA Groza album cover 3.70 | 5 ratings
Groza
Black Metal 2008
MGŁA With Hearts Toward None album cover 3.15 | 8 ratings
With Hearts Toward None
Black Metal 2012
MGŁA Exercises in Futility album cover 3.74 | 10 ratings
Exercises in Futility
Black Metal 2015
MGŁA Age of Excuse album cover 3.50 | 7 ratings
Age of Excuse
Black Metal 2019

MGŁA EPs & splits

MGŁA Presence album cover 2.67 | 3 ratings
Presence
Black Metal 2006
MGŁA Mdłości album cover 4.44 | 4 ratings
Mdłości
Black Metal 2006
MGŁA Further Down the Nest album cover 3.88 | 4 ratings
Further Down the Nest
Black Metal 2007

MGŁA live albums

MGŁA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MGŁA re-issues & compilations

MGŁA Mdłości / Further Down the Nest album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Mdłości / Further Down the Nest
Black Metal 2007

MGŁA singles (0)

MGŁA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

MGŁA Reviews

MGŁA Age of Excuse

Album · 2019 · Black Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Black metal has emerged as one of the most creative and fertile grounds in all the metal universe where countless hybrids of musical genres have cross-pollinated and resulted in some of the most forward-thinking stylistic approaches in the entire metal universe so it always boggles my mind when a rather ordinary run of the mill band seems to emerge from the darkened battlefields and achieve a major victory in terms of commercial success and popularity. The Polish black metal outfit MGŁA is exactly one of those types of bands that i’m talking about and this band ain’t no Behemoth or Batushka.

Having formed in 2000 as the duo of multi-instrumentalist Mikołaj "M." Żentara with the collaboration of drummer Dariusz "Daren" Piper after playing together in Kriegmaschine, Daren moved on in 2006 just as M continued on to create a series of EPs and full-length albums and since then has steadily enamored the black metal world like very few have in recent days once the current drummer / percussionist Darkside (Maciej Kowalski) joined forces and conspired to conquer the world from their dark metal headquarters in Krakow, Poland.

MGŁA found its niche and has stuck to it ever since rarely deviating from its status quo and has been called the Amon Amarth of black metal in the process and that’s not an unthinkable comparison actually. Just like its death metal Swedish counterpart, MGŁA takes a melodic approach on the more extreme examples of the sub-genre and tames the once dissonant rage into more harmonic and accessible chunks of the blackened noise parade. Here in 2019, this duo has released its fourth full-length album AGE OF EXCUSE and not surprisingly continues where the previous “Exercises In Futility” left off.

While i’ve been aware of MGŁA (Polish for “fog”) for many years now, my scant exposure to a few tracks here and there has never prompted me to actually investigate further. Well, after the band releases another album with many fans going gaga, i figured it was probably time to fully digest a complete album in its entirety and AGE OF EXCUSE proved to be the easiest point of reference since it’s the most current album at this moment. Accusations of Nazi sympathies and other vicious rumors aside, MGŁA comes off as a rather generic black metal band that does everything by the books and really adds zilch to the sub-genre of black metal at all and no matter how hard i try to understand what the big whoopty-do is about this band, i remained baffled.

While nothing on AGE OF EXCUSE (or any other MGŁA release) is bad by any stretch of the imagination, neither does this band add any creative interpretations nor does it excel in any technical wizardry that sets it apart from the legions of imitators out there. The one thing they do exhibit quite well is the fact that the melodic constructs are instantly catchy much like Amon Amarth, Rotting Christ, Dimmu Borgir or a whole host of others however unlike all of THOSE bands, MGŁA just seems insincere to me and going through the motions. My first impression is that the band is basically copping a melodic take on the Deathspell Omega sound. Miikko Aspa styled raspy vocals drenched in evil, slightly off tune guitar on dissonance light and rather monotonous drumming techniques dominate AGE OF EXCUSE from beginning to end.

Another complaint about this album (and band) is that it begins to sound quite monotonous halfway through. Now it’s quite common for many to claim that a black metal album is monotonous and that is quite true for the untrained ear but the genre is all about detecting the subtleties beneath the carpet bombing of din that assaults the senses from every perceived angle. MGŁA delivers the same tritone laced chord progressions and monotonous groove with impunity. Yeah, there are some drumming outbursts from time to time and as i’ve stated, the album is perfectly listenable but as someone who has spanned the entire spectrum of black metal from its nascent origins with bands like Celtic Frost and Bathory to the more avant-garde experiments that range from Ukraine’s Graal to Norway’s Dødheimsgard, i just do not detect anything spectacular here.

Repeated listens do offer that magical ear hook experience for sure but at the end of the day i just can’t shake that this band is just playing the melodic alter ego of the much superior Deathspell Omega. Yeah, i do understand to a point. As metal ages and artists develop bolder and more avant-garde styles of musical expression, some of it is a little alienating for newbies trying to latch onto the relevance of the sub-genre but personally i would always recommend going back to the earliest examples of melodic black metal over this been-there-dont-that-before retro metal any day. Excluding bands like Emperor or Dimmu Borgir that implemented synthesizers to nurture a more melodic approach, bands like Dissection, Kvist, Nagelfar, Melechesh, Windir or Sacramentum just to name a few were much more creative in their delivery. As open minded as i am about music, once in a while a certain band makes me hit a brick wall and i just have an immediate reaction and in the case of MGŁA i am perplexed why it has become so revered while i just get a meh ho hum reaction. Oh well.

MGŁA Exercises in Futility

Album · 2015 · Black Metal
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Warthur
More or less a slightly more polished rehash of With Hearts Towards None, Exercises In Futility deserves points for ballsiness in title choice, because goodness me is that a tempting target for a hostile reviewer. It's listenable, decent black metal stuff, but unfortunately that is all it is; there's absolutely no shortage of this sort of straight-down-the-line black metal these days, and despite liking this one a bit better than its predecessor I am still not entirely convinced that Mgla have presented a distinctive unique selling point which will distinguish them from the rest of the black metal crowd. Not futile, but I'm not entirely seeing the point either.

MGŁA With Hearts Toward None

Album · 2012 · Black Metal
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Warthur
I hadn't heard Mgla before With Hearts Towards None, and I'm not sure I really get them even on the basis of this album. The running order presents the album as a single continuous piece of music, which might lead you to expect something ambitious and progressive-leaning, but actually the album presents fairly straightforward black metal with the occasional punk affectation and more accessible and melodic section.

The problem is that other bands have produced far more compelling purist black metal, better accessible black metal, and more interesting black metal-punk hybrids, and here Mgla don't really do a good job of weaving these styles into a coherent whole or justifying the epic length of the album. (You might be left with the impression that the reason they haven't condensed this material is conventional songs is that they aren't really sure how to.) Inessential, in other words.

MGŁA Mdłości

EP · 2006 · Black Metal
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Vehemency
Mgła is a proof of that Poland still provides essential black metal. While the most known Polish black metal releases came out in the 90s and since then only Graveland and a few others have continued, Mgła arrives with a different style.

Grim black metal from its core, the music of Mdłości has vibes of hopelessness and also pride in what it stands for, being an ultimate combo in every way. No exaggeration. All the instruments are audible and well executed, from the tightly but not soullessly played drums to the excellent reciprocity between the well-thought rhythm guitar parts and the goose bumps inducing lead melodies. The vocals are delivered with power and real feeling.

Being a seven inch vinyl, there is absolutely no room for mediocrity and this is what Mgła has indeed comprehended - I can’t think of any mediocre moment on Mdłości. Every riff is in its place, from the grim yet utterly epic first track with its fitting lyrics (”Every single dream shattered, trampled and lost / Every single word silenced for ever, and evermore”) to the even more hopeless, abysmal atmosphere of the second track that also has such powerful and fitting lyrics. When the singer delivers the line ”The Gardens withered and the Colossus perished” it is almost an underestimation to call it a dive into the deepest abyss.

I’m not sure if I have given a notion that Mdłości would be some sort of depressive black metal, and if I have, that notion isn’t what Mdłości really stands for. What Mgła does seem to possess is misanthrophy, and self-destruction not seen as a a bad thing (”Our almighty new god / Turning man back into mud”). This whole theme (that I have seen called in one review as metaphysical nihilism, which is actually quite fitting) is reflected on to the music, resulting in a perfect mix of sick yet beautiful black metal. I’m unable to find any flaws from this EP, so a five star rating is deserved.

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