Mgła - Exercises In Futility review




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Band: Mgła
Album: Exercises In Futility
Release date: September 2015


01. Exercises In Futility I
02. Exercises In Futility II
03. Exercises In Futility III
04. Exercises In Futility IV
05. Exercises In Futility V
06. Exercises In Futility VI


Marked by acerbic yet atrabilious tremolo picking riffs morphing to egregiously repetitive mediocrity in concinnity with the arguteness and fervidity of ride cymbals and Mikołaj's monotonic execution of vocals limning the profundity of an exquisite agony, Exercises In Futility reaches its apogee with the nascent insurgency of diaphenous hope and cauterized distantiation in "Exercises In Futility IV" suffused with poignant melodic fluidity without veering into schmaltzy saccharinity.

Adumbrating the delitescent verity of any extant truth other than its own absence, the lyrics meticulously encapsulate a pervading feeling of atrabiliousness and precipitate a sense of inwardness over the incommensurability of grief and the insuperable vagaries of life. Extolled as limpid yet recherché and sibylline, the lyrics have profound expressivity that transcends the previous argosy of albums. The caliginous confinements sentinelling the susurrus velleity of blissful insouciance, dim with the last vestiges of crepuscular light in the pulchritude of sorrow, bereft of the effulgence of warm aureate light that permeates the empyreal cerulean. This compounding pain is only fugacious as is our temporal existence.

Despite Mgła's fulgurant popularity, Exercises In Futility is not an album of eximious virtuosity. The recurring monochromatic tessellations of tremolo picks with a repetitiveness that is so soporific that it becomes execrable to the point of stagnancy and somniferous redundancy extenuates the effectuality of the culminating tunefulness of a multi-layered dissonance in an imbroglio of polysemic uncertainty and tumescent dubiety cathected with a philosophical trenchancy, rather than reinforcing it. Mgła self-avowedly advocate cynical nihilism expounding upon the arbitrariness of human existence, hence the intense emotionalism exuded by their lapidary lyrics. I do not impugn Mgła's lyrical prowess rather their deigning to be monochromatic which is why I feel Exercises In Futility is not unfailingly engaging. I wouldn't go so far as to panegyrize a work also afflicted by tessellated vapidities.

The intermittent and judicious use of inverted bell splash, ride and crash cymbals creates the desired effect by acting as a mode to control and veer the atmosphere of songs rather than serve as meretricious embellishments. The clangor of the bell and bow of ride cymbal and spurtive clashes at a china cymbal perforated with holes to augment volume and trashiness, are rendered with exactitude. Exercises In Futility closes with multiple fervid strikes at the inverted bell splash cymbal as well as the bow and junction of the bell and bow of the ride cymbal. The drumming however isn't anything exceptional; Maciej's strikes are fast and well-placed but do not hit the snare drum and toms with sufficient cudgeling force.

There is an exigent need to dispense with banal repetitive song structures in the black metal milieu. Though all albums evince some similitudes, interfused with a tonality strongly colored by astringent dissonances, one cannot deny the dynamic exigency met by fulgurous coruscating passages on Age Of Excuse which incorporates riffs with more vacillatory transitions endowing the listener with albescent numinosity.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 7

Written by Alina Zia | 05.05.2020


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments page 4 / 4

Comments: 99   Visited by: 154 users
18.05.2020 - 11:44
Daniell
_爱情_
Written by Troy Killjoy on 17.05.2020 at 15:53

Okay I believe the off-topic discussion has run its course at this point. If anyone would like to wax poetic or discuss personal matters with the reviewer, do so via PM. Let's try to steer this thread back in the direction of the review itself.

Minus the stuff about Pakistan, this thread IS about the review, it's just about another aspect of it

On topic: I think that Exercises in Futility is Mgła's Ride the Lightning, and Age of Excuse is their Master of Puppets. Two albums that are very similar quality-wise. And, as is also the case with Metallica, I prefer the latter album.
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18.05.2020 - 12:18
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Daniell on 18.05.2020 at 11:44

On topic: I think that Exercises in Futility is Mgła's Ride the Lightning, and Age of Excuse is their Master of Puppets. Two albums that are very similar quality-wise. And, as is also the case with Metallica, I prefer the latter album.

Bad news for Mgła's bassist
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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18.05.2020 - 14:35
Alina Zia
Written by RaduP on 16.05.2020 at 22:55

Written by Alina Zia on 16.05.2020 at 19:41

Wait, where there parts of Pakistan that weren't in the Raj?

As much as I can assume there is a lot to dislike and loathe about the Pakistani heritage, one doesn't need to be nor proud of the ancestor's achievements nor be guilty of their crimes to appreciate the history of the place. From the Indus valley civilization, to Vedic empires to the Achaemenid one, to Alexander's conquest and the various Greek-Bactrian kingdoms in the area, to Sassanians, to the Arabic expansion, the Saffavids, Timurids and Mughals, up to the Raj and recent independence. It seems like Pakistan was always at the border between the Persian and the Indian worlds. Quite like Romania, where I'm from, which was always between the Ottomans, the Russians and Central Europe.


I will answer to satiate your curiosity. I cannot openly state that I do not believe in the legitimacy of any monotheistic or polytheistic religion or any exoteric doctrine to anyone. I have to feign being a Muslim for the time being, to survive. I am often forced to practise certain Islamic teachings, though I don't believe in them. Men are allowed to partake in libation, smoke cigarettes and dress in unconventional attire, but women generally are not. If a female dresses in alternative fashion or wears unconventional makeup, she has to face harsh criticism, though men can wear any band shirt without ever being questioned about it. These are all facts, I'm not remotely being hyperbolic.

I admire your avid interest in history; I am quite surprised to know that you have information pertaining to various dynasties ruling a particular region. I have a friend from Bucharest Romania, a staunch Septicflesh fan, so I know a bit about the place. I enjoy Negură Bunget from Romania, especially their album OM.

What are your most favorite tracks from Exercises In Futility and Groza? The only tracks I like are "Exercises In Futility IV" and "Groza IV".
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18.05.2020 - 14:42
Alina Zia
Written by RaduP on 16.05.2020 at 23:19

Now that you've shown how much there could be lost semantically by choosing a synonym that is more in common parlance, I no longer believe that your choice of words was in any way motivated by anything other than pure unadulterated passion. I don't necessarily share your interest in neither vocabulary, or drumming if we are to address all thing you're over analytic about, but I can definitely understand the feeling. I don't think I share the same level of commitment to any field, but I can feel the disappointment to the ignorance of some people in regards to either history, geography, music and technology.


Of course. Pure unadulterated passion. Thank you for empathizing with me.

I had stated that I will not employ an aureate vein in my future review, but I would like to articulate my thoughts regarding the central lyrical theme of Mgła here. One last time.
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18.05.2020 - 15:08
Alina Zia
The execution of the opening line of "Exercises In Futility IV" "Some are born without a purpose, other than prolonged demise in ornate ways" is cathected with raw emotion.

The aprioricity of nihilism renders it unimpugnable and our inadvertent subscription thereto evinces its unfellability. We unknowingly consent to something we are not immanently constructed to cognize nor accept the validity and legitimacy of. Existential nihilism is almost always erroneously perceived as dissolution of intellectual hegemony, moral decadence or a feeling of disenfranchisement with the human experience, though it obviates the intractably factitious romanticization of life by a fabricated world wherein the existence of composite objects with parts is appurtenant to our self valuation. Rather it would be more apposite to say that it precludes existential incertitude and obfuscation of reality by positing an attentional focus on the inutility of our nugatory endeavors at validating the sublime paradox of our futilitarian existence.

Teleologically, we are inordinately sentient entities inextricably tethered to a vocation, unwittingly serving this existential nullity, immanent in nature's mechanistic floes. Despite the intrinsic inseparability of man's natural teleological vocation and the cognizable veridical paradox of our existence, our world is only symbolically imbibed.

Epistemological and mereological nihilism are diametrically antithetical to the aesthetic formedness of reality, evincing the preponderance of aesthetic value from which all other values are derived.

The cognoscibility of truth and our intellectual superiority are contingent on the animus behind conjecturing appurtenant propositions and their translatability to epoch-making discernments.

The epistemic responsibility incumbent on us delineates the qualitative homogeneity of our lives in this illusory phatic communion. The axiological load imputed to linguistic interpretations evinces man's endeavor to render cognoscible an inherently acute cognizance. The lexical repertory of linguistic entities may be semantically extant but not existentially true, evincing its unambiguous subsumability under epistemic and semantic nihilism.

The incontrovertibility of the moral supremacy of epistemological and mereological nihilism renders our proclivity to seek truth and our insuperable need for causality supererogatory and obfuscate the dichotomization of our world into the real and unreal, delineating the unattainability of the real world.

We must emphatically repudiate all preveniently encountered epistemic fabrications and antecedently known hegemonic systems conducive to the procurement of transcendence. Epistemological obfuscation and teleological prevarication precluded by nihilism engendering the impugnment of the provenance of truth and the use of belief as a mere 'tool' is what differentiates chaos magick from other forms of magick.

The cognoscibility of truth, the indagation of an uncaused cause, is ineluctably subsumable under the assignment of values, such a perspicacious concatenation is in contraposition to the confirmed mindedness, causing the formation of plenitudinous power.

"Nihilism is merely a negative force" can be deemed an opprobrious asseveration that has no conscionable basis, the empyreal nebulousness of the atomistic construal of nihilism impinged on ones awareness, a sterile encumbrance to the ratiocinative mind. This conundrum of tumescent dubiety attempts to de-immanentize nihilism. It is neither a negative nor a positive force but an objective verity, even if it is not morally neutral.

The immanence of plenitudinous power accruing ascendancy over the unattainability of the real world, the need for causality and the insularity of knowledge by expending the remaining vitality in the extirpation of all antecedently known hegemonic systems is liberation, the consummation of verisimilitudinous perfection.
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18.05.2020 - 16:10
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Written by Alina Zia on 18.05.2020 at 14:35

I will answer to satiate your curiosity. I cannot openly state that I do not believe in the legitimacy of any monotheistic or polytheistic religion or any exoteric doctrine to anyone. I have to feign being a Muslim for the time being, to survive. I am often forced to practise certain Islamic teachings, though I don't believe in them. Men are allowed to partake in libation, smoke cigarettes and dress in unconventional attire, but women generally are not. If a female dresses in alternative fashion or wears unconventional makeup, she has to face harsh criticism, though men can wear any band shirt without ever being questioned about it. These are all facts, I'm not remotely being hyperbolic.

I admire your avid interest in history; I am quite surprised to know that you have information pertaining to various dynasties ruling a particular region. I have a friend from Bucharest Romania, a staunch Septicflesh fan, so I know a bit about the place. I enjoy Negură Bunget from Romania, especially their album OM.

What are your most favorite tracks from Exercises In Futility and Groza? The only tracks I like are "Exercises In Futility IV" and "Groza IV".

I have to feign being a Christian around my family, but me failing to do so will probably just get me a talk from my religious mother. You failing to feign being a Muslim will likely have much worse and potentially lethal consequences I assume. It will be a long time before areas like those get any decent cultural developments towards secularism and feminism.

OM is probably the best thing to have came out of this god-forsaken country. But obviously not the only one. A lot of good bands have shared members with Negură Bunget, even if nothing really came close to OM. Other than that, you will find decent Romanian music, but too much of it is just our version of something already done outside. Other than OM, this is probably the best Romanian album. As for this year, be on the lookout for the new Descend Into Despair.

Other than music, history is probably my biggest interest, a lot of it related to historical maps. Hence why I can recall a lot of information about the macro geopolitics of a region.

And back on topic, I love Mgła, but I've always been more of an album listener than a song-listener in regards to them. Very rarely do I single out specific songs from their catalog instead of just binging the entire record. Something that also has to do with their choice in titling the tracks as well. In that regard, With Hearts Towards None is probably my favorite.
----
- I've dreamt of that for years.
- Dying?
- Running.




2020 goodies
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18.05.2020 - 21:00
Metren
Dungeon Master
I agree with the review score actually, I might even rate this album a 6.5 myself. It's decent-to-good, but absolutely nothing special at all. I've listened to this album and Age Of Excuse quite a few times ever since the latter was incredibly well-received here last year and I just don't get the Mgla hype, they are by far one of the most overrated bands here on MS imo.

Listening to this album I feel like walking up to them, grabbing their guitars away and saying "You can't just do that over and fucking over and consider it great riffing". If anything, albums like these make me appreciate classic albums by Immortal, Emperor and Burzum so much more. Riffs from "Solarfall" or "Tyrants" for example are so utterly brillaint compared to this rather monotonous album.
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I am not nor have I ever been a musician or a member of a one-man band, especially a band that has a name that starts with "D".
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18.05.2020 - 21:45
No one
Written by Metren on 18.05.2020 at 21:00

I agree with the review score actually, I might even rate this album a 6.5 myself. It's decent-to-good, but absolutely nothing special at all. I've listened to this album and Age Of Excuse quite a few times ever since the latter was incredibly well-received here last year and I just don't get the Mgla hype, they are by far one of the most overrated bands here on MS imo.

Listening to this album I feel like walking up to them, grabbing their guitars away and saying "You can't just do that over and fucking over and consider it great riffing". If anything, albums like these make me appreciate classic albums by Immortal, Emperor and Burzum so much more. Riffs from "Solarfall" or "Tyrants" for example are so utterly brillaint compared to this rather monotonous album.

I agree, though I think monotonous songs can be great for creating a certain kind of atmosphere/trance, this band just doesn't do it.
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25.05.2020 - 16:52
Alina Zia
Written by RaduP on 18.05.2020 at 16:10

Written by Alina Zia on 18.05.2020 at 14:35


OM is probably the best thing to have came out of this god-forsaken country. But obviously not the only one. A lot of good bands have shared members with Negură Bunget, even if nothing really came close to OM. Other than that, you will find decent Romanian music, but too much of it is just our version of something already done outside. Other than OM, this is probably the best Romanian album. As for this year, be on the lookout for the new Descend Into Despair.

Other than music, history is probably my biggest interest, a lot of it related to historical maps. Hence why I can recall a lot of information about the macro geopolitics of a region.

And back on topic, I love Mgła, but I've always been more of an album listener than a song-listener in regards to them. Very rarely do I single out specific songs from their catalog instead of just binging the entire record. Something that also has to do with their choice in titling the tracks as well. In that regard, With Hearts Towards None is probably my favorite.

I never knew you have to feign being a Christian around your family. Eastern Orthodox Christianity seems to be the main theological strain there. I wonder if you endorse nihilism or absurdism.

Notwithstanding the sparseness of guitars and the saccharine tonality of the album, "Delfinul, dulce dulful nostru" has impassioned vocals underpinned by a synth tintinnabulation. I liked the energetic clean singing on "Pasărea Calandrinon" which closes with plangent violin and ebullient piano. I don't really have a penchant for rock, but I did like the vocals on the aforementioned tracks and the incorporation of piano and violin.

Contradistinctly, Descend Into Despair is not as languorous or slow-paced as most musical artists subsumable under the subgenre funeral doom, hence it does not have a soporific effect. Despite the exiguity of guitars, I have a good impression of the band overall. On the opening track "Damnatio Memoriae" I found the use of cleans way too high and vocals were inordinately fervid; I much rather prefer the clean vocals employed in The Bearer Of All Storms. "Silence In Sable Acrotism" is aurally stimulating initially but ends with bland one string chugging. "Tomorrow" is the track I enjoyed immensely because of the mellifluity of guitar passages. Four minutes into the song, one can hear dulcet piano which resurfaces again at 7:25 evanescing after one minute.

I was only able to listen to "Enshrine" from Opium, I could not find the other two tracks.
The female narratives in the beginning of the track were unappealing, but I liked the mellifluous guitars at the 14 minute mark lasting for around a minute and then another starting at the 16 minute mark.

The seamless cohesiveness of guitars concatenating subsequent tracks may have impinged on Mgła's choice in titling. The guitars on With Hearts Toward None have the most stark unvarnished abrasiveness than all of their works, though the album is not unafflicted by the blandness of monochromatic tessellations of tremolo picking riffs. Despite the staticity and restrainedness of guitar work, I liked the poignancy of tremolo picking riffs on "With Hearts Toward None I" commencing after one minute and dissipating around the 2:35 minute mark. Though repeated ad nauseum, the riff in "With Hearts Toward None III" between 1:55 and 4 minutes is noteworthy. A faint guitar melody commences at 6:25 underpinning another tremolo picking riff which caparisons it. There are sections wherein the guitarist creates melody to accentuate the plaintiveness by arpeggiating the chords, plucking each note of a chord individually. The bass guitar is audible.

I enjoyed the cymbal work on this album, the clangorous percussion can be heard clearly in their live performances, its diminished audibility in the mix owing to the sound of guitars preponderating over the clangor of cymbals. I like how the beginning and ending of the last track are concatenated with one another. "With Hearts Towards None VII" commences with the distinct clangor of rides and closes with the euphony of three clanks at the inverted bell splash cymbal and twelve strikes at the bell and junction of bell and bow of ride cymbal in the last 30 seconds.
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