Mgła - Exercises In Futility review




Bandcamp music player
Reviewer:
7.0

473 users:
8.82
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


Exercises In Futility is purportedly Mgła's nonpareil album and has been dithyrambically eulogized. It has accresced the adulation of black metal's habitués over the years.

Marked by acerbic yet atrabilious tremolo-picked riffs morphing to egregiously repetitive mediocrity in concinnity with the arguteness and fervidity of ride cymbals and Mikołaj's dour monotonic execution of vocals limning the profundity of an exquisite agony, Exercises In Futility reaches its apogee with the nascent insurgency of diaphanous 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 sentineling the susurrous velleity of blissful insouciance, dim with the last vestiges of crepuscular light in the pulchritude of sorrow, bereft of the ochroleucous 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 sombre, umbrageous 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, and the bow and junction of the bell and bow of the ride cymbal on either side of the dome. The effect of cymbals and arpeggiating chords creating melody to accentuate the plaintiveness is vitiated by the inordinate repetition and paucity of piquant vacillations of riffs. The drumming is not exceptional; Maciej's strikes are fast and well-placed, but do not hit the snare drum and toms with sufficient cudgeling force. "Exercises In Futility II" showcases a recurring drum beat with a simultaneous strike at the second hanging tom and a floor tom before clashing the china cymbal. But most of the drumming on Exercises In Futility is banal, with the regular single or double beat at the snare drum and hi-hats.

The drums and cymbals do not reach the optimum level of audibility in the mix, the guitars preponderating over their sound, obfuscating the clangorous percussion. The double bass drums are not very audible. The sharp, distinct pinging sound of an inverted bell splash cymbal on "Exercises In Futility V" percolates through, but other subtle nuances are almost undetectable as the percussion is a bit subdued in the mix. Even the tenuous clank of splash cymbal accompanying the argute pinging of an inverted bell splash cymbal and the sonorous, metallic overtones of crashes are clearly audible on Age Of Excuse, the vibrations emanating from the rim dissipating in the background, a smoother, more pellucid cymbal sound without an inordinately amplified pitch or slow decay. Riffs, interposed between sections of graininess and clanks of rides and inverted bell splashes, are refined without being over-polished while still retaining the stark, unvarnished abrasiveness of previous albums. Vivified by its invigorating dynamism, Age Of Excuse is a seamless convergence of coherent, virtuosic guitars imbricating over one another with a virile dexterity that is not overvigorous, dispensing with dissonant exuberance. The lugubriosity of the lead-in track weighs it down ponderously with an unrelenting umbrage that extricates the listener from the sempiternity of forlorn inner musings and disencumbers from existential incertitude through a theurgical melody.

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.

Guest review by
brimarsh
Rating:
9.7
After years of distancing myself from the black metal scene and community, my revisitations are brief and fleeting. I do not seek out new releases as fervently as I once did; old favorites have phased out of my habitual rotation, whether due to apathy or evolution of taste, I could not say. Yet, Mgła has remained a constant and daily indulgence. They're never further than the tip of my tongue in conversations of recommendations with the less initiated, yet open-minded pursuant of music—and I consider their entire discography to be of utmost importance in not only black metal, but in the entirety of metal's more extreme subsets.

Read more ››
published 28.08.2020 | Comments (24)


Comments

Comments: 17   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 59 users
29.09.2020 - 17:46
Tyrannical Hero
Classless
Something's missing.
----
Crackhead Megadeth reigns supreme.
Loading...
29.09.2020 - 17:52
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
What the hell happened again.
----
Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

2021 goodies
Loading...
29.09.2020 - 18:39
Metren
Chameleon
Was this entire thread eaten by a hungry thesaurus???
----
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".
Loading...
29.09.2020 - 19:01
Vombatus
Potorro
Written by Tyrannical Hero on 29.09.2020 at 17:46

Something's missing.


More cowbell?
Loading...
29.09.2020 - 22:45
brimarsh
And I thought I was verbose...

This is a well-written review, if not a bit overly-academic and likely out of touch with its intended audience.
Loading...
29.09.2020 - 22:48
nikarg
Mod
It has been many weeks since we unfortunately lost the entire comment section. It is common knowledge that Metal Storm often acts on its own volition.
Loading...
29.09.2020 - 22:52
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
A piece of history forever lost.
----
Jusqu'ici, tout va bien...

2021 goodies
Loading...
01.10.2020 - 16:55
Alina Zia
Written by brimarsh on 29.09.2020 at 22:45

And I thought I was verbose...

This is a well-written review, if not a bit overly-academic and likely out of touch with its intended audience.

Thank you. I however do not have proclivity for tautological verbosity or pleonastic garrulity.
Loading...
01.10.2020 - 17:21
brimarsh
I wouldn't call it "needlessly wordy" in the sense that it's long and rambling (much like my own review). Your review is actually quite concise and to the point; however, I'd be wholly unsurprised if many readers likely couldn't make it past your vocabulary to find the point. I've had many an English teacher reprimand the excessive use of cryptic synonyms. It's true that certain words hold particular meanings that may be more precise than their more elementary siblings, but precision is wasted if readers have scarcely (or never) encountered those words.

I actually enjoy your writing style. It's unique and challenging. But, I'd wager most review-goers aren't looking to have their vocabulary and comprehension put to the test when they read a black metal review.
Loading...
03.10.2020 - 02:11
Alina Zia
Written by brimarsh on 01.10.2020 at 17:21

I wouldn't call it "needlessly wordy" in the sense that it's long and rambling (much like my own review). Your review is actually quite concise and to the point; however, I'd be wholly unsurprised if many readers likely couldn't make it past your vocabulary to find the point. I've had many an English teacher reprimand the excessive use of cryptic synonyms. It's true that certain words hold particular meanings that may be more precise than their more elementary siblings, but precision is wasted if readers have scarcely (or never) encountered those words.

I actually enjoy your writing style. It's unique and challenging. But, I'd wager most review-goers aren't looking to have their vocabulary and comprehension put to the test when they read a black metal review.

I'm relieved to know you do not think it is needlessly wordy. I also never insinuated that you were rambling. I'm glad you do not discountenance my diction.

Prior to the expunction of the comments section, some readers thought that I was orgulous and erroneously assumed that I was vilipending them. I initially did not understand what jactancies users were alluding to. Some had catechized me on my animus behind writing it, while some cachinnated over it. It was hard to remain pococurante to that. Mr Cooper conveyed to me that some words are not coeval with others. The coevality of certain words should be considered, but lexical precision is also sacrosanct. If they are never employed, they will eventually fall into desuetude.

Sir Kevin had encouraged me to continue with my stylistic vein regardless of readerly velleities and impulses. He explained to me verbatim that lexical parsimony takes precedence over richness these days; that people prize words for their memetic qualities, not for the nuances they possess which leaves us unable to communicate deeper shades of meaning. He stated verbatim that I should not allow the expectations of readers to force my hand into chopping syllables off my descriptors and let my readers do some homework.
Loading...
03.10.2020 - 18:44
brimarsh
Written by Alina Zia on 03.10.2020 at 02:11

Wall-of-Text

You didn't insinuate that I was rambling; that was my own self-aware observation. I have a penchant for prolixity at times.

I find myself of an opinion that falls somewhere between the aforementioned Mr. Cooper and Sir Kevin. While lexical precision is of utmost importance to eschew erroneous assumptions of meaning, I feel as though there's a line between carefully calculated clarity and incomprehensible.

I scarcely believe one should sacrifice their identity to meet the expectations of an audience; however, I do feel it behooves one to remain cognizant of the audience they're reaching. This is not to say that I feel Metal-Storm is devoid of intellectualism, and your lexicon should be "dumbed down" accordingly, but rather I am insinuating that the overlap of academia and Metal-Storm is perhaps not of prominence, and the two are hardly synonymous. I would argue it is instead a vessel for intelligent, yet primarily informal discourse. Any deviations from the commonplace vernacular in lieu of more archaic or abstruse verbiage in a casual setting such as this could easily be misconstrued as ostentatious or subtle belittling. Most readers of metal reviews do not wish to "do some homework" when trying to decipher the author's stance. They will instead skim past it and likely resort to insult as they question the motives behind your assumed verbosity.

:EDIT: And the unfortunate reality, I think, is that a review of this caliber—regardless of its punctiliousness and validity—will instead be judged upon its method of conveyance and not what it conveys.
Loading...
03.10.2020 - 19:14
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by brimarsh on 03.10.2020 at 18:44

:EDIT: And the unfortunate reality, I think, is that a review of this caliber�regardless of its punctiliousness and validity�will instead be judged upon its method of conveyance and not what it conveys.

Which is precisely what happened initially before the comments were mysteriously nuked. It was a battlefield of mockery and comedic hot takes and debate. I initiated it with a throwaway joke comment and it snowballed from there.
----
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
Loading...
03.10.2020 - 20:13
brimarsh
Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.10.2020 at 19:14

Written by brimarsh on 03.10.2020 at 18:44

:EDIT: And the unfortunate reality, I think, is that a review of this caliber�regardless of its punctiliousness and validity�will instead be judged upon its method of conveyance and not what it conveys.

Which is precisely what happened initially before the comments were mysteriously nuked. It was a battlefield of mockery and comedic hot takes and debate. I initiated it with a throwaway joke comment and it snowballed from there.

I can't say I'm surprised.

In Alina's defense, if you can wade through her peculiarly complex lexicon (which is irrefutably commendable in and of itself), her views are not egregiously controversial on either side of the spectrum. Her analysis was meticulous and, quite frankly, very fair—even though it deviates noticeably from my own. My experiences, as anecdotal as they are, have given me the notion that people tend to resort to verbosity when they're trying to add credibility to their absolutely shit takes that feel nigh-satirical in their admonishing or celebration, or similarly when they have nothing of merit to actually say. And that is hardly the case here. A refusal to operate in perfunctory approaches does not equate to braggadocio or an assumed sense of superiority. Unfortunately when dealing with something as elevated as this review, we tend to think too deeply, or not enough, and the true motives are missed entirely.
Loading...
06.10.2020 - 11:07
Stormm
Academic expression is nice. But if you're able to express your thoughts with intersting words that many still can understand easily, your text is much more valued. And academic article in black metal album review? Unnecessary.
Loading...
06.10.2020 - 17:58
musclassia
Is this the first time that the comments for the same review have managed to make it into the 'Hot topics' list twice?

Written by brimarsh on 03.10.2020 at 18:44

And the unfortunate reality, I think, is that a review of this caliber�regardless of its punctiliousness and validity�will instead be judged upon its method of conveyance and not what it conveys.


That's exactly what happened, and hopefully it's not about to happen again; I know I was guilty of getting quite involved in that first discussion, but I think one 120-comment discussion is enough for one review article.
Loading...
07.10.2020 - 03:35
Alina Zia
Written by brimarsh on 03.10.2020 at 18:44

Written by Alina Zia on 03.10.2020 at 02:11

Wall-of-Text

I scarcely believe one should sacrifice their identity to meet the expectations of an audience; however, I do feel it behooves one to remain cognizant of the audience they're reaching. This is not to say that I feel Metal-Storm is devoid of intellectualism, and your lexicon should be "dumbed down" accordingly, but rather I am insinuating that the overlap of academia and Metal-Storm is perhaps not of prominence, and the two are hardly synonymous. I would argue it is instead a vessel for intelligent, yet primarily informal discourse. Any deviations from the commonplace vernacular in lieu of more archaic or abstruse verbiage in a casual setting such as this could easily be misconstrued as ostentatious or subtle belittling.

I am immensely grateful to you for understanding. You feel that the ostensible peregrinity of my stylistic vein may have rendered nugatory the purport of my review. The cogency of your response has convinced me to try employing coeval words in other submissions. Please do remember that I am not very conversant with many enchorial expressions; it would also be very out of character for me to use colloquial phrases.

I did take umbrage at user's temerity to cavil at what is arrantly absent, but now I'm equanimous. There were certain temerarious remarks about ersatz intellectualism amidst idle clavers; the commentary soon became parenthetical, bedizened with Rabelaisian humor on pure unadulterated passion which many found regaling, though I took umbrage at the acerbic dicacity pro tem. I don't think my review is about intellectualism or ersatz intellectualism, it is about how I felt about an album while highlighting its meritoriousness and deficiencies.
Loading...
07.10.2020 - 03:47
Alina Zia
Written by brimarsh on 03.10.2020 at 20:13

Written by Troy Killjoy on 03.10.2020 at 19:14

Written by brimarsh on 03.10.2020 at 18:44

:EDIT: And the unfortunate reality, I think, is that a review of this caliber�regardless of its punctiliousness and validity�will instead be judged upon its method of conveyance and not what it conveys.

Which is precisely what happened initially before the comments were mysteriously nuked. It was a battlefield of mockery and comedic hot takes and debate. I initiated it with a throwaway joke comment and it snowballed from there.

Her analysis was meticulous and, quite frankly, very fair�even though it deviates noticeably from my own.

Thank you for the praise Brimarsh. I really appreciate your having read it with alacrity.

There is no farouche inimicality, bellicose insularity or feelings of schadenfreude between me and Troy Matthew, Radu Pătroiu, Nikos or Mr Che Alzilu. My relations with them are amicable. I really miss my in-depth conversation with Nikos and my explication on human nihilism, which was extirpated because of a technical malfunction.
Loading...

Hits total: 4128 | This month: 82