Sep 062019


(This is Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Poland’s Mgła — and some personal reflections on controversies that have swirled about the band and how they have affected reactions to the music.)

Confirmation bias is a hell of a thing. We see what we want to see, we hear what we want to hear, we believe what we want to believe.

It’s possible to be aware of it, and to guard against it to an extent, but none of us are entirely immune to it.

It’s a very human thing after all, based on the availability of information, the heuristic shortcuts we use to analyse it, and an inescapable egotism which leads us to prioritise what we agree with/what agrees with us, over what runs contrary to our current worldview.

And nothing has crystallised this quite as much in recent times as the surprise release of the new Mgła album earlier this week. Continue reading »

Mar 152016

Mgla live video


(Last September I sent interview questions to Poland’s Mgła, the creators of one of the best albums of 2015 — Exercises In Futility. Mgła have been very busy since then, and I had given up hope that the questions would be answered, but yesterday we received them. Some of the topics have been overtaken by time, but others remain relevant, and I hope you’ll find the answers as interesting as I do. I thank M. for answering the questions when it would have been easy to forget about them altogether.)


Forgive me, but I would like to ask you  a few questions about the lyrics to the songs on the new album before getting to the music.  I read them before listening and thought they were eloquent and powerful (as usual), though quite bleak and even nihilistic.  They changed my mood and state of mind before hearing a note, as if preparing the way.  What inspired you in your writing this time?

Life itself, as obvious as it may sound. That’s what the album title refers to. The lyrics are a condensed form of our commentary to the world. Continue reading »

Feb 292016

Mgla live video


By now, when I say that Mgła’s Exercises In Futility is an album for the ages, I expect no argument.

Yesterday these Polish magicians posted a video of a live performance of the song “VI” from that album. The video, which was filmed during the the Nidrosian Black Mass Aftermath tour in December, is as much a work of art as that magnificent album — and I bow my head in respect to Woda i Pustka, who filmed and edited it. Continue reading »

Dec 292015

Mgla-Exercises In Futility


Here are two more songs that I’m adding to our evolving list of 2015’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. They come from albums that I heard before most people did and then promptly reviewed — which says something about how powerfully they both affected me, given how few reviews I write and how delayed most of them turn out to be. I’ve been delighted to see how often both albums have appeared on year-end metal lists; they richly deserve the acclaim they have been receiving.

(To see the other songs that have been named to this list so far and to read about the criteria for the list as a whole, go HERE.)


I doubt anyone who follows our site on even a semi-regular basis will be surprised or disgruntled to see a song from Exercises In Futility on this list. However, I won’t be surprised if some of you prefer a different song. That’s inevitable, because the album is so loaded with infectious songs. As I wrote in my review: Continue reading »

Aug 312015

Mgla-Exercises In Futility


Mgła ‘s new album Exercises In Futility crept up upon us, like some stealthy night creature. One day, not long ago, there was simply an announcement out of nowhere that it was finished and would be released, and a song appeared. And then this weekend it pounced for all to see (and hear).

The album was to be streamed publicly for the first time on the day of its release, but then some asshole leaked it, and the band then promptly decided on Saturday to upload all of it for streaming on YouTube. The cause may have been deplorable, but the action was like a gift to those of us who relished their first two albums and have been impatient to hear this one.

I encourage you to read the lyrics before listening to the album. Apart from the insights they provide into the music itself, they are as fascinating, as well-formed, and as harrowing in their poetry as what you will hear. Continue reading »

Jul 272015

Mgła artwork


I spent most of this weekend catching up on new music (and making a few discoveries of older music, too). I compiled one round-up on Saturday, another one devoted to black metal yesterday, and that still wasn’t enough. So I’ve collected more new music or videos from five other bands in this post. Contrary to appearances, I do have a life — but it wasn’t devoted to much else besides metal since Friday.


Yesterday brought a most welcome announcement that I wasn’t expecting: The fantastic Polish black metal band Mgła has completed the recording of a new third full-length album named Exercises In Futility, and it will be released in the late Summer of this year on the Northern Heritage and No Solace labels. It includes six tracks and 42 minutes of music — and yesterday one of those tracks became available for listening. Continue reading »