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Poland Country of Origin: Poland

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Review by Jeger on July 4, 2024.

When Poland’s celebrated Mgła hit the scene in 2000, it was to the bewilderment of Scandinavian black metal fans who had become accustomed to the mediocrity of the scene and who had quite literally never heard anything like them. Dynamic heights scaled and the depths of pure misanthropic loathing dredged. Not to mention all the melancholy and all the melody; a contrast of grey to smudge an already blackened canvas. To have emerged from the bowels of suffering only to have become even more bitter than before, to have achieved greatness for only a moment before you fuck it all up and to revel in the despair of existence has been the Mgła MO since their earliest days. And in 2008, as a hope-extinguishing fog enveloped Polska, Mgła set loose from misery’s cell their debut “Groza” LP via the exclusive Northern Heritage. 

Four cuts, 36 minutes worth of somber, worth of hatred and an overwhelming sense of dread to encapsulate abysmal yet ear candy melodic passages where beauty in darkness and comfort within the throes of disdain are all that matter. Just so ahead of the curve when compared to the bullets and spikes. So far beyond the realm of anything Devil-worshipping or even Satanic… Fuck it all and to death with the fool-heartedly joyous, for you see, hope is lost and left with only a wet blanket of weariness to smother fires of hatred are we… The soundtrack to it all a modestly recorded yet well-rounded and dynamic LP - one that has so obviously been of inspiration to misanthropes the world over - unabashed in their admiration for one of the all time greats. 

Mgła percussionist, Darkside, typically puts on a jaw-dropping clinic during most of the duo’s following records, but with “Groza”, our disciplined tactician utilizes the less-is-more approach: martial rhythms, rigid blast-beats and staunch double-bass currents as opposed to the superhuman sound of each one of Mgła’s following albums. In service to the guitar and never overstepping those bounds except for a fancy tom-roll or two. A work of patience and discipline when compared to a lot of new drummers and their “let’s incorporate every great idea we can think of into every song” mindset. 

Multi-instrumentalist and vox ghoul, M. delivers on all phases; establishing his self early on as one of the artists to watch within the world of black metal as it stood then and still does today. Such a brilliant sense of melody accompanied by a genuine distaste for humanly things as translated through venomous lyrics that overlay some of the world of BM’s most dismal soundscapes. 

A discography that speaks for itself. No rat race to see who can shit out as many EP’s, splits and other obscure records so as to be the next Graveland or Satanic Warmaster - quality over quantity - an exacting standard set far beyond the reach of even the most legendary of black metal bands. Mgła setting the foundation for a most iconic career thus far with “Groza” and it’s only gotten sweeter with age. Every subsequent record has seen the duo step further and further down the road toward legend status. And as the days dwindle our lives ever-nearer death’s inescapable grip, we edge closer toward a new volume. So, raise discord’s chalice high! Toast to the demise of this cesspool we call our world and take in the pain-drenched “Groza”. BM for the admonition of humanity and the counting down toward the bliss of extinction. Hail Mgła… 

Rating: 8.5 out of 10