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MGLA "With hearts toward none"

MGLA \"With hearts toward none\"
Polish act Mgla are subject to a good deal of fascination and appraisal in black metal circles, and for obvious reasons. The last several years have seen a cult audience arise for a revival of traditionalist, Norse styled black metal, often with acts receiving an exaggerated sense of credit, mostly given for aesthetic and psuedo-ideological reasons, rather than expression, form, execution and craft. Especially this is true when considering a good proportion of "religious" and "orthodox" black metal acts. Like many recent acts that deliver quality material, Mgla don't look for a musical formula that attempts to radically differ from established norms, rather they create a synthesis that gives them a distinguishable voice. Not unlike what one would expect to hear from bands signed to the Northern Heritage label, the harmonizing, trance-like riffs evoke classic Darkthrone, whilst the tonalities, particularly the melancholic arpeggios are traits inherited from Burzum. Mgla's take on black metal in some ways is comparable to how Inquisition take their musical queues from Immortal and Mayhem, reinvigorating a style rather than merely imitating it. The result is songs that that are quite involved in spite of the limited number of elements. Mgla's sophomore release, With Hearts Toward None, reemploys that template but condenses the compositions and upgrades the quality of the riffs. It's the as-epic-as-it-gets riffs, which don't have to be countless (in fact some of them are present throughout the whole record, thus strengthening the sense of a true concept) nor always disharmonic or cacophonous. It's the feeling of pure heavy sound of the old days flowing into the arteries of their blackmetal. It's the pounding drums of a war to come and the bass guitar that makes speakers grind. It's those vocals that sing their manifest with such faith, that come to give to the lyrics meanings between the lines so that once the loudspeaker is heard to preach "from the midst of cold ash, comes the voice of the living god" one is ready to burst out in the streets and search for his (or her) own "Living God".

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