If it’s not broken, why fix it? Poland’s prime purveyors of naked nihilism hit upon a winning formula on previous two albums, ‘With Hearts Toward None’ and ‘Exercises In Futility’, so unsurprisingly tweaks are kept to a bare minimum on their fourth full-length, ‘Age Of Excuse’, which is the very epitome of familiarity; unmistakably Mgła, unquestionably class.
Bursting at the seams with bleak, monotonous misanthropy, Mgła’s instantly-recognisable, highly-addictive dirges of derision and dismay have never been more applicable and appropriate than today, with civilisation on the brink of downfall, the world reeling from stupidity and ignorance, the blind leading the blind and truth more elusive than any cure for the all-consuming madness.
Negative outlooks are rooted in realism, not cynicism. What should mankind – or any single being – celebrate? The ultimate irony of life being no more than a pathway towards death? It’s a truly hopeless state of affairs down here, an endless cycle of failure and humiliation, narrated with cold indifference by Mgła’s eulogies to ineptitude and emptiness, poignant, pessimistic poetry expressed through the darkest of music, hollow shells alerting other hollow shells to their innate hollowness.
Across these six latest anthems of absolute aversion, the Mgła mantra is delivered with trademark accuracy and proficiency, the rather melodic, decipherable qualities of the songs (by Black Metal standards) lending an anomalous trait to proceedings as it’s the message behind the music that crushes as opposed to any excessive violence or rawness to be found on the record itself, which is in fact immaculately produced and played as we have come to expect from this duo.
At the end of the day, it’s the same old script, indeed. The futility of life should be to the forefront of our minds at all times. Birth is cursed, life conditional. Strength is fleeting, growth and affluence temporary. Survival ultimately proves impossible to all living things, death inevitable. As all our actions lead irreversibly to the boneyard, we are essentially pre-rot.
Thus, is it really better to have lived and perhaps loved than never to have lived at all? Well, if you’re not in, you can’t lose … and loss awaits us, each and every one.