Bardo Methodology #1

Bardo Methodology started off as a website that published various interviews detailing philosophy and the occult, and were known for really diving in the heart of the matter. The printed formats contain extended versions of the interviews found online and hold no punches as a wide range of artists and writers are interviewed and encouraged to discuss their true opinions on various subjects without censorship or the routing associated with mundane questions that seem to plague metal interviews. Bardo Methodology is an insanely ambitious project that triumphantly succeeds but not without a small share of problems

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Uada – Cult of A Dying Sun

Hipster Black metal arrived at the stage where copying from Indie and Post Rock bands was no longer going to work and to distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd, Uada had to resort to stealing Batushka’s hooded look and the music from the funderground favorite Storm of the Light’s Bane while in arranged in the droning style of Mgla and the like. All of this is sprinkled with every hipster trope possible and the new publicity stunt of “being supposed Nazis” which is a smart way of bringing in Hipster metal to the anti-SJW crowds while playing music that caters to their tastes. The band being formed in Portland which is known as being the hipster mecca should already cast doubts for those who haven’t experienced the pain of listening to such a record.

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Imprecation Calls for Action Against Antifa

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David Herrera of Imprecation, whose Satanae Tenebris Infinita was the Best Underground Metal Album of 2013, called for drastic action against the communists and antifascists who attacked and shut down the Messe des Morts black metal festival in Montreal due to the presence of nationalistic bands Graveland, Forteresse, and Mgła:

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Antifa Attack Police and Shutdown Messe des Morts

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Antifascist terrorists attacked the police protecting the Messe des Morts festival in Montreal on Saturday in response to Graveland, Mgła, and Forteresse playing, who the terrorist all accuse of being Neo-Nazis who wanted to violate Montreal’s safe space. The leftist terrorists purchased tickets to the sold out festival on the second-hand market, infiltrated the crowd wearing ski masks, and threw smoke grenades at the entrances. The antifa terrorists attacked the police who were supposed to be protecting the venue, artists, and concertgoers from their planned protest. One of the “protesters” turned terrorists was Alexandre Boulerice, federal MP for the New Democratic Party in the Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie riding. The police ended up shutting down the festival for “safety reasons”.

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Upcoming tours – Mgla, Aosoth

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Part of the Agonia Records stable is out on the road again. DMU contributors have discussed both Aosoth and Mgla in the past and at least in some cases have been able to find value in them (although I’ve found Mgla hasn’t aged too well and that their formula is need of greater nuance). Continental Europeans will get a chance to judge these bands for themselves during this upcoming tour. So far limited to 10 dates and leaning towards the northern part of the continent, this seems to be a standard “support previously released material” type of tour. Aosoth is also performing at the Netherlands Deathfest (a subsidary of Maryland Deathfest) on February 28th.

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Mgła – Exercises in Futility (2015)

Mgła - Exercises in Futility (2015)

A recent discovery of mine, if far from a newcomer to metal music; Mgła plays a sort of streamlined melodic black metal on Exercises in Futility. There are no real divergences from this formula, even in their slightest form, and even any residual rock or traditional metal influence is assimilated deeply into the overall sound and form of the music. It’s easy to pass this album off as repetitive, dull, and pointless at first glance, but the constraints of this style have bred some much-needed creativity. Continued listening highlights the band’s ability to successfully vary their compositions in a narrower range than most of my recent reviews. This is a difficult skill to learn, and its payoff is often subtle to the point of inaudibility, but the band’s efforts paid off; they’ve secured this listener’s interest and showcased their potential prowess as songwriters.

In general, Mgła leans towards the consonant, the ambient, and (at moments of weakness) the predictable. Exercises in Futility is driven primarily by very simplistic riffs and sometimes even single chord drones, but frequently overlays melodic, treble heavy guitar lead counterpoint over the exceptionally basic chord patterns that serve as its foundation. The rhythm section is muted in comparison to the guitars, but it dutifully follows their acrobatics by offering up its own new patterns as the tracks evolve. While I rarely found my ears focusing in on the drums, I was pleased by how the drummer didn’t treat his subsidiary position as an excuse to mindlessly blast or simply keep time. This was more of a problem with the vocalist, who admittedly also handles guitar and bass. For how prominently the vocals are mixed, the unending sameness of their techniques and how unaffected they are by any other aspect of the recording is quite a setback. Still, the instrumentation tends better than the alternative (incompetence), and when every metal band with a budget can assume their performances will be studio quality, the ability to add nuance is quite important.

Exercises in Futility is still not a particularly diverse album, although it doesn’t necessarily need to be one to be worthy of attention. Its biggest weakness is most likely that its tracks don’t develop particularly well over their duration, although the songs at least have clear (if basic) structures, which suggests some non-trivial effort towards this end. Other problems with this recording are relatively trivial in comparison, as strength of narrative/communication is perhaps the one aspect this genre’s elites can safely say they share. To truly unlock their own potential, the band members will have to cut repetition and achieve a greater level of focus and precision when constructing their songs. They may very well be able to pull it off if they’re willing to put forth the effort.

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