Alcatraz Line up: 2022
Mgla, the Polish word for ‘fog’, were founded in the millennium year. From day one, their powerful, high-intensity music drew the attention not only of extreme metal enthusiasts but also of the alternative scene. Originally Mgla were a recording band only and they didn’t start to perform live until their third album dropped in 2012. A partnership between Darkside (drummer Maciej Kowalski) and M (Mikolaj Zentara, guitar/bass/vocals), Mgla are known for numbering their tracks instead of using traditional song titles. On their album ‘With Hearts Toward None’ (2012) they kept complete creative control: the music itself, lyrics, the recording process, the album sleeve… This is not surprising as both M and Darkside have been or are still involved in numerous other projects and are used to making their own decisions. In a live setting the line-up is fleshed out with a bassist/vocalist and a guitarist. Mgla had been a force on the Polish underground scene for a number of years when the universally acclaimed ‘Exercises in Futility’ (2015) gave their popularity a serious boost. The album delivered a blueprint of what modern black metal should sound like. Astonishingly, 2019’s ‘Age of Excuse’ saw them ascend to an even higher level with drawn-out compositions that chill the spine from start to finish.