Review : MHORGL – "Antinomian"

Mhorgl – Antinomian
Release: 2011March28 (released independently 2010May15)
Label: The Execution Kollective (TEK)
Rating: 4.5/5

Mhorgl is new to me, so I didn’t know what to expect when I sat down to listen to Antinomian. Right off that bat, you understand their sound. It’s energetic, inventive and fun black metal. There are passages that are very melodic, and every song is rife with crisp tremolo-picked guitar riffs. The opening track, “Nocturnal Blasphemy”, is a grand example of all this. It has many different parts and has some interesting riff progressions. It certainly doesn’t bore.

“Kiss of Midnight” is populated by complimentary guitar work—both are doing something different at all times, and it’s not always a simple diatonic harmony. At times, it alternately resembles Dark Tranquility‘s The Gallery and older Dissection. Occasionally throughout the album, there’s just too much going on, and I often find myself wishing for some good old Black Metal minimalism à la Darkthrone or Mayhem; sometimes I actually get my wish with a straightforward double stop riff, even if it’s only for eight quick measures. But if you generally like technical musicianship with unorthodox song structures, you’ll love this band.

One thing you’ll notice when looking at the track listing is “Mr. Crowley”—so it’s an Aussie Ozzy cover. There are parts that are interesting, mainly in the way that they turn the song into progressive black metal. It’s played at an accelerated tempo, complete with the tremolo picking, et cetera. But I’d rather listen to the original.

Mhorgl isn’t your run-of-the-mill black metal band—not necessarily a good thing, because some of the genre’s best comes out of Australia. But they succeed in going beyond the black stump, and Antinomian is a great album.

01. Nocturnal Blasphemy
02. Kiss of Midnight
03. Iron Clad Destruction
04. Essence of Evil
05. Necrohatred (A Tribute to Darkthrone)
06. Subterranean Assault Beast
07. The Paean of Hangatyr
08. Mr Crowley (Ozzy Osbourne cover)

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