As they must, pearls tend to fall through the cracks. Mgła is one of them and has been since their start as a bastard child of Burzum and Darkthrone heritage with orthodox overtones, to their recent evolution to incorporate an epic side to their nihilism. They’ve not reinvented the wheel nor brought forth a completely new aesthetic; what they’ve done is write bloody good riffs and songs one after the other, all throughout their career. “Exercises In Futility” is no exception to this.
It nevertheless differs from its predecessor “With Hearts Towards None”, both lyrically and sonically. Interestingly, the shifts are similar in both camps, showing a remarkable cohesion in all aspects of their songwriting. Where “WHTN” revelled in a celebration of nihilism (see “With Hearts Towards None III” for the answer to the question how epic can nothing be?), “Exercises In Futility” is much more grounded, spending much more time exploring a view of the world in all its bleakness rather than celebrating it. Thankfully, repeating themselves doesn’t seem to be in their plans.
“As if all this was something more / Than another footnote on a postcard from nowhere / Another chapter in the handbook for exercises in futility”