Murg – “Strävan” (Nordvis Produktion)
With no real names or rank and absolutely no interest in websites or social media (along with humanity for that matter), the near anonymous duo of Vargher (vocals, guitars, bass) and Ur’zul (guitars) have created quite a storm since 2015 through the issuance of their debut “Varg & Björn” that dealt with the annihilation of mankind (told you they didn’t like people) and “Gudatall” which portrayed the last survivors slowly perishing under nature’s rules (they really hate everybody). Emanating from an old mining district known as Bergslagen and surrounded by deep impenetrable forests, it doesn’t come as a surprise that this overwhelming presence of nature is cited as a strong influence on Murg’s icy, raw possessive black metal, which in many places is highly reminiscent of early Burzum and Darkthrone in its visceral atmosphere. However, listen closer and it soon becomes abundant that despite the misanthropy, there are also subtle melodies and hooks, as well as employing a post black shoe gaze element to counter the apocalyptic vision. “Strävan” is Murg’s third release and finalises the grim trilogy as humanity as we know it no longer exists, instead ‘.. a new form is created, a perfect beast born to sacrifice itself to end the entire universe…’! If you’re still reading this then full marks, as notwithstanding the concept, the music is something else! Opening with ‘Ur Myren’ the tinny guitar intro detonates into a mid tempo blackgaze wall sound resonating a deep and instantly catchy dark melancholic melody as Vargher’s slow drawn out screams only adds to the intensity completed by the fast blast beating double bass drum work – yes, that’s 3 different tempos in 1 song!! Going right into the dungeon murk on ‘Tre Stenar’, Vargher’s demonic drawls lead the haunting guitars powering out darkly epic riffs that once again resonate deep in your psyche as the dull, thudding drums only hammer home the catchiness and emotional reach of this straight to the bone, yet highly exciting affair. With its overpowering black gaze melancholy so prominent in ‘Berget’, even Vargher’s screeching and the double bass drums almost get squeezed in the tightly knit structure of this charged number that contains some unbelievable guitar work – not in the least the deep ending of acoustic guitars that gently dissipate the furore with everlasting emotion – utterly electrifying. Definitely one to see out the end of the world to.