Murg – Strävan
Swedish Black Metal band MURG created a considerably “fuzz” in the underground scene when they released their debut album ”Varg & Björn” back in 2015, by making a perfect summary of the traditional Scandinavian Black Metal-sound, but putting it in the more modern context of the, back to basic nature romanticism, adopted, or rather recaptured, from the American Black Metal-scene, and although their follow up album “Gudatall” kept a more anonymous stance, it was with great interest I took the Bergslagen-duo’s new album, “Strävan”, on!
As on their previous albums there is no doubt that this is a Scandinavian band playing, building their songs on melodies and structures reminding of the legend of Darkthrone and other bands from the early nineties, mixing the temporary outbursts of high speed chaos with a quite high ratio of mid tempo-riffing but also some more calm, almost dreamy passages.
Contributing to the Scandinavian feel is the harsh, well produced lo-fi production that matches the nature of the music perfectly, although it craves a good stereo, or preferably listening through headphones, to be made justice. Also worth mentioning is multi-instrumentalist Varghers perfect fitting vocal style that among with the sublime melodies and eerie cold sound creates the perfect setting to this slab of Swedish darkness.
I sometimes find the songs on “Strävan” to take a bit too long to get to the core, but sooner or later all of them transforms into something really good and I believe that this record surely will grow upon the listener. Being a fan of the more Celtic Frost-esque part of Darkthrone I’m also a bit surprised to find myself liking the fast parts a bit more than the mid tempo-grinding, but as said, there isn’t one single bad song on this album.
If your into old school Black Metal, like Throne of Ahaz, early Samael or maybe Craft, mixed with some of the more modern, melancholic side of the genre, performed by, for example, the label colleges in Grift, I’m sure you will enjoy “Strävan” and although It doesn’t really reach the heights of “Varg & Björn” I find it to be a worthy competitor on the Scandinavian Black metal scene!
Label: Nordvis Production
Date of release: 26/4-19
Playing time: 40:39
Stand out track: Korpen