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Murg - Strävan

by Martin Knap at 10 April 2019, 9:47 PM

MURG are a Black Metal duo from Bergslagen, Sweden, which is not even a town but “a vaguely defined area in Svealand in central Sweden” according to Wikipedia, which sounds pretty damn kvlt to me. They have two LPs under their belt so far and have been signed to Nordvis Produktion since their earliest release which came out in 2015. They don’t do social media much, so that’s all the trivia that I can provide… Their sound could be described as no-bull shit Black Metal firmly rooted in the second-wave Scandinavian sound, but the band brings such a fresh, bad-ass energy to the table that their music doesn’t sound rehashed. They have that grimy grimness and thick atmosphere of the classic DARKTHRONE releases, but they also have a knack for melody and are able to balance these both sides nicely. Their songs have a kind of straight-forwardness and drive that can be really mesmerizing – there are even slight Post-Black Metal accents in certain moments in the otherwise more conventionally sounding songs.

The songs on “Strävan” as well as the play length are short and sweet: the songs are between four and six minutes long and the album is forty minutes long in total. “Ur myren” has a kind of dreamy guitar intro, but soon the icy, majestic tremolo picked riffs and raspy vocals come in. The song has a nice mid-tempo groove and some nice guitar leads, and it slowly builds up to an intense climax. The title song “Strävan” is one of the longer songs with a very somber atmosphere and an infectious groove with a strong BATHORY vibe and later the song’s vibe gets very ominous – it really has some kind of mesmerizing energy. “Berget” has a very catchy, uplifting kind of song with a prominent melody. The fourth song “Renhet” is also pretty melodic, but has a more folky, BATHORY-like vibe. On the B-side of the album there are two song with a kind of more grim tone – they are kind of slow burners that don’t excite too much, but have a thick atmosphere that sucks you in. “Altaret” has an uplifting, exalted vibe and an emotional climax. The closer “Stjärnan” is another stand-out song: it’s monotonous but catchy and hypnotic with a deeply melancholic vibe, as well as some nice grooves. That’s what I call going out with a bang.

This album is a grower, there are some songs that have a more immediate appeal or are outright catchy, but as I kept listening, I started liking the songs that stood out less to me in the beginning as well. “Strävan” is just a good, honest Black Metal album to me, one of the best that I’ve heard this year. I’ll definitely will keep coming back to it.

Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Ur myren
2. Strävan
3. Berget
4. Renhet
5. Korpen
6. Tre stenar
7. Altaret 0
8. Stjärnan

Vargher - Bass, Guitars, Vocals
Urzul - Guitars
Record Label: Nordvis Productions


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