Heresiarch reviewed by Teufel's Tomb Webzine

For some time now Australia has been a breeding ground for some of the most extreme and brutal black metal around. Mhorgl is just another name in the long line of groups from this area that you should familiarize yourself with. I am a little confused though, seeing Mhorgl labeled as raw black metal on Metal Archives. When I went into this I was expecting something under-produced and musically along the lines of bands like Vargsang, Besatt, and Horna, but this a bit different as Mhorgl are musically more interesting than those bands.

Don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t a far cry from those aforementioned bands, it’s just more involved and a bit more melodic. The dissonant riffs of a band like Horna are intact, but there are melodic moments which bring to mind early Edge of Sanity. One thing that makes this band stand out in my eyes are the 4 acoustic interlude tracks which are scattered throughout Heresiarch that have multiple layers and are excellently played.

As far as musicianship is concerned, Mhorgl are top notch pros. The lead guitar work is simply stunning; it is very technical, melodic, and fucking fast! The double bass and blast beats usually never stop and, although the drumming gets tiring, it does the job. I’m not too crazy about the vocals though, there isn’t any variation to them, it’s the same high pitched shriek.

The thing that really took me by surprise is just how clean cut Heresiarch sounds. This isn’t raw sounding at all, in fact it’s just the opposite. Everything is polished and clear sounding, you can hear every intricacy of the music… which is a good thing. For the most part the songs follow the same pattern, with the exception of “Black Wolf Militia,” which has a very black/thrash sound to it that reminds me of fellow Aussies Destroyer 666.

According to reviews I’ve read of Mhorgl‘s past albums, this band’s early work is even more abstract and extreme, so I will be hunting those albums down soon. There is a lot to take in on this release so it may take a few spins to fully absorb. I’m really impressed by Mhorgl, if Heresiarch is even half as good as the early albums then I will be kicking myself in the ass for not paying attention to them earlier. This is recommended for fans of chaotic black metal who don’t mind some technical flair thrown in the mix. Good shit!

Standout tracks: “Inheriting the Mantle of Power,” “Black Wolf Militia,” “Impeity Storm” and “Terror Manifesto.”


Eric Bocchino
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