Latest release: Antinomian (independent release)Website: www.mhorgl.com
Perth band Mhorgl recently visited the east coast to unleash their hellish, old school black metal on appreciative audiences. With their second album Antinomian about to receive European release, Loud got in touch with drummer Louis Rando via email for a chat about their blasphemous, Christ-baiting art.
Q: To start, can you give us a brief run-down of the history of the band up to this point?
A: Sure. The band was formed in 2004 although at that time, it had a very different sound to the one we have now. It was a lot rawer and more monotone. The lineup for the first two releases (“Shadow of Morgoth”, The Sacrificial Flame) was just James Campbell (bass guitar, drum programming, guitars) and Sam Moretta (vocals, lyrics). These releases were entirely self produced and distributed (within Australia), and drew some favorable attention to the Mhorgl name.
In 2008, Rob Thorpe (Tyrant) and myself were asked to join as live members. We played many high profile shows in our hometown of Perth and started contributing to what became the Antinomian release of 2010. The album will be released in Europe/UK early 2011 through new label Execution Kollective. The band is still very active as a four piece, writing for our third full length release and planning shows throughout Australia for the future.
Q: Am I right in assuming that the name “Mhorgl” is a corruption of “Morgul”, or did it come from another source?
A: Yes you are correct! It is a bastardisation of Morgul (The tower of Morgul) from Lord of the Rings.
Q: Moving on to Antinomian now, how long has it been out and where is it available?
A: The album was released independently within Australia in April 2010, and as of Feb 2011, it will be available in Europe/UK through Exceution Kollective records.
If you’re within Australia contact us at moc.l1529907394grohm1529907394@ofni1529907394 to secure a copy. If you’re in Europe/UK contactwww.myspace.com/executionkollective to find out about availability.
Do yourself a favour and pick it up, it is an excellent release that we busted our asses to make!
Q: Does the album title have any relation to the music itself? Is there a general theme?
A: Unlike the first album The Sacrificial Flame, there is no real theme that we work off on Antinomian. Each song speaks independently of the whole, yet I feel there is a very definite mood which moves/evolves throughout the duration of the album. I think this is very self apparent upon first listen of the CD.
Q: Whose idea was it to put the “Mr Crowley” cover on the album, and what has been the reaction to it?
A: Our first album also featured a re-interpretation of the Venom classic ‘Countess Bathory’ so we thought it might be interesting to do another for this album. Rob our guitarist chose Ozzy Osborne’s ‘Mr Crowley’, as he’s a long time fan of guitar hero Randy Rhoads and thought it would be a great tribute to him, not to mention something a little different to cover in such an extreme style as ours.
The song itself has a dark and brooding feel which translates well into the black metal style. We Mhorglized it! The reaction to it has been great! People always make mention of it and most understand our re-interpretation of it, although they are always surprised at the way we performed it.
Q: The album artwork is certainly blasphemous! I understand that was created by James. How does it relate to the theme of the album?
A: Thank you. We’re most proud of James and his ability to conjure up such Hellish and high quality images!
The cover is a blatant attack on all organized religion, which is something we stand behind and an idea which colours the music to an extent, although not entirely. We deal in all things dark, chaotic and in opposition to the ‘norm’. Pragmatically, the search for truth is important, and it’s nowhere to be found within the confines of religion. Also, it’s funny to attack religion!
Q: What level of reaction has there been to Antinomian in general?
A: Although the album has had limited distribution up until now, the response has been great! All the reviews we’ve received have been very positive and most seem to enjoy/understand what we’re doing. I think people expect less from us, being that we’re relatively unknown and we hail from such a non typical/isolated place like Perth, Australia, haha. I think Antinomian makes it very clear that in terms of songwriting and production, Mhorgl can deliver absolute world class black metal… or whatever you wish to call it. Our age/experience has served us well.
Q: You would have heard about the black metal Black Mass show that was cancelled here because of the “concerns” of religious freaks over the imagery involved in the ads for the show. What are your thoughts about a situation like that? Have you ever faced anything similar?
A: I’ve seen it happen whilst performing in Dubai. Shows there are subject to full enquiry by Government agencies and permits are required. Should the flier/imagery not confirm to set ‘shit’ guidelines, permits are withheld and the show is cancelled. Having said that, Dubai is still very Liberal in comparison to other Muslim countries though…
In the case of the Black Metal show in Sydney, a full examination/understanding of Genre/marketing procedures should have been made by the RSL club at an early stage to ensure it meets their standards. The promoter should have submitted artwork for approval too because it contains ‘horrible, brutal, antichristian shit’ which I like, but most don’t. It took everyone by surprise, but I guess the Christians have some leverage with the RSL clubs. Something to be aware of in future. I’m all for absolute freedom to express, and any enemy of expression is and enemy of the natural order.
Q: Mhorgl’s earlier style could be considered black metal, but it seems that you are now branching out and bringing in other genres. Was that a conscious development or did the music just lend itself to moving in such directions?
A: At this stage, it’s becoming natural. We’ve each been playing our instruments for long enough to refine our own voice and technique, and we try not to use what happens in the outside music world as a total reference point for what ‘good’ should be. Each of us in the bands listen to a variety of musical styles and it all finds it’s way into our sound in one way or another, thank Lucifer, because there’s enough boring black metal bands out there today.
We always try to take things a bit further and use our personalities in shaping the sound, because that’s something that can never be entirely duplicated.
Q: The guys in Mhorgl have all been around the Perth scene for quite a while. I’ve always seen the local scene there as being diverse and incredibly self-supportive. Have you found that to be the case? What’s it like for a band like Mhorgl?
A: You’re right, the scene here (considering our isolation) is very large and diverse, and people band together (more or less) to make things work. If we don’t show interest and work for ourselves, nothing would ever happen. I’ve seen larger cities with unhealthier scenes, that’s for sure. People in Perth are generally quite creative and eager for entertainment. Something in the air I guess…
Having said that, the more extreme styles of metal (Old school black/thrash/death) seem to be having trouble finding an audience in Perth as of the last three years. Bands/showcases are becoming more commercial and ‘universally appealing’ and shows generally lean towards deathcore/metalcore/melodic/nu styles.
This is great from an economic perspective, but I don’t think it empowers real uniqueness and timeless creativity. What goes around comes around though, trends are like a merry-go-round. We’ll be here in fine form, fighting strong till the very end!
Q: What’s it like trying to get your music out of Perth these days? Are we likely to see the band on the east coast anytime in the near future?
A: We just played our first two shows in Sydney and Melbourne last week, sharing the stage with some great known bands. The response was great considering it was our first trip over there and we’re relatively unknown. We’ll definitely be back to push our wares in future so keep an eye out!
Q: Anything further you would care to add?
A: Enormous thanks to you for the interview, and to the readers! Support Mhorgl because we’re the real deal! We won’t waste your time! Our third full length album is being released soon, please see myspace.com/mhorgl and www.mhorgl.com for updates and purchase info.
Bring down the HAMMER!