Doomed Nation

Sounds For The Lost Generation

Swedish rock band MCC [Magna Carta Cartel] to release new album »The Dying Option« on November 25th via Vernal Vow Records

Swedish rock band MCC [Magna Carta Cartel] is set to release their second full-length album »The Dying Option« on November 25th, 2022 via Vernal Vow Records.

Listen to »The Dying Option« on all streaming services!

01. Arrows
02. Silence
03. Darling
04. Sleepy Eye June
05. Savantgarde
06. Don’t Look Now
07. Tamsa
08. Valkyrie
09. Dusk
10. The Dying Option

Courtesy of The Noise Cartel:

Before joining Ghost, the Swedish band who would go on to become the most successful rock act to emerge over the last decade, Martin Persner was the creative visionary and leader of MCC [Magna Carta Cartel]. Even before he parted ways with Tobias Forge’s occult rockers in 2016, no longer assuming the role of guitarist in their entourage of mystical Nameless Ghouls, coming back to the band he founded 10 years prior was always on the cards.

MCC [Magna Carta Cartel]’s first EP, released in 2008 and titled »Valiant Visions Dawn«, was a bold indication of where the band were heading in their infancy – the »Goodmorning Restrained« full-length of the following year gazing even further into the deeper ambiences of cinematic synth-rock. This notion of “making soundtracks for movies yet unmade” would quickly become their calling card, employing drama and suspense in ways that could rival your favourite sci-fi movies and dystopian thrillers. It was exactly around this time when Persner and Forge started to pool their energies into their other, newer project, putting MCC [Magna Carta Cartel] on pause to focus on a band who, though they had no idea at the time, would go on to change the world. With that partnership over, MCC [Magna Carta Cartel] have reunited as a trio – first recording 2017’s »The Demon King« EP and then returning with this year’s mind-melting second full-length »The Dying Option«.

“I always continued writing for MCC [Magna Carta Cartel],” explains Persner, who is joined by drummer Arvid Persner and bassist/keyboardist Pär Glendor. “That’s what this band is there for, my weird compositions! I remember we had a tour break at one point in 2014, and we even talked about trying to record a second MCC [Magna Carta Cartel] album during our time off. Obviously we didn’t. I guess this band became a side-project because we were living, breathing and sleeping Ghost. But I always knew I would return to MCC [Magna Carta Cartel] and pick up where we’d left off.”

Photos by Claudio Marino

The 10 latest tracks are undoubtedly some of the most musically thrilling pieces of Persner’s career to date, hardwiring elements of retro-futurism, soundscape and post-punk into a sumptuous cocktail of noise that could comfortably infiltrate playlists of just about any genre. Whether you’re into rock music or dance music, »The Dying Option« is the kind of record that simply demands heavy rotation – its hypnotic rhythms and Arctic layers able to put the listener in a state of deep, reflective trance.

“It’s hard to describe this album,” notes Persner, “but I guess it feels like rock music from Blade Runner. That’s why we use a lot of synths playing arpeggios. It’s supposed to sound like how the future sounded in 1982. There are so many vast and diverse influences at play, and it never ends up sounding familiar, even to how we imagined. Whether we like it or not, it’s impossible for this band to sound like anyone else.”

Opening track »Arrows« sets the mood perfectly thanks to its U2-inspired guitars, driving bass line and melodic keys. Though Persner explains how bands like Simple Minds and OceanLab were chief influences on its five and a half minutes, the music actually came to him after watching Stanley Kubrick’s cult horror classic The Shining.

“Weirdly enough, the main inspiration was the intro for the movie The Shining, right at the start as they’re coming through the Rocky Mountains,” says Persner. “That’s what I see when I hear it. But there’s definitely a U2 thing going on there, but more like a U2 From Hell – with loud amps that make the floor rumble. »Arrows« is everything from 8-bit Nintendo music to Metallica and [A Clockwork Orange/The Shining composer] Wendy Carlos. In any band I’ve played in, it’s never been about pleasing the genre. Fuck playing by somebody else’s rules.”

Other offerings like »Sleepy Eye June’ have been in the making for over a decade, daring to dream up synth-rock lullabies through a more cowboy-esque, Ennio Morricone-inspired lens. “That song I actually wrote all the way back in 2009, so it’s an old one that’s been lying around for a while,” continues Persner. “There’s a leaked demo somewhere I think! Those guitar parts have zero resonance, which comes from the Ennio Morricone side of us. I wanted guitars that didn’t sustain, playing two staccato notes like a bell. And then Savantgarde is a track I wrote all the way back in 2006. I actually recorded it with Tobias a long time ago, in our old band Subvision.”

And as for the song he’s most proud of, seventh track »Tamsa« is, in many ways, the album’s moodiest and most vivid musical meditation. “I don’t know why, but I feel like I nailed the Blade Runner vibe particularly well on that one and it seems to epitomise the vibe of the whole album. Darkness is the main consistent theme for »The Dying Option«. But it’s more a collection of songs that were brought together using the simplest and most effective means.”

Now with their second full-length released and the music industry rebounding from the chaos of uncertainty, Persner and his cohorts are planning to take their music to every corner of the globe. There’s also another EP and album on the way – so it’s hard not to get the impression this is a band making up for lost time. Having toured with rock and metal’s biggest and best, eventually becoming idolised on every continent as the Nameless Ghoul commonly referred to as ‘Omega’, Persner now looks to show the world what his MCC [Magna Carta Cartel] are made of.

“I think rock music lacks diversion,” he shrugs. “Only because most of the bands that you end up hearing will conform. I believe we are eclectic and we’re actively seeking new ways of playing rock music. These are very simplistic pop songs, but we dress them up in another way. It’s us being the weirdos that we are, making the music we like. We want to tour as much as we can. I see us as a new band, just because we haven’t done that much and this album has been so long in the making. We’re ambitious as fuck… I realise it might be hard getting back to former heights but if I can do it, I will!”

As he rightfully points out, with the right kind of creativity, ambition and luck, who knows what the future might hold. But in any case, it doesn’t take long to figure out Martin Persner is someone who is eternally grateful for the journey that brought him to where he stands today. He chooses not to linger in the past as others have done – after all, his time in Ghost has given him a platform to continue creating music, with an army of endlessly loyal fans welcoming the return of MCC [Magna Carta Cartel].

“I’m very happy and grateful to have been part of Ghost,” nods Persner. “Despite us being anonymous, I ended up gaining personal fans who have stuck with me. People recognise what I have done and achieved, and know that I’m serious about art and music. There’s also a lot of appreciation for what I’ve done in MCC [Magna Carta Cartel]. I’m lucky to have a CV that brings people in to listen to what I’m doing. And they actually listen – the people who care, really care.”

MCC [Magna Carta Cartel] is:
Martin Persner – Guitars / Vocals
Arvid Persner – Drums
Pär Gledor – Bass / Keyboards

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Bojan Bidovc // music enthusiast, promoter, misanthrop and sometimes a journalist as well

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