Misery Index


Written by: EW on 06/12/2008 00:47:55

Death/grind must surely be a difficult scene to make any kind of impression in these days given the mass of bands jostling for space in an exceptionally crowded market. Most of them seem to be signed to Relapse Records, and North American in origin with favour leant towards the politically charged lyrics, a large target aimed at by many it seems during these now dwindling Bush years. Here then is Maryland residents Misery Index, with their scathing third full-length, "Traitors", seen taking potshots at the American system and it's morally suspect administration, out now on Relapse Records.

Misery Index were formed by ex-members (that being most of North America) of working class DM heroes Dying Fetus, and boy does it tell. First song proper "Theocracy" is rich in it's Dying Fetus influence, altering speed and means of riffs frequently, all based around a key riff or two for the song but never verging into the territory of the overtly technical. Misery Index's grind element is brought to the fore through a combination of punk glorification ("The Arbiter" and "Theocracy") and passages of speedfreak blast worship ("Ruling Class Cancelled"). Like the Fetus, MI utilise a two-pronged vocal attack with Jason Netherton and Mark Kloeppel alternating almost constantly, proving to be one of the features lifting this album above that of many others where one gruff gravel throated vocalist dominates all before him. It would be a lie to say MI are hugely varied in their style but they do know how to pen a slower tune when they want to: "Thrown Into The Sun" adeptly shows the band's song-writing skill, being the grindiest, and naturally slowest, song on the record.

Where there isn't the feel of Dying Fetus there is naturally that of grind's pioneers, particularly Terrorizer in the infectious attitude of "Theocracy" and "Occupation", being all about the quick efficient kill, leaving no time for flowery sentiments or unnecessary melodramatics. Essentially the stuff for any fan of precise, concise well played no frills death metal, which despite being a little too close to their forbearers for comfort, "Traitors" has proven itself after a number of listens to be immensely likable and a right solid album.

Download: Ruling Class Cancelled, Traitors, Thrown Into The Sun
For The Fans Of: Dying Fetus, Terrorizer, Napalm Death
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 30.09.08
Relapse Records

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