Misery Signals


Written by: AP on 25/07/2008 08:47:15

Misery Signals is one of those bands that understands to put intricate melodies and aggressive hardcore riffage in perfect symbiosis. Song after song on the band\'s last outing \"Mirrors\", these Californian chuggers left fans finding themselves tired of production-line metalcore and struck aghast with a new, forward-thinking band that relied less on what would sell and more on disjoint song structures alternating between the completely unforgiving and the stunningly beautiful with a natural ease that\'d have most bands bow their heads. It was an album that grew with each listen and gave the stagnating metalcore genre something new to emulate. And so, while bands like Oh, Sleeper were busy piecing together the recipe for success, Misery Signals was already one step ahead, composing their next opus, \"Controller\".

\"Controller\" sees the band\'s finest elements tuned to near perfection whilst making room for new musical conquests that occasionally graze Opethisque artistry. That is to say, while the sound here is still unmistakably characteristic of what we\'ve come to expect from Misery Signals, there\'s an underlying thirst for not so much a progression as for discovery. And while these endeavors are subtle, the movement to a much more expansive sound is the first to strike out from \"Controller\". But the first to receive praise is the album\'s clever composition, kicking off with the off-time rhythm of \"Nothing\" before unleashing the violent discord of \"Weight of the World\". For both tracks, the band embodies a more traditional approach with a hint of new here and there, as if to lure the old fans aboard before venturing on to progressive paths with \"Labyrinthian\", \"Coma\" and \"Reset\". It\'s through these tracks that Misery Signals unleash their full potential lyrically, instrumentally and vocally. When names like Isis, Dream Theater and Opeth pop up in your thoughts during an album that is still essentially a hardcore album, you know you\'re in for a treat.

Much of its new found power the band owes to Canadian mad genius Devin Townsend, who\'s pushed the band\'s sound beyond its limits. There\'s sufficient punch in the rhythm section without sacrificing even the slightest fraction of a guitar track or lyric, not to mention the constant, lingering samples that lay down much of the album\'s atmosphere. It\'s this subtle background ambience that pushes \"Controller\" up from epic to absolutely fucking massive. Some might of course decry this dependency on samples, but rest assured they do nothing to belittle the band\'s instrumental proficiency. Never before has the band brewed such sophisticated compositions. Their many influences, ranging from hardcore to progressive to math rock meet here in perfect symbioses that ensure plenty of hair-raising moments, from an unexpected breakdown here to a jazzy interlude there. Occasionally the music slows and quiets down to such calm that one wonders if it\'s still Misery Signals playing it. Yet \"Controller\" is first and utmost a metal album, and a damn good one at that.

Download: Coma, A Certain Death, Homecoming
For the fans of: Norma Jean, Oh, Sleeper, UnderOATH
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.07.2008

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