Tag Archives: Season of Mist

Misery Index – Rituals Of Power- Album Review 9/10 \m/

Misery_Index_logo_big

Rituals Of Power

cover_1544552705306065

 Out 03/08/2019

Track listing:

  • Universal Truths
  • Decline and Fall
  • The Choir Invisible
  • New Salem
  • Hammering the Nails
  • Rituals of Power
  • They always come back
  • I Disavow
  • Naysayer
  • Wasting Away (Nailbomb cover)
  • Man Of Your Dreams ( M.O.D. cover Feat. Rob Barret III)

By definition , the misery index is an economic indicator. One created by economist Arthur Okun. The index helps measure how the average citizen is doing economically and it is calculated by adding the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to the annual inflation rate. It is based on the assumption that both a higher rate of unemployment and a worsening of inflation create economic and social costs for a country. The band also gets their name from the 1997 Assück album by the same Name.

This album is an absolute crusher, much like Misery Index’s previous albums it has  blunt thought provoking lyrical content about the world we live in.  There is something unique about this album though, feels like they are playing not just heavier but deeper. They aren’t littering the tracks with polarizing blast beats, and they also have two cover songs; Wasting Away (Nailbomb cover) and Man of your Dreams (M.O.D. – Method of Destruction cover feat @Rob Barrett Iii of Cannibal Corpse). This is something we have not really gotten from Misery Index since the Discordia album. Now don’t get me wrong, that does not mean this is an album to pass on. I will argue that there is no such musical release by this powerhouse of a band worth passing on. They have come a long way since tracks like Angst Isst Die Seele Auf off of Retaliate. Rituals of Power boasts big sound, and the blend of death grind, with such noticeable groove is actually quite pleasing to the ears. I love blast beats and fast tempos, but Misery Index proves that it is not all about blast beats these days.  For review, I am only covering the nine songs that are not covers. However, it is worth mentioning that they do an absolute killer job on the cover tracks.

Universal truths-  This is a borderline introductory track. It starts out with the guitars and drums playing a slightly dissonant style, slowly building up a rhythm and continue to build until the 1-minute mark when the vocals come in. In typical fashion; the vocals are crushing low growls that escalate subtlety. It has about half the speed of many of earlier Misery Index songs, but I would be damned if I said it wasn’t 100 percent as brutal. I mean the last line of the song is  ” A fundamental flaw, a system overload of means without ends. We reap what we deserve” never to stray away from the blunt truth Netherton has a way of writing lyrics that have the same impact of getting punched right in the nose. Straight to the point, no filler or fluff, just right to the point without any sugar coating.  This is just the type of song you can listen to and get yourself warmed up for the rest of the album. At only two and a half minutes long, this track is simply the setup, a damn good set up at that. from a line in the booklet ” Truth sells, but who’s buying?”

Decline and Fall– Universal Truths rolls right into Decline and Fall, with rapid-fire blast beats, and a grinding riff that the listener will certainly appreciate. I find myself really digging the chorus of the song with the gang vocals in unison shouting “DECLINE AND FALL!” Misery Index do not use this style in all of their songs, but when they do there is this insatiable urge for the listener to join in. Similar to the track Traitors you just can’t help yourself because the song hooks you early and by the time the gang vocals begin you are feeling like you are at a Misery Index show and feeling that you are in the right place at the right time. Its not until the 3:00 minute mark that they slow things down, and then the groove begins where you find yourself nodding with enjoyment of the killer down tempo riff and vocals. This is one of the songs off the album, which will surely be a fan favorite.

The Choir Invisible- This is one of the tracks they released as a single, in the form of both a lyric video but also Adam Jarvis did a playthrough with Sickdrummer magazine. The set up feels like a classic M.I. set up, good drum and guitar into until the bass drum roll and then the vocals begin. If you aren’t hooked by the thirty second mark then you might not be a fan of metal. Because M.I. do not try to reinvent the wheel, they have a formula that works, and it works everytime. Its all in the sound and style they have solidified as their modus operandi.  Grinding guitars,  powerful blast beats, and vocals matched with lyrical content that is meant to have an impact. For one of the worlds best death grind bands, their lyrics are unconventional with typical metal. This is one of many of the songs on the album with that lyrical impact, if you don’t find yourself thinking about the words and what they mean. Then you are probably only interested in blast beats and fast tempos, not how powerful the song actually is behind the riffs and drums. Right around the 2: 17 mark they transition in to a menacing slow roll like a bulldozer chugging along and clearing everything in its path. Unrelenting power, with a criminally insane sound.  Right around the 3: 22 mark they grace us with a smooth guitar solo that can eclipse tech death shredders by using simplicity and the delivery is what makes it top notch for the listeners.

New Salem- Now here is a song that everyone living in the world today should be able to relate to. Again M.I. have thought behind their lyrics and are not designed for shock value, but are more thought provoking. This song was the first single they released, and a damn good single to premier the album with. It is one of the shorter songs, but packs a shit ton of grind and groove into it. when the vocals kick in the drums go right into a rolling battering ram. Guitars are grinding with that buzz-saw distortion and the song maintains a constant feeling of aggression and chaotic modern times. This is one of the most infectious songs they have put out to date in my opinion. I would not say it is my all time favorite M.I. song because lets face it they constantly raise the bar, but maintain their unique sound. If you’re looking for blast beats and guitar shredding, than this is a song for you. I challenge anyone to listen to this song and not move a muscle by the two minute mark. I know I cant help myself, I’m tapping my desk, playing the air drums and really enjoying the feeling this song provides. Like it or not, you will be amped up by the end of the song without fail.

Hammering The Nails- Now this is probably my favorite track off the album. The beginning is exactly what you have heard from previous albums. Simple but strong set up for the guitar to join in, and then the vocals kick in for the first verse. Just listening to the guitars with the vocals is absolutely infectious.  This also showcases what I have been saying about Adam Jarvis for years. The guy can play unwavering blast beats with power. Not a single “ping” from the snare because he missed his target or held back. Yet he also is not limited to blast beats like some drummers out there.  This song has a small amount of blasts and it shows his diversity on the drums. The drums compliment everything about this song perfectly, so much so, that if the song was riddled with blast beats it would not sound right at all. The guitars are top notch as well, the guitars at the :16 second mark lure you right into the first verse willingly and before you know it you are singing along to “Hammering the nails down! As we each die clinging to the lies that hold our world in place!” Good god almighty this is a Misery Index song that will appeal to everyone Misery Index fan or not. hands down this is one of my favorite tracks off the album, it has gotten the most spins and has the classic Misery Index feel I love. I am however wondering if its a slight play on words from their Compilation titled “Pulling Out The Nails”.

MiseryIndex_2018_HeidiStrengell_02.jpg

Rituals of Power- Alas, the title track of the album, and what a banger it is. The song is the embodiment death-grind, a sound that is beyond compare, paramount, so well blended that they never need to stray from that sound. The sound is like classic death metal and grind mashed through a meat grinder.  The intro with the guitars and drums really set up the pace of the song. They provide a menacing feel right up to the first vocalization on the mic. How can one listen to this track and not feel the power behind the instruments? The chorus alone has me feeling as if I am unstoppable. And I cannot control my urge to sing along; “With a concrete stare, RITUALS OF POWER! The dead eyes of the past, RITUALS OF POWER! Up to the gates of Armageddon RITUALS OF POWER! Until we’re all one with the dust, RITUALS OF POWER!”  It has an anthemic death grind feel about it, I never thought I would use those words together, but I’m not surprised that I was able to when writing about Misery Index. Transitioning around three minute mark, the song takes on a slower feel, with a simple and effective solo. It all blends in well to go back to that guitar solo before wrapping things up by looping back to the rhythm at the beginning of the song.

They Always Come Back- This song is so direct, they don’t pussyfoot around things on this track. It has a brief set up and they get right into the first verse rather quickly. Adam sets everything in motion with a snare bass pattern that welcomes the buzz-saw guitars and then the opening line “these bastards never die!” Like some of the previous tracks it features those gang style vocals we do not always expect from the M.I. crew, yet they are perfect. I would list this as one of the songs on the album, that breaks out of the mold from previous albums. Not a single blast beat that I could detect, slightly slower pace, and gang vocals, these are not typical of Misery Index. Nevertheless, I love it; they have not changed their sound at all, not one bit. They simply have adapted their delivery to correspond with the lyrical theme and the state of the world we find ourselves living in today. If you had told me 10 years ago, that Misery Index would put out a song with zero blast beats in it, I would have called bullshit. Because it was such a noticeable characteristic of  earlier Misery Index drums. However, it feels right, it absolutely feels right.

I Disavow- Many of you heard this track when they put out the single earlier in 2018; this I would say was a great track to have put out that early. In the beginning, the guitars whip up a grinding driving riff that sets up Adams blast beats in spectacular fashion. If the first ten seconds of this song do not hook you then either you are not using the right speakers/headphones or you are doing it wrong somehow. This paves the way for a cool melodic guitar solo around the 1:44 mark that is simple yet so perfect for the next phase around 2:10 when both guitars are syncopated and mesmerizing with a short shred fest before going right into that infectious driving rhythm from early in the song. Right around the 3:28 mark, they break down to a killer slow, punchy section that causes an unavoidable eruption of fist pumping,  headbanging destruction.

Naysayer- This is going to be that one chaotic blast beat filled track that is a fast paced whirlwind of grinding guitars. This is the only track that lyrical content was contributed by both Netherton and Kloeppel. That intrigues me, because there are not that many bands who have two people handling vocal duties, who both have a pretty closely matching style and delivery. Misery Index does, and that’s something I have always loved about this band. The vocals are on point, Jason and Mark don’t look for whats socially acceptable or popular for vocal styles. They just do their own thing, which together is a great blend of mids and lows. Together that vocal delivery fits the driving death-grind rhythm of this song perfectly.  This song is what i call the anchor track, every album Misery Index puts out, has a killer song at the end. its not always a fast song, or slow. it may or may not be riddled with blast beats, but the one thing that is consistent is the impact from the song. this is the shortest song on the album, and they jam pack this song with a ton of sound.  I challenge you to not move a muscle when you reach the 1:24 mark.  as it sets up this killer driving rhythm, no solos or anything just solid riffs and fast drums. there isn’t a single bland moment in the song. They pummel you with 210 beats per minute and never hold back.

As for the two cover tracks, all I can say is they do a killer job on them. I mean any cover Misery Index has done, has never been a disappointment. They have never half-assed a single thing these guys have ever done. I wont be reviewing these tracks as they are not Misery Index originals, but it is worth mentioning that they are killer renditions of two already awesome songs. Man Of Your Dreams has Rob Barret handling vocals which is such an interesting sound. to hear Misery Index the band play another bands song, with someone else doing vocals not in Misery Index, and not even growling vocals.  its pretty fucking cool to listen to.

In conclusion this album is a solid addition to the Misery Index catalog. It has a mature sound and great production quality. Yet one thing is for certain, I will never have the opportunity to say anything bad about this band. They have never provided that opportunity, and I feel there is a very good reason for that. For starters, the two guitarists Mark, and Darin.  Mark is such a well spoken individual with great talent, and killer vocals that compliment Jason’s vocals. He works for extreme management group and is one of the coolest cats you will meet. Darin is probably the quietest of the bunch and has some mystery behind him. However I have listened and have spoken to people from other death metal bands who have named Darin as the reason they got into metal. That he introduced death metal bands to them and if it wasn’t for Darin, they would not be where they are at today. Also worth mentioning a lot of those killer guitar solos you hear are Darin, and to watch him play on stage is like watching an athlete have the best game of their life. He comes alive on stage and after the show is over, he looks and acts like he had a great night. Almost as if he wasn’t the one on stage, but one of us in the crowd enjoying the show.  Adam, one of my all time favorite drummers. Adam is in a small handful of bands, frequently mentioned among Facebook groups for drums, and also appears on sites like SickDrummerMagazine. I will always point out that there are not always a need for blast beats. I love some hearty blast beat filled songs, but not all songs need them. And not all drummers are even good at them. but I find usually those are the “weak” sounding ones, like the drummer cannot maintain blasts for a long period, or there is little power behind the blasts so the sound is not consistent.  Adam’s blasts are just like regular blast beats, except that they have brute force behind them. I am always surprised by drummer who can deliver super sonic blasts, but always disappointed when they sound a little weaker and are less distinguished than the rest of the snare hits. Adam doesn’t hold back, and he doesn’t need to impress anyone with how fast he can blast, because whether they are rapid fire or not, the volume and intensity is the same. Consistency rings true with his drumming style. He is consistently accurate, fast, powerful and impressive. Not to mention all his other bands his style may change with the genre, but his consistency never does. And just like the rest of the guys, he is absolutely humble, and will talk to anyone who calls themselves a fan. Last but definitely not least is Jason Netherton, this is a name that every metal head should know. Not only a founding member of Misery Index, but also a founding member of Dying Fetus. He has been touring for about 23 years, and is a world traveler because of his music. He is also educated, not that it means typical metal band members are not. what I mean is, he’s not JUST educated, he has actually spoken at metal conferences. He is an icon, a death metal icon, yet the guy is one of the most humble people you will meet. Someone who has been in two major metal bands, written at least one book that I know of, and has spoken at a metal conference in Finland. One of the most business oriented, yet laid back and humble individuals I have ever met. When I think of a death metal supergroup I cant help but feel the need to put Misery Index in that bracket. This album is proof that they aren’t going to try and mix things up to appeal to more people. They aren’t about to change anything about their winning formula. Instead they are going to continue to raise the bar, tour the world, reach the masses, and make thought provoking death-grind like it has never been done before.  This album gets a 9/10 \m/ from me, hands down. If I said it was a 10/10 no one would believe me, but this is one of my favorite albums by them yet.  I had Heirs to Thievery in my car CD player for a solid 3 years without ever taking it out. I didn’t think any album would top that, until they put out The Killing Gods, and now Rituals Of Power takes Misery Index to the next level.

MiseryIndex_2018_HeidiStrengell_03.jpg

Find them on Facebook and give them a like to stay updated Misery Index

Or check out their website HEREhttp://www.miseryindex.com/

Pre-orders- Misery Index album and merch orders

 

 

-Badger \m/

Visit our FACEBOOK page \m/_(><)_\m/

http://www.badgersmetalbreakdown.com

Advertisements

The Devil’s Due- December 29th Barishi- Blood From The Lions Mouth- 9/10\m/

Barishi

Blood from the Lion’s Mouth

a1642208197_10.jpg

Released September 16, 2016

Sascha Simms

Graham Brooks
Jonathan Kelley

 Dylan Blake

 

Today is the day the devil came to us with “Blood From The Lion’s Mouth” by Vermont natives Barishi.  They give themselves a brand of metal they call gritty progressive metal. And there is no better name for what they sound like. I got a chance to see them in Peterborough NH at The Wreck Room with WRVTH and they fucking killed it. It was the first time I had heard these guys and I’m glad I went to that show. Because they are going to be making waves as more people take a listen to this album. The vocalist gets 10000% into his lyrics and the music. They put on an awesome show, and the music on this album is thick with groove and powerfully infectious vocals. They start out with Grave of the Creator and that track will hook you almost immediately. I really enjoy the direction they went with for the next track which happens to be the title track. It’s a bit of a slower paced song, but man they have this groove about their music. It will get you moving, it’s a mesmerizing brand of metal. It’s something you can listen to at any time and enjoy it, because it’s got really catchy rhythms and the vocals push a boundary not many cross. Sascha has this different persona when on the mic. The music washes over him and he connects on a different level and projects his haunting and raw vocals with a certain flow. Between Graham’s guitar and jobs bass they are on equal planes. Neither of them cancel the other out, they are perfectly blended and the tone is superb. Dylans drums are the final piece to the equation that makes this band a winning team. They have this style and it’s a raw, unfiltered progressive metal that you just don’t hear. They hail from Brattleboro, Vermont and really nailed it with this album. There are so many good tracks to call favorites and hard at the same time because each track has its own DNA and personality. Bonesetter is very much different from the title track. We love this album, it is one of our favorites of 2016 and you really should check this album out if you want to hear something cool and different, full of groove, and chilling raw vocals. 9/10 \m/

 

 

Here’s an older video but to give you and idea of the live shows.

If you like what you hear click here and grab this awesome album.

Check them out on FACEBOOK!

Photos –Morgan Day Photography

 

 

-Badger \m/

Visit our FACEBOOK page \m/_(><)_\m/
http://www.badgersmetalbreakdown.com

 

 

 

 

Hate Eternal : Infernus album review

This is a little album review I have done for the folks over at The Metal Syndicate

check it out

1: Locust Swarm

This track starts out with a solid death metal riff and blast beats. Great verse that has a good tempo, something you can move to.  A short guitar solo back in to the verse with lots of blast beats during the majority of the song. Vocals are on point, precise and clear. I am enjoying this track up to the chorus, a great track to listen to. Now the break down begins, it slows down; and has a punchy feel with some drum rollouts. The song continuously slows down in tempo giving it a brutal effect.  The song ends with a note ringing out from the guitar.

2: The Stygian Deep

As the song fades in it has a slower feel to it but only for about 30 seconds. That’s when things pick up, with the verse and the blast beats kick in hard. I do enjoy when the bass of a metal band can be heard and not drowned out. When we reach the chorus the vocal pattern mixes with the guitar riffs. Think of it here as a complimenting symbiosis if you will as they are not trying to experiment with anything. They seem to want to make death metal the way they want to do it with no outside influences. Straight up death metal…no chaser.

3: Pathogenic Apathy

This one has a nice little drum intro to start the song off, no fading in, no guitar riff; just a one bar drum intro. As the guitars come in, the song takes on a mid tempo feel.  Even when the verse begins, vocals come in and blast beats begin. Same feel to it and it maintains that same tempo; the few changes they make don’t seem to change the tempo so far. This is another song you can move to, be it head-banging or moshing. Pretty much whatever turns your crank… or wrecks it. The chorus has a loving feel to it as it has a menacing experience to it, I love that guitar riff. Three songs in and this album has yet to lose my interest. They don’t seem to be stepping out of their comfort zone by focusing on keeping the pace and the brutal feel to it.  This is a solid track, I like it.

4: La Tempestad

Instant blast beats with mean riffing to start off. When the vocals come in they are relentless. This is a song that will be cool to hear live. This is a driving, no holds barred death metal song that willing to cut down everything in its path. I like it; no frills, nothing flashy. This is just a killer track that cuts to the bone. This is one of those songs containing 100% intensity till the very end.

5: Infernus

The title track starts out with a guitar riff as well as some spoken dialogue. It actually reminds me of Johan Hegg from Amon Amarth. However the beginning is a bit drawn out for my liking. When the metal vocals do come in; they are joined by a heavier riff from the guitar and a slower paced vibe that somehow still remains brutal.  Right around the half-way point we witness a change of direction. We have nice little section of guitar riffing paired with drumming adding fills on every other bar.  As if this song wasn’t already a decent tune it then reaches a whole other level during the second half. This song is so bad-ass I find myself being violated by the repeat button. I wish the whole song was like this… brutal and more brutal.

6: The Chosen One

The addition of Chason on drums was a great choice. The way this song starts out has so much intensity, energetic and yet it is precise with no hint of any sloppiness. This may be the only track I don’t care for the vocals as much. This song really brings back that old school Florida death metal feel. But I just don’t care for the vocals on this track.

7: Zealot, Crusader of War

   The song starts out with some double bass rolling and a guitar riff; mid-tempo but not too fast or slow and chuggy. By the time the vocals come in the blast beats begin. The song is not bad, it just doesn’t really keep my attention. The chorus is rather enjoyable with mid section guitar riff at the half way mark is a nice classic solo. The change at the 2:50 minute mark takes on a different feel that I do not really care for. From that point on the song goes downhill.

8: Order of The Arcane Scripture

   This has a riff I can get into right away. The drums I can get in to also. The vocals are better on this track (so far). This album really brings back that Florida death metal feel, in many ways this album is enjoyable because of that. Hate Eternal was not conforming to the industry standards for this albums sound and style. They seem to be just doing what they know how to do. Make relentless metal for sport.

 9: Chaos Theory

  A quite unexpected start to this track as it doesn’t have that typical death metal feel, the groove is different. One minute into the song and no vocals; quick tempo for this song keeps it interesting. This seems to be an instrumental track and an impressive one at that. This is not a melodic “let’s mellow out for a moment” track. What we call a solid fast paced metal instrumental bliss. I am still tremendously enjoying this song as it ends well. The last hit on the bell of a cymbal was the icing on the cake if you will.

 10: O’Majestic Being, Hear My Call

  This song starts out with a cool effect. A talk box for the guitars or a pedal effect, either way they start this song off oddly for the first thirty seconds… that is until the drums come in with a short fill to hit us with a blast beats. The guitar riff that is playing is nothing intricate as it just flows well to a not so mind blowing capacity. When the guitar solo happens I feel as though the song changes for the better. It seems like it will finish up strong. Maybe not as strong as I expected but the second half of the song is still pretty solid and makes up for it.

   After listening to the cd, I can honestly say I have never been a huge fan of theirs nor have owned anything by them. I never thought they were that bad, just Hate Eternal is not my style of preference. I expected to listen to this and feel un-moved. From the day they released a track to stream, I wasn’t blown away. But, I must admit this album grew on me a little and for the better now that I’ve had the chance to get in a few more listens.
Mind blowing? No, but a solid no frills death metal album yes.

If you like what you see check out The Metal Syndicate online radio show, interviews, news and reviews \m/

also check out their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TheMetalSyndicate

and twitter page twitter.com/TheMetalSyndMtl

stay brutal friends

-Badger \m/
http://www.badgersmetalbreakdown.com