Saturday, June 5, 2010

Initial Impressions: Misery Index: Heirs to Thievery

From the slower-paced pagan black metal of Poccolus to the hyperfast death/grind of Misery Index. I'm not a fan of grindcore in its pure form. The genre is more of a very fast, distorted harcore and not really metal. However, at some point in the late 1980's, grindcore bands began incorporating thrash and death metal influences. Napalm Death, Carcass, and Bolt Thrower were three of these bands, and they were wildly influential on a developing niche in grind. Here we have one of the best such bands currently going, Baltimore's Misery Index.

These songs are all very short and very fast shards of brutality. That band is very political, as one can probably guess based on their name, and features ex-members of the pioneering slam band Dying Fetus. Their sound is similar to Dying Fetus, without falling into the slam side of things.

Misery Index is focused on brutality, there is very little room for slowing things down and providing melody. Although there is the occasional melodic guitar solo, such solos are usually short and over in the blink of an eye. Nevertheless, the band is extremely competent at their craft and very good songwriters. Many of these songs will stick with the listener long after the album is over.

As mentioned, this band is political, and they are angry as hell about the state of the world and they're going to force that issue. This is angry music and the lyrics reflect that anger. The riffs are razor-sharp and accompanied by thunderous drumming and Sparky Voyles's authoritative shouted vocals.

I started listening to this band a year or so ago and am very impressed with them. As mentioned, I don't listen to a lot of grindcore, but I do make an exception for well-crafted death/grind. Misery Index is clearly at the top of that genre at this point. This album further proves that fact.

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