Legendary metalcore band Misery Signals is back with their first new full length album since 2008’s Controller. After 5 years the band sounds just as tight and furious as they did on their brilliant debut, Of Malice and Magnum Heart. In that time the band has changed some things up including producing the album themselves but they did enlist Steve Evetts to use his expertise to mix the album. This is return album feels like a return to form.
The album starts off as a slow burn with “A Glimmer of Hope”. It is a fantastic intro with a nice build up. The song references a dissolution of a relationship. The screams of lead singer, Karl Schubach over some strings and a solitary riff as the song builds up is awesome. When he screams, “I don’t blame you. We all give up eventually,” It is crushing.
The intricate guitar work kicks in with heavy but interesting riffs on the second track, “Luminary”. The interplay of guitarists, Ryan Morgan and Greg Thomas is neat to hear. This song talks about the loss of a mentor, “All that they promised you will drag you down under the sea. Stay what you are to me. I’m losing you.” As you can tell from the first two songs this album will be heavy lyrically and musically.
“Reborn (An Execution)” is one of my favorite songs on the album. I love the lyric, “Eyes agaze that cannot know, what was written in my heart. You are the only one.” I also love the bridge of the song and its strings. It is quite lovely. “Never again will she see a sunrise awakening over a world unbroken.” These words start off the heartbreaking song, “Carrier” features Matthew Mixon of 7 Angels 7 Plagues. It seems to talk about the inability to feel safe after being violated.
“Shadows and Depth” kicks off with a really heavy riff. This song talks about the hypocrisy of religious people that use their faith as weapon to judge others. “Know that those who walk closest to the light are often left blind.” That line is both clever and wise. This song is also just one showcase of the immense talents of drummer Branden Morgan. I think the line, “To bring warmth, we must set this world to flame. Watch as the cruel dictators of morality choke on ash and cinder,” is harsh but the point is well taken. Everyone should focus on their own morality instead of everyone else’s. The breakdown that follows those merciless vocals is pretty cool as well.
“Lost Relics” featuring Todd Mackey of With Honor talks about those who profit by subjecting and oppressing others. It calls these people relics and says, “Those who stand proudly on the wrong side of history, mark my words, your time will come.” The anger in the lyrics comes across in the fury of the song to great effect.
Drummer Branden Morgan and bassist Kyle Johnson drive the rhythm of the track, “Two Solitudes”. It is heavy and pulsing. Morgan keeps it up with his excellent drum work on the track, “Departure” layering it with intricate fills. Karl Schubach sounds like a vocal tornado tearing through the song too. The song, “The Shallows” seems to be talking about stripping away all of the extra stuff in life to get to the truth, “Wash it all away, this replica, wash it all away. We reveal only truths that we have chosen.”
There is the use of some clean vocals on “Ursa Minor”. It stands out but in a good way as a nice change of pace. There is some extreme riffing in this tune as well. It feels like a nice mix of melody and heaviness. This song is about navigating through life over what can sometimes be seas of sorrow and oceans of difficulty, “No lantern, no compass, no map to be found. We set sail against the sorrow.”
The album’s closer, “Everything Will Rust” featuring Fredua Boakye of Bad Rabbits, starts off subdued. This line seems to sum up the band’s pathos and their reason to return here, “Hoping to leave my mark, a message to my heir.” This statement speaks to the lasting legacy of this band what they seek to create in the future, excellent metalcore.
Misery Signals has made a great return album that effectively picks up where they left off but also improves on their formula of melodic metalcore. The band sounds just as tight as they always have and there is a sense of urgency and energy in all of the songs.