The Mirroring Shadow

Written by: AB on 29/12/2009 16:01:36

Back-log clearing time. Miserations new album, "The Mirroring Shadow", has been smiling at me for a good 2 months from the top of my 'to do' pile, and being in a Christmas mood and all I thought I finally should indulge them. After a (really small) bit of research, I gather that Miseration is supposed to be some sort of death metal playing Swedish super group, maybe, I think, like Bloodbath (which is not really a good thing, considering how sub-super Bloodbath is for a super group). After yet another really small bit of research, I discover that the band members of this supposed super group have been in a bunch of random no-name Swedish metal acts (melodeath I presume) - the only bands I recognize is Scar Symmetry and Inevitable End. Seeing as Inevitable End deals in brutal, fast, slightly technical death metal, and Scar Symmetry deals in shit, I have no idea of what this would sound like, though I obviously have my fears.

After a tiny bit of extra research (if you can't tell, I love researchin') I work out that Miseration's 2007 debut was a piece of generic, forgettable melodic death metal album, and that doesn't exactly heighten my expectations. Surprisingly though, on first listen "The Mirroring Shadow" is miles better than expected - instead of playing unimaginative melodeath, Miseration play unimaginative death metal. I luckily can't discern any Scar Symmetry influences, however, it is clear that Miseration shares two members with Inevitable End. "The Mirroring Shadow" sound like a less brutal, technical, interesting, energetic, chaotic, fast, varied "The Severed Inception". "The Severed Inception" wasn't a great album, but it was a good one, with quite a lot of variation (within the rather narrow confines of its genre), and it managed to be interesting or impressive throughout - the same can't be said about "The Mirroring Shadow". This is from the boring, neutered branch of (extreme) metal, and the only feeling I get from listening to this, is that the band wanted to play death metal for the sake of playing death metal. Which is not good enough.

Don't get me wrong though. It is not bad. It is just boring. The guys know how to handle their gear; the growls are not of the pussy-Scar Symmetry variety, the drums are blasting, there's even some almost good solos scattered about, and they play around with a little bit of different stuff every once in a while (small acoustic bit in the end of "Sulphury Sun"; a little 'march'-feeling in "A Trail Blazed Through Time"; the layered sound on the title track). However, they don't know how to write a song to save their own lives, and I can honestly say that I forget every single song as soon as the album has ended (I had to take notes to be able to mention the small slightly interesting bits; I never take notes). As seem to be the result for many of my reviews these days, the verdict is; competent, but forgettable.


Download: The Mirroring Shadow, Theca
For the fans of: Inevitable End
Listen: Myspace.com

Release date: 16.11.2009
Lifeforce Records

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