Misery Signals


Written by: PP on 26/12/2020 15:30:49

One of the casualties of metalcore falling out of favour around the 2010s was Misery Signals. After having released a couple of genre classics in "Mirrors" and "Controller", the band all but disappeared, only releasing "Absent Light" in 2013. Common to all three was vocalist Karl Schubach, whose charismatic, powerful growls catapulted the band into critical and fan acclaim, but already on the latter album, the genre was slowly taking another turn towards the melodic hardcore styled releases by bands like The Ghost Inside and Hundredth, and elsewhere, towards the melodic metalcore of Bury Tomorrow and Architects, so the band slowly declined in popularity.

On the fifth album "Ultraviolet", they've replaced Karl with original vocalist Jesse Zaraska, who also growled on the debut album "Of Malice And The Magnum Heart" in 2004. The result is unfortunately not good. Zaraska's growl is a lot more monotonous and unvaried, leaving behind an impression that Misery Signals is unwittingly trying to copy Shai Hulud, albeit to not much success. The songs on "Ultraviolet" are disappointingly anonymous, with standard chugging and predictable breakdowns dominating the soundscape. Gone are the interesting polyrhythms and hauntingly beautiful passages, replaced by more conventional songwriting that makes the record sound like it's about 15 years too late to the party.

It does have its moments: "Sunlifter" is melodic and powerful, and "Through The Vales of Blue Fire" is a wave of crushing, yet awe-inspiring melody where Zaraska's oomph finally comes into good use. "Old Ghosts" is pretty good too with the guitar licks taking it over on the good side for this writer.

The problem, however, is that overarchingly, "Ultraviolet" is boring. It sounds derivative, uninspired, and so average compared to the best bands in the genre right now that it hurts. Is it surprising? Hardly. It's not like the band's debut is particularly good - and replacing a great vocalist with an average one isn't going to do your expression much good. Meh.


Download: Sunlifter, Through The Vales of Blue Fire, Old Ghosts
For the fans of: August Burns Red, Shai Hulud, Your Memorial, Veil Of Maya
Listen: Facebook

Release date 07.08.2020

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