Album Review: MISERY INDEX The Killing Gods
Mediocre death metal tears out a part of your soul that you can never reclaim. The past couple years deathcore attempted to breathe life into the genre, but ultimately fell into the same trappings of their forebears: repetition, piracy, repetition and repeat. This is not to say that there is no good death metal in the last ten years – there has been – but you have to really peel back the layers to find anything interesting and worth your time… most of you already know this.
Misery Index has stood in my collection as filler, a gap between bands that I truly loved and the total crap pile at the end of this desk. With the ability for your sister to release an album these days, underground and mainstream all tend to blend together. The music must cut through to its audience, notwithstanding stupid stunts and advertising from a label. Most bands don’t get noticed at all; even one started by ex-members of Dying Fetus that has even slightly mediocre elements fades into the fabric of noise.
In 2006, Misery Index caught my attention for the first time with their Relapse debut Discordia, but quickly faded into the memory for one or two songs that could be enjoyed more than three times. Their subsequent releases were all decent: Heirs to Thievery had some really great moments as we started to hear growth. Time warp to 2014, and with their lineup changes in the past we are now really beginning to hear what their founder Jason Netherton wants -hopefully – because the band have finally have found their stride.
Taking four years to craft, The Killing Gods will rape your ears like nothing Misery Index accomplished in their career. This record cohesively links their ideas and style throughout the entire album, a sound that is traditional but looks forward. Finally a listenable death metal record that has some of the bouncy bits of hardcore, grind and a dash of crust, but doesn’t sink itself by committing one way or another. Just when you think you might be getting stale on a riff, they throw something at you from left field.
Impressively heavy, expansive and loud… enough so to look up who actually recorded it: Scott Hull (Black Tusk, Pig Destroyer) and Steve Carr (Soilwork, Dying Fetus) both lend their chops to make this one of the heaviest records of the year, and possibly uncovering what Misery Index strove to become for over a decade. Much to their credit, as simple a mix as this genre may seem it's often done terribly, so to hear it correctly balanced is a pleasure.
The Killing Gods' sonic impressiveness only enhances the structure and attack of each and every song on the album, “The Calling” and the already released “Conquering the Cull” lead the pack to represent this album, but do take it in its entirety. After originally marginalizing this new album, you need to spend some time with it. I won’t attempt to analyze every song or describe in great detail a message, know that Misery Index has made a great album… one that death metal desperately needed right now.