Review: Misery Index

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Misery Index
“Retaliate”
(Nuclear Blast)

Misery Index seems to extend one musical hand back towards the old days of thrash hardcore, plucking their sound from all the sub-Anthrax & Prong acts out there at the time (Forced Entry) that were never really good enough to be signed in the first place, while clutching with the other hand firmly at the heart of somewhat more modern day death metal/grindcore acts like Morbid Angel, in particular, and perhaps Kataklysm as another example.  They play mostly in the latter arena utilizing seriously hideous sounding blast beats that never quite seem to be in time or serving any good musical purpose.  Many guitar riffs pack quite a crunchy punch when they’re not being strangled or attempting to out pace the drums, and it’s these relatively relaxed moments on the album where the guitar player shines through.
The production on the tom drum is severely distracting since it sounds like somebody beating on a damp sack full of gutted, petrified cats.  The vocalist is one of your average death metal fellows who sounds like a gorilla attempting to deep throat King Kong.

I just checked out this triumvirate’s bio-sheet and discovered what I expected to be true: this is their sophomore release and the guitar player is the most experienced fellow of the bunch having done string strumming duties in the amazing Fear of God and the “oh-whatever” M.O.D. as well as Dying Fetus.  No surprise there, however.