I’ll be the first guy to admit, I’ve never been a sworn fan of the known Baltimore fellas, Misery Index. Yes, I did like their face bashing style of death metal/grindcore that always sounded to me like the bastard child of Napalm Death and Dying Fetus topped with a modern hardcore-esque cherry. The last album I listened to, if not considering the older material, was probably “The Killing Gods” some eight years ago or so. Over the course of time since then, the band put out another full-length album, and a plethora of smaller releases that I couldn’t keep up with.
2022 sees the release of “Complete Control” that on one hand caught me by surprise (in a positive way) and at the same time felt like a kick in the balls (in a positive way, too, I guess).
Know what makes me a happy camper, too? No unnecessary intros. Know what the band did? Not that. Instead, “Administer the Dagger” not only opens up the album but the listeners ear drums as well, as it builds itself up from a slow, almost monotonic tune into an angry, well-paced neck breaker that relies on the melodic (yes, I’ve said it) guitar works of Darin Morris and Mark Kloeppel, that are putting some brilliant performance, giving most of the songs a layer that not only distinct them from the bands earlier material, but also from one another, thus taking the band’s known hands-on formula and fine tunes it to a point that it just works damn well throughout the album. The foot doesn’t leave the pedal and on the contrary, pulls the engines abilities even more with “The Eaters and the Eaten” and takes up the album into a spiraling raid of speed and aggression.
The 3:40 minute banger by the name of “Necessary Suffering” sounds almost completely different from the solo-driven title track, for example, or from the blast-beast monstrosity that is “Rites of Cruelty.” It doesn’t sound too complicated to achieve when you’re reading it here, sure, but it actually is, considering the musical borders of a band like Misery Index are pretty much there to stay, and the American foursome aren’t planning to go experimenting too much with their music.
Having said that, who the hell needs experimenting with unknown territories when one’s neck is on its way to break during the latter parts of the album? The rhythms that bombers such “Infiltrators” or “Now Defied!” unleash, are almost as aggressive as their (anti) political message and as ever, if you’re looking for a release that is not critical of today’s society, better skip this one.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a long-time fan of the band of you’re just looking to enrich your library of damn good death metal albums. “Complete Control” will smash you through 33 minutes and you’ll (probably) like most of it. It is nothing you never heard in the past and it is indeed very much a culmination of everything Misery Index did up until this point, but it is in no way recycled or boring, so check it out.
Release Date: May 13 2022
Label: Century Media Records
- Administer the Dagger
- The Eaters and the Eaten
- Complete Control
- Necessary Suffering
- Rites of Cruelty
- Conspiracy of None
- Reciprocal Repulsion
- Now Defied!