Released: 2012, Lifeforce Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Having the chance to review this album embodied me with a sense of excitement and optimism, as seeing the band name “Miseration” instantly reminds me of my idol within the metal scene; Miseration vocalist Christian Alvestam (Solution. 45, EX - Scar Symmetry). I have always associated him with a distinct level of class, along with a powerful vocal and general presence in the band, and with this effort, albeit not his finest hour, I was not disappointed. The band also incorporates Marcus Eriksson (Ex Evolution Hour) on guitar, sharing the duties with Jani Stefanovic (Ex Crimson Moonlight) who also joins Alvestam in Solution. 45. Providing the drums, to a massive extent, in this latest Swedish death metal effort is Oscar Nilsson.
June, 2012 saw Miserations third release “Tragedy Has Spoken”, released by Lifeforce Records. Having listened to the previous two albums frequently, reviewing this album has been very interesting, and to an extent quite fun, as I have been able to make comparisons in many different aspects. The trio of Miseration albums, after hearing Tragedy Has Spoken, has given me the impression of a math’s equation, for want of a better analogy. That is to say, for me, that Your Demons - Their Angels + The Mirroring Shadow = Tragedy Has Spoken. Indeed, Tragedy Has Spoken seems to be the progeny of it’s predecessors, tying together many loose ends I thought were present in previous releases. It’s heavier than their first and more beautiful than their second with some brilliant melodies and some memorable sections, all that combined with Christian’s crushing growls, which are at full force in this album, with a cheeky appearance of his classic clean vocals that do not detract from any heaviness or uniqueness the album may have.
The album wastes no time in getting started, the first track “Stepping Stone Agenda” would make an ideal alarm clock for those early birds in the morning, as it gives you approximately 5 seconds before you are crushed by Alvestam’s growls accompanied by every instrument erupting at once. It’s definitely a good start to the album, including a fantastic end staring around the 3 minute mark for you to enjoy.
The production and sound of this album is far superior to that of it’s first, which I thought was poor at best, but Tragedy Has Spoken has brought a complete sound to the band, meaning all aspects can be fully appreciated, much like Mirroring Shadow (only better). The bass guitar sounds incredible and is very prominent throughout the album, the guitars sound crisp, and the drums will melt your ears.
Track 2; Children of the Flames instantly became memorable, and I’m not sure why. It’s one of those songs that, although I didn’t like a great deal, it stuck with me and I have found this a couple of times in this album. Children of the Flames strikes me as average at best, repetitive vocals at times and the song almost sounds exactly the same all the way through until approximately 2 minutes 45 where it changes for about 20 seconds, yet somehow still memorable. Tracks 3 and 4 (Ghost Barrier and Ciphines) are two of the must listen to songs on the album, they incorporate so much melody and heaviness which take influences from the likes of Trivium and Devin Townsend. They both mix beauty and brutality (Beautality?). Ghost Barrier’s end is particularly technical, with what sounds like an erhu instrument, reminisce of the band Chthonic.
Hill of the Poison tree is the most forgettable song on the album, with no real melody and just seems heavy for the sake of it, this one is not as memorable as Children of the Flames. There is no real progression to the album, but it has a satisfactory flow and it will keep you on your toes with small cameos of soft melodic genius. These elements could have been more prominent, but then I fear it would have detracted from it being a death metal album, so I think in this case the Swedish metal heads have almost got it right.
An example of being kept on your toes is the track “On the Wings of Brimstone”, not what I expected at all, and what a fantastic song to stumble across. The track starts off at a steady tempo and even when it picks up you can tell it’s a very well thought track, without being heavy for heavy’s sake. The track also features Christian’s clean vocals in the biggest magnitude heard in the entire album which follow a repetitive mini breakdown that leaves you begging for more. I would say it was the best song on the album, but it’s difficult to say due to the contrast in styles on the album, but I’d say it was the non death metal favourite.
The latter three songs are definitely ones to listen to. White Light/Black Rain is very heavy indeed, with some amazing crunching, standout bass that will carve your ear drums apart (in a good way). Tomb of Tephra offers a steady groove with some dark, apocalyptic melodies which more than suits the name of the track. Definitely a track for those who like their dark metal, Christian’s vocals in this track are particularly excellent.
The final track is one worth waiting for, so if you happen to dislike the album for whatever reason, it’s worth listening to for the final track as it offers a perfect ending. The opening is very reminiscent of winter with a slow keyboard intro accompanied by a crushing riff and a chant that is likened to that of the band Leprous. The song is a slow burner, and this for me is what ending tracks are all about. Waylayer depicts emotion and brutality and is in excess of 6 minutes, whereas most of the others are confined to 3-4. Definitely one for the melodic metal heads.
What I love about this album is that it caters to the death metal fans and the melodic metal fans and maybe more. Overall I thought it was very well produced, beautifully structured album and, bar one or two disappointing songs, it was a great listen. Would I buy this album? Well, it’s payday tomorrow so yes, and I’d recommend it to any metal head, not on par with the genius of Scar Symmetry, but this is definitely, for me, Miseration’s best effort to date.
Review by Andrew May