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Misery Index
July 2006
Released: 2006, Relapse
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Madman

8 CD releases and yet this is only Misery Index’s second full-length album. This is the way of grind. Most that are at least somewhat up to date with the modern death/grind scene know who Misery Index is but those who may not know will find a band that takes the modern death/grind approach and perfects it to the point that the sound has simply reached its apex.

For some a drawing point may be the bands ties to Dying Fetus (bassist/vocalist Jason Netherton and guitarist Sparky Voyles former band) but the real kicker here is the music. Misery Index play aggressive death/grind with impressive accuracy. The band is able to craft this extreme music with a certain sense of musicality that will not be lost on the listener. Everything sits in the right place with a certain amount of melody and mosh breaks that work within the context of the song. Not to mention every riff is easily discernable, which may lead some to think the band is somewhat “dumbed down” but in all seriousness, the band just knows how to write good music.

Musically the ties to Dying Fetus are strong but there is a much stronger punk mentality found in some of the music than in DF. A good example would be the opening of track 5, “Meet Reality”, with its fast open chord riff and simple melody thrown overtop before moving into some impressive blast sections. It’s quite possibly this punk element to the music that keeps things discernible and more enjoyable than a lot of other bands playing the style who go over the top in extremity for the sake of being extreme.

The albums opening track, “Unmarked Grave”, perfectly exemplifies Misery Index at their best. It opens with blast beats though quickly calms down for the vocals so that things don’t become too over the top. There’s even a section that reminds me of crossover in its execution. A lot of it is mosh worthy and not in a bad way. “Conquistadors” yet again opens up with blasts but quickly sets into a certain groove mixed with some powerful drumming that completely takes over, alternating beats, overpowering fills and some strong cymbal work really push the song just that extra inch, especially during the “slower” (by comparison) sections. “The Medusa Stare” though being a bit more groove oriented is much more abrasive in its approach than some of the other songs on the album. Misery index pull out pinch harmonics and squeals here and there to help create a very antagonistic approach.

The rest of DISCORDIA is just as interesting and impressive as death/grind can be and coming from someone who is definitely not a fan of grind whatsoever, consider this a supreme compliment. This is grind for the masses, if there ever could be such a thing.
Track Listing

1. Unmarked Graves
2. Conquistadores
3. Outsourcing Jehovah
4. Breathing Pestilence
5. Meet Reality
6. Sensory Deprivation
7. The Medusa Stare
8. Dystopian Nightmares
9. Discordia
10. Pandemican


Jason Netherton - Vocals, Bass
Sparky Voyles - Guitar
Mark Kloeppel - Guitar
Adam Jarvis - Drums

Next review: » Misery Index - Heirs to Thievery
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