Misery Speaks

rating icon 6.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. First Bullet Hits
02. I Am Never Enough
03. Denial
04. Feathering Soil
05. Casted By Halo
06. Haven Still Waits
07. Hate Remains
08. Three Times Never
09. Where Truth Lies
10. Distortion Factor
11. Subject: Fear
12. All Bones Broken

Finding yet another way to work "misery" into a band name, Germany's MISERY SPEAKS lands its Alveran debut (after the independently released full-length "Things Fall Apart" and "Demo 2005" disc) and should make a medium-sized splash in scene waters with this self-titled album. The album's fundamental metalcore approach is injected with a healthy dose of Swedish melodic death/thrash. It is of course nearly impossible to release a work like this one and establish a true identity. Fortunately, there is enough here to warrant a basically positive review, as the band is quite good at what it does, even if the boys haven't exactly separated themselves from a sizeable pack of imitators.

There is no genre redefinition here, but the group does a decent job of combining solid songwriting with relatively dynamic arrangements. The familiar sounds aside, there are many opportunities to revel in the savage riffs of guitarists Stephan Gall and Florian F√ľntmann, and the relentless and nicely accented drumming of Janosch Rathmer. Lots of chugging guitar riffs and harmonies, as well as the gruff vocal style, are similar in feeling and style to any number of other German metalcore bands. Just like a number of other middle-tier metalcore albums, the disc begins to bog down a bit somewhere around the half-way point, which has nothing to do with a decline in quality, only a "been there, heard that" vibe. Songs like "First Bullet Hits" and "I Am Never Enough" are competently performed, as up-tempo pummel gives way to melodic chords and pace changeups. The album also features a few moments of lighter, somewhat atmospheric and melancholy fare, such as on "Denial", "Haven Still Waits", and the bulk of album-closing instrumental "All Bones Broken" in particular. Some tough, string-bent riffs and ominous chords meet otherwise speedy riffing to make "Feathering Soil" worthy of note. Even with the solid guitar work, punishing style, and firm command of melody, most of the tunes are similar in approach, resulting in vary degrees of success in making any one song stand out.

The album should please fan of the genre that want a product that is a bit above average, as well as immediately gratifying and familiar. It is too bad that one could do just as well, if not better, by purchasing albums from countrymen like NEAERA or MAROON. The disc is more than acceptable and very well played, but will likely get lost in the shuffle of a million other bands playing a similar style. Regardless, assuming you know what to expect, you probably won't be disappointed.

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