Fifteen Years of Aggression

Heralded as “the new breed of heavy” by guitarist/producer Joey Z, Misery’s Fifteen Years of Aggression should deliver the goods. Technically. While the band is undoubtedly heavy, the tried-and-true brand of metal that they play is anything but original. This is your typical metal/hardcore hybrid, the kind of music that local bands play each weekend to people who will dance to anything when they’re drunk.

Misery is by no means a bad band; the group is actually quite tight musically. Fifteen Years… has its share of aggressive breakdowns, needle-sharp starts and stops, and an overall sense of quality in musicianship. Now, this is a good start for most bands. With Misery, this is definitely not the beginning: this is all that ever was and most likely all that will ever be. You don’t release an album called Fifteen Years of Aggression and then turn around the next day and change your core sound. Misery’s delivery of this style of metalcore (in its most traditional, grassroots sense) is skilled, but unfortunately, they aren’t playing songs you haven’t heard in one form or another from a different band with the same agenda. There’s nothing overly unique about songs like “Bloodsample” or “Save You,” let alone the rest of the tracks on this album. “I’m Inside” has a clean-sung chorus that drops the band into nu-metal territory, and the childishly whiny “I Hate Your Face” certainly doesn’t do anything to bulk up the band’s credibility.

Some of Misery’s songs show promise, and some don’t. More often than not, the band’s musical prowess overshadows its ideas. One really just needs to take a look at the song titles to understand what he or she is getting into with Fifteen Years of Aggression. There is a market for this type of tough-guy metal, and the band surely has a brutal following in their home state of New York, which is fine; the U.S. still needs these kinds of bands around. But the album doesn’t do much for those of us who prefer our music to be less formulaic and a little more, dare I say it, intelligent.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jodi Van Walleghem
July 17th, 2009


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