Misery Inc.
Random End

I hate to gush about a potential record of the year so early in 2006, especially with albums from In Flames, Eyes of Fire, Thryfing, Bal-Sagoth and Skinless lurking on the horizon, buts it’s not just the sheer quality of Misery Inc’s sophomore effort, Random End that impresses me, it’s compressed by the fact it’s a genre I would not normally appreciate.
Finland’s Misery Inc ply a heavy metal/power metal based form of melodic death metal meets thrash meets Goth rock. It sounds like Europe crossed with fellow Fins Machine Men, Edge of Sanity and Sentenced and it’s really fucking good-trust me. It’s not to dissimilar to last years excellent debut from Swedish rockers Unchained, but has some gruff death metal growls and a more varied, Goth rock/thrash undercurrent delivered with more typically robust Finnish Guitar tone (Rapture, Slumber, etc). The clean vocals of Jules Näveri are of a perfect power metal/heavy metal tone wihtout being to high pitched or nasal, but then they are offset by the Swallow the Sun/Rapture like growls of Niko Mankinen; the balance and interplay is perfect with Mankinen chiming in during many of the choruses or just backing Näveri’s finely honed croon. It’s like some female fronted Goth rock vocal interplay, except with a dude instead of a whiny or operatic chick.
Musically, Misery Inc are a heavy metal band, but with just enough balls out material and deep vocals to occasionally fall into thrash and melodic death metal. Tracks like “Yesterday’s Grave”, “Source of Fatal Addiction”, “Greed Rules the World” and “Out of Here Alive” would be at home on the new In Flames record with their up tempo, layered guitar work, while, more traditional rockers/thrashers like opener “Hymn for Life” (despite its death metal opening salvo), “Fallen Rage”, “Apologies Denied”, “Truth” and “Cyanide” are gloomier, catchier and have painfully addictive choruses. Standout tracks like the moody “Further Deeper” (with its stout mid song groove and solo), the brilliant “No Excuse for Weakness” (with arguably the catchiest dual vocal chorus I’ve heard in a long time) are simply amazing displays of fine song crafting with a wide range of appeal that ooze quality and conviction-regardless of genre.
To their credit, despite their moniker, being Finnish and having remote stylistic links to Sentenced, Misery Inc never fall into the ‘woe is me’ style of rock or ballad trap instead keeping the album brisk, crisp and guiltily foot tapping and hum-able. The end result is a thoroughly enjoyable album that breaks Firebox’s doomy mold and delivers one of 2006 early standout.
Now if they can just get the album artwork to match the quality of the music….

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
January 24th, 2006

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