Misery Signals

Of all the big metalcore releases this year, the sophomore album from Misery Signals was arguably my most anticipated, however with the superb, similarly styled debut from Rosesdead basically stealing some of this bands thunder, I was wondering how Mirrors would stack up in the melodic, layered and emotional metalcore sweepstakes. It stacks up just fine.
Personally, the charged and layered tones of Misery Signals (who themselves are formed from the ashes of 7 Angels 7 Plagues), Life In Your Way, Rosesdead, Sleeping By The Riverside and to some extent Shai Hulud, is my favorite form of metalcore and Misery Signals do it perfectly.
Despite losing vocalist Jesse Zaraska and his tragic history, his replacement Karl Schubach has basically the same emotive roar and occasional clean/spoken word tone. Musically, the band is still capable of writing immensely layered and complexly melodic riffs and at time truly draining moments of soaring yet emotionally weighted harmony. Want proof ? Listen to the opening bars of “The Failsafe” and tell me your heartstrings aren’t twanging like Steve Harris’ bass. Want draining, thoughtful melody and vocal lines? Try “Post Collapse”, “One Day, I’ll Stay Home” and “Anchor” or for dreamy acoustic bliss and vocal angst listen to the painfully brief “Migrate”. For more orchestrated yet thunderous tones, check out the still soaring “Something Was Always Missing, But It Was Never You”, “Reverence Lost” and “Mirrors”. This band just effortlessly delivers mesmerizing, shimmering metalcore beauty on a whim and hits you with tangible emotion every single time (i.e. “Sword of Eyes”). Heck, the band even flirts with vast -like expansive sounds for “An Offering to The Insatiable” and manage to make it work with their own distinct sound.
Everything on Mirrors is bigger and better than Of Malice and the Magnum Heart (itself one of my favorite metalcore albums); the packaging, the production, the riffs, the density etc. The only thing that was missing to these ears was the sense of tragedy that permeated that album due to Zaraska’s lyrics about the car wreck that took a band mate’s life. While still draining, Mirrors on the surface sounds a bit more uplifting.
Unless the Life In Your Ways forth coming Solid State debut, just blows me away, or Shai Hulud’s return is as good as their last album, Misery Signals is the current cream of the metalcore crop.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
September 7th, 2006


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