Misery Index
Discordia

Armed with a shiny new deal with Relapse and riding acclaimed criticism of their self released Dissent EP, which hinted at a legendary follow up to the scene shaking Retaliate, Misery Index appear ready to conquer the extreme metal world…Then why is it that Discordia underwhelms me? Why am I mildly disappointed? Did Retaliate and Dissent set the bar too high? has the addition on two relative unknowns from the hardly thriving St Louis metal scene (guitarist Mark Knoeppel from Cast the Stone replaces Dying Fetus/Covenance veteran Bruce Grieg from Dissent and drummer Adam Jarvis of All Will Fail, replaces the underrated Matt Byers and legend Kevin Talley), set the band back? I don’t know and I can’t put my finger on it.

What is for sure is that the melody that surfaced on the Dissent EP with tracks like “Exception to the Ruled” has not been fleshed out as I expected, instead Misery Index seems far more content to be even more of a Nasum, Napalm Death, Kill the Client, Phobia like grind band. Now, for those that loved the Overthrow and pre Retaliate splits, Discordia might be a welcome return to a more streamlined grindcore attack, but personally Misery Index have joined the regular grindcore pack rather than stand out from it. That being said, in its own right, Discordia is a powerful, no frills album and is a power chord laced, blasting, vaguely technical grindcore effort full of socio-political ranting from Jason Netherton all wrapped up in tight, vitriolic and seething structures.

However, the slight death metal lean from Retaliate seems gone as well the solos that appeared on Dissent as only “Sensory Deprivation” really delivers some grind breaking solo work that stands out. Anyways, this review is turning more into a personal rant which is a shame because Discordia does its thing well and is a better grindcore album than say Cruel or Escalation of Hostility; tracks like”Conquistadores”, “Breathing Pestilence”, “Meet Reality”, “Dystopian Nightmares” and “Pandemican” are feral, snarling bursts of razor sharp aggression, but I preferred more pace breaking, varied tracks like “The Medusa Stare”, the aforementioned solos of “Sensory Deprivation” and the dirge-a-riffic title track which would have sounded much better with Dissent’s far fuller production.

What ultimately cements my very slight disappointment is the lack of fanfare this album is getting. I’m not saying I’m right, but remember the hullabaloo over Retaliate and even the hard to find Dissent? That seems missing for Discordia, even with the Relapse hype machine and it was released a month ago.

Anyways, reviews are the opinions of one person and I could be completely wrong, so go buy Discordia, make up your own mind and let me know how wrong (or right) I am on the message board..

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 16th, 2006

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