Misery Index – The Killing Gods (Season of Mist)

Wednesday, 4th June 2014
Rating: 8.5/10

Misery Index has been synonymous with consistency since their birth in 2001.  It has been a while since they have released a new album though, four years to be exact.  Watching the band tone down the grind over the years has kept things interesting for the band, and allowing them to avoid having each new album sound as a retread of the last.  Sure, there has been a trademark stamp that defines Misery Index, but their subtle shift towards more straight-up death with the past few albums have given them some breathing room.

The most noticeable change to Misery Index on The Killing Gods is that of melody.  With the lessening of the grindcore element, there is an experimentation with melodies that has reared its head with striking results.  The first five songs actually connect together conceptually as a story of Faust, with a very melodic lead kicking off “Urfaust” that is sure to capture your attention.  There is a nice injection of atmosphere (without getting in the way of the brutal riffs of course) with “The Oath” and again with the opening to the title track that also helps to keep things from operating solely on the formulaic death metal schedule.

Alongside the melodic injections of The Killing Gods, the sheer amount of groove on each song will make sure you don’t forget a track (always a needed plus with death metal).  Some of the standout grooves include “Colony Collapse,” “Conjuring the Cull,” and “Sentinels.”  Impressively, the amalgamation of melody, groove, and punishing death metal riffage (not to mention the leadwork) keep the exposed teeth of their previous efforts with all of their bite.  Don’t expect anything watered-down here.

It’s easy to claim The Killing Gods as the most complete and thoroughly enjoyable outing from Misery Index to date.  While the initial melodic tendencies may throw some old timers for a loop at first, they make it pretty easy to come around to their point of view when the sheer heaviness factor tosses itself in at full force (e.g. “The Calling”).  This is one case where a four-year simmering period has truly reaped some solid benefits.

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