Une Misère – Sermon (Nuclear Blast)Friday, 25th October 2019
Seeing an increasing crop of younger acts that deftly blur the lines between hardcore and metal has brought about some new potential to the scene. Given the more grounded in reality type ethos of hardcore and bringing a more metallic fury to it, it lays a schematic for something that can be both entirely aggressive yet still poignant. Something that also works as a description for Icelandic act Une Misère on their first full-length, Sermon.
No doubt about it when you hit play, Sermon delivers a visceral gut-punch. 34-second track “Grave” is just long enough to make a few heads roll, as will the mid-tempo groove and chug of “Spiral” and “Failure.” With just tracks like these, it would be enough to get some folks interested in the band due to the sheer rage that they can bring about. But Une Misère is about more than simple fury. There’s a mood, and moments of introspection and melancholy that infiltrate a number of the tracks and it really does help bring the band to a higher level. “Overlooked/Disregarded” is the first to really pop out in this method. A lumbering and remorseful feeling opens up the first minute or so of the track before it takes off into blastbeat-driven rage. The same melancholy and isolation fuels the album’s most affective track, “Fallen Eyes,” which switches on a dime from gloom to anger, even if some of that glum atmosphere carries over in some of the later melodies in the song.
An album with more depth than it may initially appear, Une Misère give an honest and emotive take on both hardcore and metal with Sermon. They deliver plenty of groove and energetic speed for those who want the aggression the combination can provide, but with the lyrics and augmented mood of the music, you end up with something that is going to make a much greater lasting impact than just that of its riffs.