Misery Index – Complete Control (Century Media)

Friday, 20th May 2022
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Hard hitting Baltimore act Misery Index are well established for their death metal and grindcore style. Two decades deep into existence, their seventh full-length album Complete Control sees the quartet signing with Century Media, issuing a nine-track platter of obliteration as confident purveyors in mixing brutality and thought-provoking subject matter (this time around: control and chaos of contradictory forces in the modern age). Between the dual vocal approach for bassist Jason Netherton and guitarist Mark Kloeppel plus the treasure trove of riffs, tempos, and shifting measures at their disposal, it’s quite evident that the band lay down some sick material sure to exhilarate, annihilate, and infiltrate every crevice available to brain and body matter.

Veteran musicians in these styles know when to place the controlled hooks to counterbalance the full-throttle blasting and tremolo-picking sections. Check out the mid-tempo riff assault and tasty lead break next to the tribal-like drum fills of Adam Jarvis during the title track that quickly rises to mandatory, must hear elevation upon first pass – intertwining aspects of classic Sepultura against Napalm Death. Never fear, those who love the maniacal inhuman BPM’s and speedy picking will go bananas over “The Eaters and the Eaten”, as numerous passages hurl Morbid Angel/Suffocation-like intensity in a semi-galloping twist. The hardcore aspects to “Infiltrators” also make this a back half highlight, the circular guitar runs and forceful vocals penetrating with the right groove transitions put through the Misery Index death metal lens. The clarity of vocals delivered in a deadly, discernible manner proves that you can be aggressive without compromising your ideals – check out “Necessary Suffering” and “Reciprocal Repulsion” for intelligent thoughts to process against a serious swirl of musical components sure to slay anyone who dare stand in their path of destruction.

Economical at 33 minutes, Complete Control continues to allow Misery Index the opportunity to stretch their death/grindcore style into some hardcore and slightly catchier territory without sacrificing one iota of credibility or pandering to pressures of soften their approach.

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