Misery Index – Rituals of Power (Season of Mist)

Friday, 1st March 2019
Rating: 8.5/10

With Misery Index’s last album, The Killing Gods, it was clear that there was a shift in the band, from the usual death/grind into something more deathly (and with more melody). With a four year wait in between, it’s quickly evident that the band was intent on one-upping themselves and further progressing their sound. Sure, it’s still Misery Index through and through, but subtle tweaks here and there assure it’s also one of their finest and most memorable moments to date.

While the band’s inclinations towards a more death metal driven sound continue, they haven’t forgotten about the grind, and aren’t afraid of trying to spread their wings further without dismantling their quickly identifiable sound. It’s a clever combination, with much of the grindcore elements going back to drummer Adam Jarvis’ performance (check out the ripping “Decline and Fall”) and it keeps a visceral edge to the music. Misery Index is just as pissed off as they have always been, and the different avenues they venture down keep things perpetually moving forward. From the bits of hardcore influence on “The Choir Invisible” (complete with a killer gang chorus), the modern grooves of “New Salem,” to the explosive and grind-y “Naysayer,” it all wraps up into a brutal yet memorable package. The album’s biggest highlight has to be that of the massive title track, which has an epic feeling to it along with some monstrous riffs/hooks and melodies without sacrificing heaviness in the least. With a punchy 36-minutes in total, they have also effectively trimmed all of the fat and keep nothing but the good stuff intact.

Loaded with venom from both a musical and lyrical stance, Misery Index continue to do what they do best. There’s a reason why Misery Index is viewed in pretty high regard when it comes to extreme music, and it’s partly due to their ability to stay just as decidedly heavy while continuing to advance their sound. Rituals of Power stands as proof of their continued conquest, and their dedication to providing a vicious experience that will resonate.

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