Misgivings – Misgivings (Dolorem Records)

Monday, 27th June 2022
Rating: 7.5 / 10

What a long trip it’s been for French death metal band Misgivings to arrive at this self-titled debut album. Originating in 1991, they released four demos between 1994-2006, plus a split ten-inch vinyl with Drowning in 2017. Other bands have also been a part of the mix for the quartet, but perseverance wins in the end as this is a nine-track record chock full of blazing death metal that goes for the jugular and rarely relents – with some material going back as far as the 2001 demo.

Bludgeoning riffs and warp speed blast beats/kick action are the hallmarks of Misgivings approach – swarming passages that when taken down in transitions can be quite groovy in more of a controlled Slayer-esque way beyond the obvious Krisiun, Deicide, and early-Morbid Angel affinities. You feel the piles of guitars, bass, and drums crushing through the sonic atmosphere, while the sadistic growls and impassioned screams of bassist Esteban Martin match the obliteration of the musical components. At times the circular up and down melodic runs that appear for “Serenity in Shades” feel like turbulent comfort before the next aggressive death pummeling on “Supreme Regression” takes ahold. Occasional use of atmospheric ambiance, wah-wah pedal effects and whammy bar tricks (all present on opener “Deny the Divine Praise”) provide that extra dynamic layer for heightened stimulation as these gentlemen cut, thrust, and parry at inhuman levels to pulverize, sever, and maim all body parts. Violence, evil, and warfare topics fill the lyrical content, and the Chris Moyen artwork is another sheer brutal vision that mirrors what will come out of your speakers when pressing play. Favorites include the triplet/tremolo high octane interplay between drums and guitars for “Demonically Stigmatized” as well as the low Gregorian-like chants that transform into high tapping and evil chord supplementation during closer “Ancient Fear”.

We know plenty that subscribe to the brutal death metal school – and Misgivings certain epitomize that philosophy throughout this album. We’ll see how things evolve as they get more releases under their belt – as this is familiar territory to most that gets the job done.

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