Miserist - Miserist review


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Band: Miserist
Album: Miserist
Release date: February 2017

01. Skin, Mold & Flame
02. Miserist
03. VIII
04. Horror Infinitum
05. Lung Rust
06. Narikuntu

You know the types of albums, the very serene and uplifting ones, that really overpower you with such an amazing sense of inner peace, and almost make you feel as though you're floating majestically on a quiet cloud? Yeah, definitely don't listen to Miserist if you're looking for such an experience.

Au contraire, my enjoyers of enthralling extremities, the Australian Miserist is, quite simply, the kind of band that makes you feel like you need to turn on the night light while listening, conjuring thoughts of horror, misery, and personal isolation. The (instrumental) fusion of black and death metal offered up on their debut EP is nothing if not interesting, providing enjoyable transitions between realms of all out fury (see the title track) as well as more downtempo, agonizing moments embellished by a very curious sense of atmosphere ("VIII," "Lung Rust"). I have seen the band labeled (by themselves and others) as "experimental death metal," and while I wouldn't call this music crazy or forward thinking to the point of bands like Chaos Echoes or Plasmodium, it certainly is unique to the point of differentiation from a good majority of other death metal bands out there right now.

Where Miserist's EP really falls short, however, is the lack of vocals. In a way I think this band might have been looking to boost up their "experimental" factor by choosing to go without them, but while this might work in theory, in application it sort of makes the music devoid of that extra oomph it needs to be that much more furious and maniacal. Don't get me wrong, instrumental metal is certainly not a bad thing, but overall I think it works better with areas more inclined towards extended instrumentation and a low vocal presence to begin with, like stoner, post, folk, etc. Here it just feels as though, although the music isn't bad, it's really missing out on something with those vocals. It almost makes me think of listening to a band like, say, Primitive Man, without a monster like Ethan McCarthy fronting. Such an experience would probably still be quite good, but certainly not as good.

Nevertheless, the Miserist EP drops hints of several things that are good signs for a young band in its infancy: sound variation amongst the tracks, songwriting with a fine attention to detail, and a good habit for building mood and atmosphere as it progresses. While it could use some refinement, there's definitely more good going on here than bad, and Miserist may thus end up being a good band to keep an eye out for in the future, simply to see how they evolve if for no other reason.

Suffocate thyself.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8


Written on 08.04.2017 by Comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable since 2013.

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