Misery Signals released their 4th full length Absent Light independently.
01. A Glimmer of Hope
03. Reborn (An Execution)
05. Shadows and Depth
06. Lost Relics
07. Two Solitudes
09. The Shallows
10. Ursa Minor
11. Everything Will Rust
The crowd funding campaign.. A phenomenon which seem to have caught on like wildfire in the music realm. For all you laymen, certain sites such as IndieGoGo and Kickstarter lend artists the option of funding their albums through their fans (who are to offer donations with no limit bar). Fans are then offered some cool add-ons/perks with their purchase of the finished album. This means this can only work out for bands with an established fanbase. Bands tend to toe this line when faced with either of these issues.
1. Completely fed up with their labels’ callous attitude/creative control over the album, and want to dissociate.
2. Bands express the need to go DIY so they gain full control over everything, from production to touring to sales. The profits can be put into good use.
It’s been great so far. Fans have been paying up rich dividends, in fact drawing an amount of money almost double their actual requirement. With everything going this good one cannot but help but bring a bit of skepticism into the picture. Even if that means, doubting a band that you’ve been quite an ardent fan of. The band in question here is none other than Misery Signals.
After a gap of 5 painstaking years Misery Signals have returned with hopes of creating a few ripples in that almost axiomatic pool of stagnancy –which is Metalcore. Clearly their debut ‘Of Malice and the Magnum Heart’ and ‘Controller’ both left lasting impressions on the scene. Spawning in the process a slew of run of the mill clones (only pretentiously so). The Misery Signals sound has thus been a hallmark within the confines of the genre, something scores of bands have tried to capture and instead found themselves, toppling over each other. So yes, we have several thousand ears yearning for a taste of what was to come.
Well let’s just say, it is hard for bands to build on an already cemented past. Absent Light sees Misery Signals being themselves, which yes, adds an air of authenticity, but in the end finds itself falling short. What the band has always excelled on was in creating a seemingly undeniable and enviable combination of technicality, melody and lyricism hitherto unsurpassed in metalcore. A fine balance, in fact too fine, as even the slightest of dilutions or inadvertent doses of any one of these, can tip the scale towards the ever so common trapping of “missing something”. With Absent Light the band immerses itself in a tad too much of technicality and the songwriting sort of takes a blow. Each song has great moments, instantly reminiscent of the almost hallowed heights the band had previously traversed. Yet these very songs suffer from passages that fall terribly flat, several mechanical riffage devoid of any life runs rife throughout the album. In the end each song sounds fractured at several points. It disengages the listener as much as it engages hi m. I’ve been through this album several times now and it still hasn’t clicked. The ‘Grower’ card just seems to fail here.
That said, there are a couple of songs such as Luminary, Shadows and Depths, Ursa Minor that still ekes out in to your system despite all attempts of protest. But what takes the cake is the closer Everything will Rust which sees the band stepping outside the rather tepid spectrum they seem to relish in. One might as well call it post-hardcorish. With a stellar guest vocals provided by the vocalist from the funk band Bad Rabbits and your typical Karl’s still undiminished-in-intensity roars over it. A much cathartic 4 minutes I must say.
Much like ‘Mirrors’ (their sophomore effort) this is probably a temporary dip in quality. Very likely to be the case of a band searching for that elusive perfect mix, once again. Although not a bad record by any means, all it does is leave you optimistic for their next release.
Stream the entire album here: