Misery - _On Demon Wings_
(Obsidian Records, 2007)
by: Chaim Drishner (8 out of 10)
Say what you will, death metal is dead; so is black metal; so is metal altogether, for that matter. That is the grim reality of today for someone who has seen it all. Metal has lost its agenda; its prowess. Its essence has been reduced to innumerable copycats, half-assed "musicians" and racist gibbering.

Today's non-commercial good music is usually to be found in other realms altogether, not in metal. You may find excellent albums produced within the post hardcore circles (atmospheric hardcore, sludge oriented hardcore, doom-rock, et cetera), in the martial-industrial and the neo-classical fields, even within the post-rock genre, but not in metal.

Whenever one stumbles upon a good metal album, it's a feast and so great a rapture equals almost the discovery of a new continent, no less. In that regard, death metal is metal's most pathetic son... and then comes along an album in the scope of _On Demon Wings_, an album which devours all the foolish little plagiarists out there, with its big teeth and its wild appetite.

Such a beast, of pure, unadulterated deadly tunes for the end of days, this reviewer has not encountered in quite some time. Call it slowed-down death metal, call it death/doom, call it whatever you like, Misery's final recording is DEATH, and very much metal indeed. Apocalyptic and venomous riffs constructed by ingenious minds and played by crafty hands, accumulated and assembled thoughtfully into completely organic yet simple music, that which pulls at the guts rather than plays with the mind, music that is the ultimate antithesis to anything "technical" in (death) metal.

It drags filthily, dodging the clich├ęs, trudges in its own sludgy grave and dark mire of somber yet almost classic guitar playing, and is fronted by an apt vocalist, equipped with the right balance between rasps, growls and that certain something that lends the vocals both their death-intonation as well as that dark extra essence. Also, they are almost decipherable, a fact which distances this band further from the ridiculous "cookie monster" outfits out there.

All in all, any purveyor of music along the lines of Asphyx, Hypnos, Morbid Angel, old Vital Remains (_Let us Pray_ era) and Runemagick, who like their death metal sincere, a cross between old and new, filthy yet melodic, dark yet intelligent and so very slow, must check Misery's _On Demon Wings_ out, and the sooner the better.

Death metal for grown-ups, anybody?

Contact: http://obsidianrecords.com/misery.php

(article published 24/2/2009)


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