Misery Index - _The Killing Gods_
(Season of Mist, 2014)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (8.5 out of 10)
In recommending the music of Misery Index to a friend of mine who used to be a punk fan, I described it as "metallic punk taken way too far". This is an accurate description in a sense, considering the band's sound barrier-breaking tempos and the nature of the lyrics. But of course there's no denying how much of a death metal band Misery Index actually is despite the obvious grind influences. So with a new album finally breaking the surface almost four years after its highly regarded predecessor _Heirs to Thievery_, the band's fifth album _The Killing Gods_ comes as one of the most anticipated extreme metal records of 2014 -- and boy, did those fellows from Maryland live up to the anticipation.

_The Killing Gods_ starts off with a more seasoned approach that points towards the weight of the band's years of experience. "Urfaust" serves as a simple introductory track to "The Calling", where all teeth are bared. This one confirms that they're back and they are at the top of their game. An irate Jason Netherton barks his socio-political tirades while a diesel powered Adam Jarvis schools every drummer between the ages of seven and seventy on how death metal drumming can combine ruthlessness and creativity. "The Calling" more or less sets the bar for the rest of the album, and nothing pales in comparison. The beefy and dynamic "The Harrowing" is ripped open with a face shredding solo, "The Weakener" is elevated by its driving rhythms, while "Gallows Humor" hits with a groove when you'd least expect one.

An unexpected groove such as that found on the "The Weakener" is a subtle sign of musician's maturity being put to good use within the overall context of the Misery Index sound. On the lyrical front, the dictum doesn't drastically diverge when compared to previous outings. The focus remains largely on life in America and all the nationwide-brainwashing carried out by the media and politicians. Citizens of lots of other countries can easily connect with Netherton as he eerily describes the daily acts of deceit occurring around them. This creates another dimension to the album, wherein the listener can find a rather dark sense of solace in knowing that the rest of the world is basically the same on some level. The title track and "Colony Collapse" are just a couple of examples of the band's lyrical complexity.

Having made a name for themselves in the innermost circles of the underground metal scene as one of the most vicious and aggressive death/grind bands out there, Misery Index could have played it safe and produced an effort that just rides the wave that has carried them to success in the past. Fortunately though, _The Killing Gods_ is Misery Index through and through but still holds its own among the band's discography. With a trail-blazing riff on "Conjuring the Cull", a relatively long guitar solo on "Colony Collapse" and myriad transitions, this album's energy and execution definitely hint at a band that keeps on growing with each passing release. This is an album that was worth the wait.

Contact: https://www.facebook.com/MiseryIndex

(article published 22/7/2014)


ALBUMS
6/13/2010 A El Naby 8.5 Misery Index - Heirs to Thievery
3/15/2009 D Cairns 8.5 Misery Index - Traitors
5/31/2006 J Smit 9 Misery Index - Discordia
8/31/2003 J Smit 10 Misery Index - Retaliate
GIGS
2/25/2008 J Smit Despised Icon / Misery Index / Beneath the Massacre / Annotations of an Autopsy Bent Backwards and Broken
12/26/2003 J Smit Deicide / Destruction / Nile / Akercocke / Dew-Scented / Graveworm / Misery Index Redemption at the Palace
8/31/2003 A McKay Dying Fetus / Skinless / Divine Empire / Misery Index / Stavross A Mini Milwaukee
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