Published Mar 06, 2019Misery Index have hit a point in their career where they are comfortable playing all kinds of death metal: grind, melo-death or straight forward. That left them with a challenge to create something that isn't simply repeating themselves, but luckily, the politically driven deathgrind act came up with something spectacular on their latest album, Rituals of Power.
The band delve into the idea of living in the "post truth" era and tear into topics such as media bias, refugee journeys and political echo chambers, among other things across the record. Clocking in at a slender half-hour of vicious grind, the band waste no time in denouncing the current political climate through short bursts of punk ("Decline and Fall"), searing deaththrash ("The Choir Invisible") and massive death metal grooves ("Hammering the Nails").
While the majority of death metal acts have a difficult time making their lyrics understandable, Misery Index vocalist Jason Netherton manages to enunciate clearly and allow the meaning behind the songs shine through. Lines such as "Sharpen up the guillotine, as fashionistas clean the scene, you're socially bewitched with narrative affixed, tried and executed with no due process," from "New Salem" are both timely and evergreen, while making listeners reflect on the world they live in.
Where Misery Index's last record The Killing Gods saw them embracing more melodic elements and completing their progression to master their sound, Rituals of Power is a more succinct output from the band that almost feels too short. The album begs to be played on repeat, with enough variation in sounds and depth in lyrics to keep you coming back over and over again. (Season of Mist)