We have been following the Swedish band Mist of Misery for several years, beginning with a review and full premiere of their second album Absence in 2016, following that with an interview of the band, and writing about their follow-up EPs in 2017, Shackles of Life and Fields of Isolation.
All those releases presented multi-faceted trips of changing moods and varying energies, managed with a sure hand, which created a blend of haunting ambience, symphonic power, and blackened ferocity, while repeatedly displaying the band’s knack for driving home their penetrating and memorable melodies as they moved among changing shades of darkness. But now they’ve completed work on a massive new album that includes songs which are longer, darker, and more atmospheric than on any previous release.
The new album is named Unalterable. It’s nearly two hours long, and will be released as a double-CD by Black Lion Records on April 12th. Today what we have for you is an official video for the first-released song from the album, “Halls of Emptiness“.
As the band explain, the new album’s title “refers to the path of life, unalterable despite all efforts to alter the course — how you’re bound to dwell in this miserable existence until life’s end”.
The confrontation and manifestation of misery has been such a core aspect of the band’s creative devotion that the word is right up-front in their name. Yet there is great beauty in what they write as well, even if it is a gloomy, haunting, and even terrifying beauty that they portray.
Certainly, there is haunting beauty in the vistas of cold, murky seacoasts and fog-bound or snow-covered landscapes included in the gorgeous video that was created for “Halls of Emptiness”, and in the ghostly reverberating notes that begin this long song. Even as the power of the music begins to swell, and you begin to feel the pain and agony transmitted through the vocals, the beauty is still present and penetrating. The panoramic symphonic melody that cascades over the drum propulsion is entrancing, even though bereavement and distress live in the sound.
Four minutes in, the song seems to stop… and resumes in the slow plaintive tones of a violin weeping. When the music swells and surges again, accented by slow piano keys, it reveals a kind of icy grandeur that pulls at the heart-strings — the effect straddles a line between heart-breaking and heart-swelling emotions, and it’s very easy to get lost in those immersive sensations. Yet at the same time, those mesmerizing harmonies unfurl over battering drums and shattering shrieks, until all that’s left are desiccated leaves scattering in the wind and that sad, seductive piano refrain.
What a moving and memorable journey this is….
Unalterable consists of 14 tracks, including Mist of Misery‘s cover of songs originally recorded by Coldworld and Dimmu Borgir. It was recorded at Forlorn Halls studios and various private locations in Stockholm. The cover art was created by Alice Ruitenberg. The album is available for pre-order now, digitally and in a double-CD physical edition: