Mar 012019
 

 

(Here’s Andy Synn‘s review of the new album by Misery Index, which will be released on March 8th by Season of Mist.)

Where exactly does one start with a band like Misery Index?

From their humble (well, relatively humble) Death-Grind beginnings, the band have grown into a veritable Death Metal institution, one with five (soon to be six) full-length albums and innumerable EPs and split releases to their name, not to mention a not-insignificant amount of critical and cultural influence under their belt, all of which makes it difficult to find something new to say about the ongoing work of Messrs. Netherton, Jarvis, Kloeppel, and Morris.

But while it may be difficult to find a new angle from which to approach the band’s music these days, that doesn’t mean that the band themselves have run out of things to say, and their newest album continues their long-established tradition of raising their fists and kicking against the pricks as loudly, and as angrily, as possible. Continue reading »

Feb 072019
 

 

This week has been ridiculous. With the exception of the year-end holiday season, when releases slow down a bit, every week now brings a flood of new music from metal bands and labels, but this week seems to be turning into a typhoon. With most of Thursday (as I write this) and all of Friday still to come, it’s only going to get worse/better. So once again, I’m resorting to a two-part round-up.

But even with a two-part collection I’m still not going to be able to comprehensively cover the (rising) waterfront. I’ve still had to make some choices, and so in Part 2, in addition to the usual write-ups, I’m just going to link you to additional streams of music that I’m not writing about in more detail. I’m doing that then instead of now, because I haven’t yet figured out where to draw that line.

MISERY INDEX

Two days ago, via Loudwire, Misery Index released a lyric video for another new track off their forthcoming album Rituals of Power. As the band explain: “‘The Choir Invisible‘ is a euphemism for the dead, or those who have passed on. In the context of this song, it is an anthem of the dispossessed and the hopeless. Many across the world exist in an ‘in-between’ state that is often ignored and/or washed over because they lack the power and voice to plead their case as human beings. The song takes up this theme and tells it from the somber view of those who risk their lives, board ships and cross oceans in order to find a better life.” Continue reading »

Feb 022019
 


photo by Heidi Strengell

 

(In this week’s edition of Waxing Lyrical, Andy Synn posed his usual questions about lyrics to Jason Netherton of Misery Index, whose new album Rituals of Power will be released on March 8 by Season of Mist.)

Is it selfish of me to admit that, as much as I hope everyone is enjoying the series so far, one of the primary reasons for coming up with the concept of “Waxing Lyrical” was so that I’d get the chance to speak to, and learn more about, some of my favourite vocalists/lyricists?

Well, selfish or not, it’s the truth, and today’s edition is a particularly special one, as it features one half of one of my favourite vocal tag-teams, Jason Netherton of the mighty Misery Index. Continue reading »

Dec 142018
 

 

Our focus on LISTMANIA at this time of the year tends to diminish the frequency of round-up posts such as this one; even when I’m not doing the writing myself, the behind-the-scenes work that I do to get year-end features ready for publication (such as Andy Synn‘s impressive week-long series of lists, and DGR’s week-long series of catch-up reviews, both of which concluded today) takes some time. My ability to listen to new music and select songs and videos to recommend has been further restricted by the two-week vacation I took, which ended last weekend, and by way too much holiday-season partying this week.

Our 2018 LISTMANIA orgy isn’t nearly finished, by the way. Next week we’ll begin rolling our year-end lists from other NCS writers and guests, and at some point I’ll start revealing my own contribution to LISTMANIA — a list of the year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. But I still do hope to throw in a new-music round-up every now and then.

The three new songs you’ll find below, all of which come with music videos, barely make a dent in my backlog, but I hope to do a bit more catching up with another SEEN AND HEARD post tomorrow and the usual SHADES OF BLACK column on Sunday. Continue reading »

Feb 052018
 

 

(DGR compiled a round-up of new music to launch our Monday at NCS, an eight-song collection that we’ve divided into two parts, with Part Two slated to come very quickly after this first installment.)

 

I’m not going to lie to you all, I’ve been pretty distracted around the NCS office as of late. Usually I’ve unleashed a handful of ridiculous-length reviews by this point, but so far the beginning of 2018 has had your buddy here firmly ensconced in the news trenches, freeing up some of the other folks around here to fully dive into the deep and murky waters of all things underground and unlistenable.

It doesn’t help that I’ve also had tabs open alongside the news haul consisting of album streams from Dagon’s victorious return on Back To The Sea, Bloodshot Dawn’s surprisingly tech-death oriented ReanimationAfgrund’s mean and urgently-now The Dystopian, and even the occasional leap back into 2017 with Ireland’s Weed Priest and their stoner doom throwback; all of which are seeing constant listens and hopefully time to deep-dive in the near future. Shit, there is even a new Apophys disc entitled Devoratis that we covered very briefly but need to dive back into.

Of course, now that all of that has been written down, the news flood will get worse and I’ll get something done just in time to watch the moon finally escape Earth’s gravity and go sailing off into space as we’re devoured by the Sun’s outer layers as it goes red giant.

But enough jokes about things that seem preferable to going outside and facing the world. Let’s get on with the music. Continue reading »

Aug 292016
 

Aenaon-Hypnosophy

 

Happy Monday! I mean that sincerely, despite the usual depressive aspects of the day, because this Monday brought us three exciting new song premieres that I discovered soon after caffeinating myself strongly enough to stun a bull, plus an announcement of an exciting U.S. tour. And here’s what I found:

AENAON

As our regular readers are well aware, we have become ardent followers of the Greek band Aenaon since discovering the wonders of their 2014 album Extance, which made no fewer than four different year-end lists published at our site, as well as a host of our reader’s lists. It was also the source of a song (“Grau Diva”) that I included in my list of 2014’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. You may then be able to imagine how eagerly we have been awaiting the band’s new album, Hypnosophy. Continue reading »

May 022015
 

 

Happy Saturday to all you motherfuckers (and I say that with the greatest affection and respect). A lot of new music videos appeared in the interhole yesterday, and here I’ve collected four of them — plus one somewhat older video that I was tipped to earlier in the week. So grab a big bucket of buttered popcorn, turn down the lights, mute your cell phones, and prepare to be entertained.

MISERY INDEX

The new video for Misery Index is set to the music of “The Harrowing”, which is one of the best songs on one of last year’s best albums, The Killing Gods. The video was made by David Hall (Handshake Inc.), who also directed a previous video for the album for “The Calling” and whose work for other bands we’ve featured here on many occasions.

The new one incorporates film of the band performing on their European tour last summer, new performance footage shot by Jeff Grindstopher, some of the excellent artwork that Gary Ronaldson (Bite Radius Designs) created for the album, and a creepy narrative about a group of Zodiac-style killers. Continue reading »

Dec 252014
 

 

Welcome to Part 2 of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here. Today we add two more songs.

MISERY INDEX

There was really never any doubt that one of the songs from The Killing Gods would appear on this list — “Fucking flawless” was the way TheMadIsraeli summed up his review of the album for our site. The hard part was deciding which song.

“The Harrowing” received support from some of our readers as well as my comrade DGR, who prized the song’s speed as well as the awesome solo in the middle of the track. But after repeatedly bouncing back and forth between that song and the one I ultimately chose, I’m going with “Conjuring the Cull”. I’ll just repeat here what I excitedly exclaimed upon first hearing the song: Continue reading »

Aug 062014
 

(Here’s another installment of Andy Synn’s irregular series devoted to his favorite things that come in fives. As always when he does these things, please feel free to share your own list in the Comments — in this case, your favorite bands you’ve never seen live.)

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these random little columns. I bet you were beginning to think I’d forgotten about them, hadn’t you?

Well, my strange predilection for numerical lists of my favourite things has reared its ugly head again, and this time we’re dealing with the mournful issue of bands I’ve never (for a variety of reasons) managed to see live!

EXTOL

Let’s start with a big one, shall we? I love Extol. They are one, if not the biggest, of my favourite bands. Their dissolution back in 2007 seemingly put paid to my chance of ever seeing them live, but now they’re back with an amazing new album and are playing a few select live shows… well, let’s just say that there are few things I wouldn’t do for a chance to see and hear them perform! Continue reading »

Jun 252014
 

(In this post we present BadWolf’s interview of Mark Kloeppel, frontman for Baltimore’s Misery Index, conducted live at Maryland Deathfest — with photos taken there by the talented Alyssa Lorenzon.)

One of the highlights of my trip to Maryland Deathfest was the opportunity to see Baltimore’s own Misery Index live twice in a single weekend. The No Clean Singing crew has a soft spot for relentless mixes of grindcore and death metal, and Misery Index are among the best bands in that vein at the moment—not only is their rhythmic attack, weighed down by bassist Jason Netherton (formerly of Dying Fetus) and drummer Adam Jarvis (also of Pig Destroyer), fierce in a way many of their peers are not, but their approach is also intellectual. The band has a strongly anarchist-liberal lyrical bent, which only adds to the vitriol and complexity of their music. It’s the kind of death metal that makes me want to revisit it over and over.

Mark Kloeppel joined the band in 2005, and plays guitar, as well as screams, on their finest run of albums. His vocals and melodic guitar lines dominate the band’s 2014 album, The Killing Gods, which made up much of their MDF set lists. It’s the most melodic album in the band’s discography, but Kloeppel himself seems less than harmonious. He sat down with me behind a tent in the blazing Baltimore sun to talk about the new album, parenting, and how, economically speaking, we all lose.

********

It seems like there wasn’t a lot of activity on the Misery Index front for a couple years there. I remember Heirs to Thievery came out when? 2010? Four years ago?

Yeah. In 2010, the touring cycle started with us going out with Dying Fetus and then picking up our new lead guitar player. We did some other stuff… We toured with Grave. We did a whole bunch of stuff. It’s kind of hard to remember everywhere we went. I know we went to Indonesia, Japan, Australia, and a lot of places in South America like Brazil and Colombia. We did a tour with Cannibal Corpse in the States. That was the last thing I think we did in the States before this.

 

Why the recording gap? You guys were on a pretty steady two years per album clip for almost a decade.

Yeah, and that sucks! It’s like when you first start a band. When you first start a band, you spend a good five years crafting your very first songs. You go play shows, and it’s awesome because you’ve spent so much time crafting good songs and you grow and stuff like that. Being a seasoned musician and not being able to dedicate the proper amount of time to make a quality record, you feel like you’re being robbed. 

We stuck to the tight schedule that was imposed upon us by the label. It was kind of necessary to build the band for Discordia, Traitors, and Heirs to Thievery. After that, we were done with that schedule. We didn’t want Misery Index to do that anymore. We just spent the time you’re supposed to spend writing a record. 

 Continue reading »