For my initial venture into the discography of Maryland Grind-legends MISERY INDEX, I opted to test the inhospitable waters of "Heirs To Thievery."
Paint me fucking spoiled.
My frontrunner for album of the year, “Heirs To Thievery” is simply put, a beast of a recording.
Relentlessly intense, MISERY INDEX has not only made me a believer, they have converted me into a full-on fanatic. Strap me with explosives, shave my head, and send me into the swarm. This album is utterly ferocious. There’s no steady jog here. There is no way to walk or stroll into “Heirs To Thievery." A marathon of grueling, slamming, and inexorable Metal awaits those with enough endurance.
This album should have a Surgeon General's Warning. MISERY INDEX has just successfully replaced anabolic steroids.
Amid an array of superlative traits, the uniformity of this album may be its greatest aspect. Each song races; each song provokes. Never content in counter-striking, the songs impose their will on the listener. No track is too short, and no track overstays its welcome. The fuse is lit, and time after time, the result is a detonation.
Jason Netherton’s bass and vocals are as pissed-off and as foreboding as anything you will hear this year or the next. He must have appeared like a frothing mad dog laying down his vocal tracks. The drumming by Adam Jarvis proves that he is amongst the apex of Metal’s best rhythm-keepers. As economically sound as any drummer playing in extreme metal today, to listen to Jarvis’ double bass kick in is to taste the advent of Armageddon. (A bit much, I know, but truthfully, this guys knows timing.)
Twin guitar work by Mark Kloeppel and Sparky Voyles, while consistently punishing and groovy, carries an attitude that many a band could only dream of emulating. What fuels these axe-men, I haven’t an idea, but so insidious and so savage are these riffs, so insanely crushing, you would be safe to assume that lives are on the line.
A venerable overhand-right of guest vocalists drape the album (Mough Alvarado, John Gallagher, Rich Johnson, Vince Matthews, Erik Rutan), the production by Steve Wright is seamless, and the album’s lyrical concept of stolen rights, land, and souls, looms as integral and as powerful as any of the album’s brilliant, always changing riffery-landscape.
Truly, “Heirs To Thievery” is a landslide of heavy, inspiring Metal. Whether you call it Death Metal or Grindcore or a mix of both, MISERY INDEX’s latest album has set the standard for 2010.
This is the precedent.
(Online July 14, 2010)