Misery Signals Of Malice And The Magnum Heart
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01. A Victim, A Target
02. In Response To Stars
03. The Summer Ended In June
04. In Summary Of What I Am
05. The Stinging Rain
06. Worlds And Dreams
08. On Account of an Absence
09. Five Years
10. Difference of Vengence and Wrongs
Ferret Music means business. This is more than apparent after countless listens to the latest Blood Has Been Shed, Remembering Never and most recently, the debut by Misery Signals, "Of Malice and the Magnum Heart." Simply put, Ferret are the kings of metalcore. You can always expect an equally amazing package to go along with the quality production that Ferret's so known for. Stunning artwork ,courtesy of highly renowned cult artist Travis Smith (Katatonia, Opeth, Iced Earth), topped off by cleanest, brightest production ever heard in the genre by the man himself, Devin Townsend (SYL, Devin Townsend Band).
It's apparent from the opening chords that this is a Devin Townsend-produced effort. Any adamant Townsend worshippers would hear the striking similarity between opener "A Victim, A Target" to the malicious opening track from the latest Devin Townsend Band release "Accelerate Evolution." Oddly enough, Misery Signals sounds more like The Devin Townsend Band then they do Misery Signals (granted they've only released one EP prior to this full-length). This is not a bad thing at all. Hell, if you're going to sound or draw comparisons you might as well sound like the best metal has to offer.
My only disappointment with this record is that Devin didn't noticeably contribute any vocals to "Of Malice and the Magnum Heart," though he obviously lent a decent amount of effects from various devices to create a dark aura throughout, as heard on "A Victim, A Target" and others. There are more than enough melodies throughout this record that would've been strengthened by clean vocal harmonies, a talent that Townsend excels in.
The overall sound of Misery Signals on "Of Malice and the Magnum Heart" is not easily defined as there are a plethora of styles entwined here. Songs such as the heavier "In Response to Stars" sounds much like something which easily could've found its way onto "She Looks So Good in Red" by Remembering Never. "In Summary of What I Am," with its knack for chaos, while still maintaining the heaviness and melody that shapes the Misery Signals sound so distinctly, is not unlike the music on Blood Has Been Shed's "Novella of Uriel" effort, if they borrowed some melodious elements from Codeseven.
The only downside to this entire album is the occasional spoken word vocals, awkwardly layered over the music or screaming parts. Misery Signals, as good as they are on tape, are in no position to start the spoken word ethics of Catharsis etc. The spoken elements on this record seem strangely forced and out-of-place more times then not (even more so than their debut EP).
Bottom Line: Misery Signals combine the best elements of Shai Hulud, Remembering Never, Undying and most notably the Devin Townsend Band. This is an impressive amalgamation of melodic metal and hardcore that, at its best, should not only please, but thrill any fan of extreme music. "Of Malice and the Magnum Heart" is an accomplished debut album that should instantly catapult Misery Signals to the forefront of the metalcore genre.
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