Misery - Fifteen Years of Aggression
Self released
11 songs (39'20")
Release year: 2008
Reviewed by Alex

The proud sons of Long Island, NY Misery openly aspire and strive for something considered goal non-grata in purer metal circles. They want to be on the radio (my college town radio station is playing them, thus helping Misery climb the charts), and once they achieve the feat they publicize it mightily. They want to be famous at what they do, and I can’t really blame them for it. To accomplish the objective, they play the modern deathcore breed which melds NYDM style gloomy choppy riffs with NYHC gutter urban brutal attitude. Is this a death warrant then from the crowd which despises the likes of Lamb of God or Sick of It All? Some superficial first impression conclusions may be premature.

Fifteen Years of Aggression (have they been at it for 15 years?) is certainly banging, slamming and thudding along with eleven cuts of simplified song structures raising colorful mosh pits along the way. Some of the titles on the album are what they meant to be in the first place – brutal adrenaline soaked smackdowns (Bullet, Bloodsample). These take on a catchy riff and deviate little from the script. Others are further loaded with the scourge of the scene today aka breakdowns (Take the Power Back, I Hate Your Face). Yet Misery tries to rise above the masses displaying interesting double bass groovy dynamics on Pain Laughs at Pain, unloads an unexpected arpeggiated solo in I Hate Your Face and becomes tunefully melodic, Kataklysm style, on My Time. John LoCasto works in the range from screams to higher pitch screams and even tries to sing once in a while (Low Life), managing not to sound whiney in the process. As long as he does not rap (I’m Inside), but instead goes low, reminiscent of Internal Bleeding (Save You), he epitomizes the toughness oozed out by this half-Italian crew.

Misery did a lot of touring opening up for just about everyone on the East Coast. They did not get out to Midwest, where I reside, but I have seen/heard opening acts which are by far worse than anything shown on Fifteen Years of Aggression. Helped by Misery’s instrument proficiency, the album is a lot more about clarity and mature power than adolescent angst, so maligned and deservedly ridiculed. The message then is – if you know how to wield a guitar and compose a congruent song, you will be ahead of the curve in any genre, even the one which mainstream popularity is often its own downfall. Misery prove this postulate well enough.

Killing Songs :
My Time, Pain Laughs at Pain
Alex quoted 63 / 100
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