May 26, 2010 | , | 4

Misery Index, Heirs to Thievery

Misery Index: Heirs to Thievery

Baltimore’s Misery Index appear as one of those bands that every one seems to love but no one outside of the underground circles have readily recognized. That very well could change with the band’s latest politically-charged full length. Heirs to Thievery sees the band building off of their bludgeoning grind roots with more traditional death metal trappings, resulting in their most mature and devastating album thus far.

Let’s start off with the utmost in-your-face element of the group. Lyrically, Misery Index are all about calling out the corrupt, the socially ill and the apathetic of our world. Bassist/vocalist Jason Netherton delivers the band’s message with a fierce determination, but with some of the catchiest vocal patterns (for something so aggressive) I’ve heard in quite some time. Supporting Netherton’s grunts and growls, the rest of the guys in the band deliver massive riffs, memorable hooks and some seriously blasting drum work. The combined effort of the group will nodoubtedly leave you in a vegetative state, wallowing in a head banging induced coma for weeks after encountering Heirs to Thievery.

Embracing Extinction
“Embracing Extinction” gets the blood flowing with rumbling drums and thrashing guitars (complete with a quick, short-lived lead). There are some nicely layered guitar elements through out the relatively short song (1:48) that give it great depth. But, man, you’re neck will be a little stiff after just this single track — it’s a bruising, unrelenting affair.

Fed to the Wolves
The technical guitar work that starts this next one off is short lived as it is quickly consumed by blasting drums and catchy riffing, but makes appearances here and there through the song. Netherton is on top of his game with this grinding beast of a song. Very cool track that has plenty of shifting tempos and aggression. There’s a great lead around 2:45 that’s soulful and almost in complete contrast to the bludgeoning nature of the song, but completely fits in perfectly.

The Carrion Call
I love the opening riffs to “The Carrion Call” — they sound relatively simple, but are still catchy as hell. There’s also a butt load of groove flowing through this song that’s addictive as hell. This is one of those songs where Netherton’s vocal patterns really drive the flow of the track. The blasting drums and vocals around 2:20 are burly, but catchy as all get out. This is definitely a song that I’ll be playing over and over.

Heirs to Thievery
The title track is another grinding monstrosity of a song. The blasting drums, caustic riffing and and vengeful vocals combine with devastating effects. The chorus is fucking awesome, allowing you to growl along with the band. Just make sure you’re ready for the sick ass lead that follows the first chorus. Hell yeah!

The Spectator
“The Spectator” follows up behind that last track with groove fueled head banging mayhem and slightly more melodic guitar work. As the vocals come in the groove continues along at a pretty good clip. This is one of the catchiest, most memorable tracks on the album.

The Illuminaught
Here’s another track that’s got one hell of a catchy chorus. This one, however, is accompanied by a more chaotic, grinding bit of metal than the last song. It’s a frenetic and active song that begs for all of your attention. There’s a decent bit of mosh in the latter half of the song that simplifies things a but, but certainly doesn’t take away from the creative, technical nature of the song.

The Seventh Cavalry
“The Seventh Cavalry” initially fades in from a distance with rolling drums and big riffs with a much slower pace than the previous six songs. That slower pace only makes the breakdowns found in the track that much more powerful and bruising. I can imagine this song being perfect for heaving some weights in the gym.

Plague of Objects
Hell fucking yeah! “Plague of Objects” is aggressive as hell, chock full of manic drum work and chugging riffs. This is just the type of song to make the work day go by that much quicker. Overall, this is definitely one of the more up-tempo songs on an album packed with speedy material.

You Lose
A huge scream and manic drums get “You Lose” off to a raucous start as the pile driving drums are accompanied by catchy riffs and a great vocal pattern. I love the band’s combination of groove, grind and death. It’s just too damned easy to get caught up in each and every song. There are some incredible blasts from the drums peppering this song.

Sleeping Giants
“Sleeping Giants” is a full on grinding blast of mayhem right from the get go with crashing drums and raw, caustic guitars. The higher paced energy of the song drives it through your skull like a careening, out of control semi. The more guttural vocals found on the song are also a nice addition to the overall vibe of the track.

Day of the Dead
The final song on an incredible album starts off with a furious pounding from the drums, growling vocals and distant riffs that seem to float over top over everything else. The layered vocals are a nice touch, as well. This is a pretty chaotic track as well, but still carries momentum to a sudden end — making for one hell of an album closer.

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