Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Misery Index - Traitors

I first saw Misery Index a long time ago when they opened for Deicide. I remember not being impressed very much by their performance, but that was before I became a HUGE fan of extreme metal. Traitors was my first Misery Index record and now that I’ve been listening to it for over two years, I can now agree that it is a fantastic death grind album. Misery Index has climbed their way to the top and becoming one of the biggest death grind bands ever along with Cattle Decapitation, Carcass, and Dying Fetus (sort of like the big four in death grind). I think the reason why this album in particular has been so successful is because there’s a lot more death metal than grindcore than in the two previous albums.

One thing that makes Traitors easier for me to enjoy than any of Misery Index’s other albums is the bass. Although I like the material on Discordia, the overall sound gets irritating after a while because of the major lack in the lower end. If you want a Misery Index album that doesn’t have too much treble and tons of bass, Traitors is what you need to be listening to right now. Most of the grindcore elements that Misery Index uses are the extremely chaotic, but atmospheric elements that Cattle Decapitation is known for.  But hey! This is fucking Misery Index here! There can’t be Misery Index without grinding brutality!

I’ll tell you this, Traitors doesn’t disappoint. From the second the intro concludes to the insane drumming at the end of the last song, Misery Index continues to pound you into the dirt, proving that their fame is well-deserved and that they have no plans of slowing down anytime in the near future. It seems that in the death grind genre, the drummer usually ends up being the best member of the band. Either that or it’s common for the drummer to be outstanding. I’m not kidding either, Cattle Decapitation, Dying Fetus, Carcass, Wormed, Exhumed, Skinless, Severe Torture, and General Surgery ALL have REALLY good drummers! But besides Wormed and the first two that I listed, Misery Index has one of the best drummers in the genre.

Not only is the grindcore sound lacking in the overall music, but also in the vocals especially. The vocalist primarily does exhaled growls that sound a little bit like yelling (you can hear some voice in his growls) similar to the sound of the vocals from Vader and Jungle Rot. Don’t expect something with as much voice as Vader though, I was just saying that the vocals on this record resemble that sound, but with less voice and more growl. Also, I think I should mention that there aren’t any screams on this record (that I can remember, I might be wrong), so don’t expect the whole growl-scream switch that bands like Dying Fetus and Exhumed do.

Like I said before, the overall sound of the album is very powerful and has a lot more death metal than grindcore in most of the songs. My favorite song off this record is Theocracy; not only for the drumming, but also for the crushing sections that were created for headbanging (that can also be found on almost all of the other tracks, especially the title track). I would give Traitors a solid 14/20 for being one of the more important death grind records and certainly one that I would recommend to death metal and death grind fans.