Since their inception, Misery Signals have been one of the most talented up and coming bands in the heavy music scene. Even with only two official albums and an ep under their belts (although the members have scraped their teeth in such revered bands as 7 Angels 7 Plagues and Compromise), one listen to any material these guys have put forth is enough to make any doubter an instant believer. Granted they are lumped in with a fairly stagnant and overbearing scene at the moment, the music would be just as good even if metalcore weren’t the ‘in’ thing.
“Face Yourself” breaks down the doors, opening with a gigantic wall of crushing sound. Notice new vocalist Karl Schubach’s presence on the mic immediately. And this guy was just an open audition? A guitar player by trade you say? Hard to believe after his punishing screams ring up and down your body. But where most bands in metalcore fail by sub-coming to the urge of throwing in a power-filled emo chorus or outrageously bland lyrical topics, Misery Signals shines. The lyrics are powerful and going with the theme of the record, they are much about self-reflection and the image we project on our peers in society, and how we inevitably love to believe we are fine when we are really falling apart.
Don’t think the magnificent musicianship of the last record has been lost a bit, because it hasn’t. Misery Signals is able to maitain an umcomprisingly heavy atmosphere while stringing ambient and melodic breaks throughout almost every song. Ryan Morgan and Stu Ross still unleash manically heavy riffs and also the calmer sections that many other bands don’t even dare attempt, and Kyle Johnson and Braden Morgan are still more than capable of filling in the complex and unrelenting rhythms that Misery Signals are known for. While overall “Mirrors” probably isn’t particularly as heavy as its predecessor “Of Malice and the Magnum Heart”, it is definitely more ambitious and stable at moments. The record seems to begin with an onslaught (“Face Yourself”, “The Failsafe” and “Post Collapse), then slowly drift into a somewhat more sudbued section (“Migrate”, “One Day I’ll Stay Home” and “Something Was Always Missing, But It Never Was You”) before eventually ending in fury just as it began.
“Mirrors” is just another example of how Misery Signals continue to prove they are one of the most competent bands to get lumped in with the metalcore scene. Although they are obviously light years ahead of most of the bands they are associated with, there’s an obvious reason they’ve gotten the tag. If you like metal or hardcore that is heavy, intelligent, and yet extremely atmospheric and melodic, you need to jump on the Misery Signals bandwagon immediately. This is already easily one of 2006’s best offerings.