On a personal level, Mirrors was without a doubt one of my most anticipated albums of the year. Not only being a long time fan of 7 Angels 7 Plagues, Misery Signal’s Of Malice And The Magnum Heart quickly became one of my favorite albums ever. When it was announced by the band that Jesse Zaraska would not be returning as the band’s vocalist, one had to wonder how they would bounce back from losing quite possibly one of the most unique vocalist to embrace metal/hardcore in quite sometime. Their answer came in Karl Schubach and while Schubach may not have that distinctive rasp that Zaraska had, he does a damn fine job filling his shoes and puts his own trademark on the Misery Signals sound. Where Zaraska attacked with a throaty rasp, Shubach pummels you with a low growl while retaining the Zaraska-styled spoken word passages.
Musically, Misery Signals remains light years ahead of their peers. They are neither a Swedish metalcore rip-off, nor do they succumb to the evergrowing Botch/Coalesce tech-influenced riffing. Guitarists Kyle Johnson and Stuart Ross create luscious soundscapes with their guitar riffs that not only complement but perfectly counteract Shubach’s aggressive vocal approach. Tracks such as The Failsafe, Reverence Lost, and the title track have a tremendously epic feel to them where as Migrate and An Offering To The Insatiable Sons Of God (Butcher) find the band treading water they hadn’t before. Simply put, Misery Signals is one of a kind and thats saying a tremendous amount considering they remain in a cluttered genre full of bands that, for the large part, remain remain undiscernable.
What perhaps will throw most people for a loop is the guest vocal spot of Patrick Stump (of Fall Out Boy fame) on One Day I’ll Stay Home which works suprisingly well and creates an unmatched dynamic not found on the rest of the album. Overall, Mirrors is one of the best albums of the year and proves that the metal/hardcore hybrids of today still have something to offer the world of music.
Highlight tracks: The Failsafe, Reverence Lost, Sword Of Eyes, One Day I’ll Stay Home