MISERY INDEX – Retaliate

Despite having been together for only two years, MISERY INDEX have already made a name for themselves by not only having two former members of DYING FETUS but also by having released a self-financed EP, two splits CDs, two national tours and line-up changes of their own. Retaliate is the band’s proper debut album and they quickly make an impression with the first three songs battering the point home with energy and conviction. Although comparisons to DYING FETUS are bound to happen, MISERY INDEX possess their own identity. The band owe more to classic grindcore in the vein of NAPALM DEATH, PHOBIA, BRUTAL TRUTH, and TERRORIZER than the SLAYER meets SUFFOCATION approach of their former outfit. Frontman Jason Netherton‘s lyrics are more politically driven than ever. Instead of the overly preachy finger-pointing tendencies of most political grind, he seems to pose more questions and offer more solutions to the day-in day-out struggles of spine-busting, hard working tax payers who toil away in the numerous hellhole-like factories in this country. Netherton delivers intelligent, thought provoking insights as opposed to the usual skull-splattering, throat slitting antics that most of their peers are content to dish out. Although some fans may be disappointed by the departure of drummer Kevin Talley (who played on an EP and a split), new guy, Matt Byers, does more than capable job offering up plenty of blast beats and flurries of drum fills for drum fans. Guitarist Sparky Voyles delivers crushing riffs throughout the album as well as some dissonant chords on “Angst Isst Die Selle Auf” and some Kerry King-style guitar soloing on “Demand the Impossible.” The band closes with an effective, appropriate cover of BRUTAL TRUTH‘s “Birth of Ignorance.” With Retaliate, MISERY INDEX have created an album that’s both extreme and diverse, which should appeal to fans of death metal, grindcore, hardcore, and even crusty punks. (Nuclear Blast)

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