One of the metalcore heavyweights falls short of making that lasting impression, for a band that does everything right, they need to do some more to make a mark on the listener. Misery Signals are known for their rather individual approach to one of metal’s rapidly deteriorated metalcore scene. It’s never been completely unique, instead having a fresh, organic feel. Misery Signals have proved in the past that the band is a force to be reckoned with, except come 2013 with ‘Absent Light’ Misery Signals seem to be simply ‘going through the motions’ without any real desire to continue with the momentum they’ve already built for themselves. When it comes down to it, the band has conformed, not only to current trends but to the old trends as well. It could be said that Misery Signals are simply doing what they want to, but for all effects and purposes, Misery Signals have never been lazy or uninspiring. The album they’ve released in 2013 only hints at the potential the band could have achieved on ‘Absent Light’, a promise they were meant to keep. Misery Signals tell the truth after stating, “We all give up eventually”.
‘Absent Light’ is not the spectacular follow up many were hoping for, instead we have been graced by a record that’s on par, but its flashes of brilliance only make it so. Sure, ‘Absent Light’ has its enjoyable moments, but those moments are mixed in with bland vocals, recycled guitar work and typically boring bass sections. If the process had been any more less-focused, this metalcore act that has gained so much respect from the old and new crowds would have listeners’ facing one of the year’s most disappointing listens. Eleven tracks that create a runtime at just over forty minutes, and frankly the repetitive recycled patterns make the album feel all the more longer, tedious and overbearing to say the least. It may not be fair to call a band ‘lazy’, especially one that’s made such an impact on the modern metal scene. Maybe, they’re not lazy, maybe they’ve simply run out of ideas or enthusiasm. Regardless, this powerhouse of a metalcore act has lost steam, and ultimately it’s the music that suffers.
Sometimes looking in depth at music is hard, most of the time you want to enjoy it or be blown away by something completely fresh. In the other hand you’d like to say that you were there, with every release, watching the artist or group grow and mature. Most of the time the music does its job, but in order to make “great” there needs to be another side at the complete other end of the scale, making the good, even better. Then there are albums like ‘Absent Light’ that sit in the middle, and do nothing. Take ‘Shadows and Depth’ for example: An expressive track, contrasting between the straight-forward metalcore quasi-chug fest with some atmospheric crescendos and symphonic movements. It’s a nice track, do not misunderstand me, but the simplistic nature of string layered on wind on string doesn’t exactly promote what this band is capable of. For the most part, the track acts as an interlude between ‘Carrier’ and ‘Lost Relics’.
Overall, there’s not a lot to be said for an album that doesn’t really live up to the expectations of a normally great band. For an album whose most interesting aspects include a couple of symphonic trills, leaves the listener wanting, not more, but better from a band who frankly should’ve done better.
1. A Glimmer of Hope
3. Reborn (An Execution)
5. Shadows and Depth
6. Lost Relics
7. Two Solitudes
9. The Shallows
10. Ursa Minor
11. Everything Will Rust