Release Date: 13/05/2022
Record Label: Century Media
For Fans Of: Napalm Death, Lamb Of God, Bolt Thrower
We need to talk about Misery Index. They haven’t done anything wrong, it’s just that they’re one of the most intense bands currently doing the rounds and yet nobody ever seems to mention them. Since forming at the turn of the millennium, they’ve evolved from a rabid death-grind riff-machine into a slightly more nuanced death-grind riff-machine, culminating in their magnificent 2019 album Rituals Of Power.
That record was the finest of their career. It was a textbook example of how to create hook-laden modern metal without sacrificing one iota of heaviness. It was so intense it practically foamed at the mouth and should have made them megastars. While the underground lapped it up though, the wider metal world didn’t pay much attention.
One pandemic later and we have the follow-up; Complete Control. Unsurprisingly, it rips. In just over half-an-hour, Misery Index deliver nine songs filled with blistering social commentary and screaming violence. Complete Control has as much grace and subtlety as a hippo stampede and is all the better for it.
This is an album where even the nice bits are wrapped in barbed wire. From the white-noise riffage of ‘Administer The Dagger,’ to the climactic screaming maelstrom of ‘Now Defied,’ Complete Control is a pure, adrenaline-pumping rager.
First single, ‘The Eaters And The Eaten’ is death metal played by deranged punk fans, ‘Conspiracy Of None’ is a stomping neck-wrecker and ‘Infiltrator’ is liquid vehemence distilled into song form. They’re all precision-engineered to become live favourites and long-term Misery Index fans will adore them. Despite hitting the ground at full-pelt and barely easing up, there’s a satisfying variety on display; Misery Index know exactly when to drop a catchy chorus or groove-laden riff into the mix. It’s nasty, violent, and heavier than dark matter, but you’ll still wind up humming the choruses.
So yes, we need to talk about Misery Index, but only in the sense of how much the world needs to sit up and take notice. Complete Control may look like a shaven-headed knucklehead who just wants to swing fists and hurt people, but there’s genuine intelligence behind all those uppercuts. Anyone who’s enjoyed the uncompromising political vehemence of Napalm Death and wants to meet their successors would do well to check this album out. They’ve been doing this for over twenty years now and it might finally be time to start mentioning their name in awe-struck, reverential tones.