Review Summary: One of the hardest hitting death metal albums to be released in 2009.
Jesus Christ, how many side projects does Christian Älvestam have? Well in case you didn’t know Miseration is one of the many side projects by Christian who happens to be the ex-vocalist for Scar Symmetry, and the current vocalist for many bands such as the super group Solution .45. For Christian’s career Miseration is probably his third or second most recognized project along with Solution .45 (to my understanding of the levels of being recoginized) with Scar Symmetry being first. Now, if you’ve heard Miseration’s debut Your Demons ~ Their Angels, then you know Christian used his typical death growls and power metal clean singing in that album. Well with The Mirroring Shadows…. It has no clean vocals AT ALL. So if you read the review this far and was hoping for Christians magnificent clean singing to be mentioned in this album review, I hate to say it but you’ve just been disappointed. But The Mirroring Shadow is still an awesome album.
All in all, this album is worth the listen even though The Mirroring Shadows don’t have any clean singing throughout all 36 minutes of the album duration. But if you’re in the mood to head bang or if you want to listen to something that’s as heavy as 50 pounds of bricks then this album will definitely fit your mood perfectly.
Now with the sound of the album. Brutal death metal/melodic death metal, that’s what the album sounds like but most of the work centers around the sound of brutal. I know I said this earlier (just a reminder) Christian’s vocals are harsh throughout the entire album but still melodic in its own sense. With the guitars they’re not as melodic as someone like me hoped, but the song ‘Dimorphic’ has one of the few solos in the album along with ‘Sulphury Sun’. Actually those are the only songs that have resemblances of a legit solo, but there are parts in some of the songs that could be arguable that may be considered to be a solo because of the melodic side of the song structure. Now don’t get me wrong when I say this, there are melodic licks in the album but not the loudest compared to the rhythm guitarist and his melodic riffs/licks are constructed by power chords, but tremolo picking is the more predominant choice of a melodic style in the album for the lead guitarist.
With the drums they were tuned low enough to fit with the rest of the instruments and Christians vocals. Just to let you know the drums came off as average throughout the entire album to me at least. But it’s not all that bad the drums sometimes had a few good standout moments but the drums really didn’t impress me that much. To me the drums sounded more like a rhythm keeper upper. Rolf "Stuka" Pilv did have better albums produced with him as the drummer (technicality as it goes of the drum parts) like Solution .45 – For Aeons Past.
Continuing on now with the bass guitar, the bass mostly blends in with the drums and power chords of the guitars. I don’t have an ear for a bass guitar as much so you need to hear it for yourself to get an opinion on the bass guitar. But you still hear the bass when Christian isn’t using his harsh vocals. If you happen to be curious about the lyrical theme Miseration focus is on inner struggles, Christianity, and religious war.
Before you say anything I know that the lyrical theme was pretty much thrown in there at random. But I wanted to include it because the thought came across that it may seem important to certain individuals. But here’s something that’s not thrown in at random. The rhythm complexity. The complexity of the rhythms are timed in great in the album prime example would have to be the first track ‘Dreamdecipher’. The reason why I pick this song for a rhythm complexity example is because there are parts of the song where Christian is growling his lyrical verse will start to progress really fast and at the same time everyone else is keeping up the same pace as the rhythm paces up in Christians vocals. The same goes with the second track ‘Blueprinted Aeon Collapse’ because there are quick pauses in between some of the lyrical verses in the vocals that are complimented with the bass and treble guitar at the same time by the sudden stop and regroup and then stop, but the drums still keep going on to keep the rhythm during those specific parts in the second track but it isn’t excessive through the song, it’s used about a couple times. Same goes with the first track the rhythm complexity as the rhythmic of the instruments paces up as Christians vocals quicken its tempo at the same time it’s only used about a couple times in the song.
Bottom line is that this album is pretty decent all of it is worth the listen, and the album is only about 36 minutes so it shouldn’t be a waste of your time. Note that this album shouldn’t be your first metal experience.