Review Summary: With a much needed coat of polish, a new vocalist and a little bit of time, MIsery Signals shows growth as song writers, musicians and people.
While I'm certain everyone has heard the news of a forthcoming follow-up to 2008's Controller, I'm going back a few years and finally writing a full review to the oft-neglected Mirrors. For a band recoiling from the tragedy inspiring Of Malice and the Magnum Heart, it was absolutely essential that Misery Signals delivered something different. If not to provide a more suitable stage for new vocalist Karl Schubach then simply as a testament to their growth as a unit. Fortunately for their fans, Misery Signals not only continued pressing forward but also managed to craft a rather beautiful album amidst the chaos.
Distinguishing himself from original vocalist Jesse Zaraska, Schubach comes across as a lion of a man, roaring in harmony with the thundering double kick drumming. Perfectly balancing stop / start melody throughout an epic and expansively mixed album, the quintet rips into each offering with a real sense of urgency and vision. Like a tornado bearing down on a small town, the anthemic metal teems with pinpoint, focused hardcore, ripe with melodic intersections. The swirling guitars accentuate the spastic, organic drumming like dust whipping about the eye of a storm. The fear of impending doom, the joy of finding the balance between anger and peace, the relief that the storm's passing brings; these are all feelings Misery Signals has the power to invoke with their audience.
In comparisons with their contemporaries, Misery Signals has always seemed to be very genuine and passionate about their craft. That intangible, emotional element has always seperated the band, causing veneration and awe across the world. If I can try to put it into words, I have always heard Misery Signals saying something. It is never derivative, it is never exclusionary and it is always sincere. This is one band that means what they say, even if we don't quite understand what they mean.
For some reason I thought of this album when watching Kiefer Sutherland in Mirrors and found the idea very appropo: aside from the beauty there is darkness and evil. Aside from the wonder and sense of discovery there is a fear of the unknown. Misery Signals is about ripping yourself apart just to put yourself back together.
Recommended tracks: The Failsafe, Migrate, An Offering to the Insatiable Gods of Butcher, Anchor