Misery Signals
Absent Light


4.5
superb

Review

by Jacob Royal STAFF
August 13th, 2013 | 356 replies | 26,205 views


Release Date: 07/23/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We are the torchbearers

One of the most impressive aspects of Absent Light is that it tightly treads the line between depth and flashiness. There are the immediate crowd-rousers like “Luminary,” a track that gets across as many guitar riffs as it can while remaining fresh-- and these are the types of tracks Misery Signals fans have been wanting to hear for awhile. Why else would the group release “Luminary” as this record’s lead single if not to remind fans they were still alive and kicking? But the lasting moments of this record are the ones that hide on the first couple listens, the tracks that blend in with the rest. I didn’t pay attention to “Lost Relics” until a few plays through the record, yet it’s easily the most satisfying tune here. It’s because of the song’s cooperative nature, and this plays into another attribute of Absent Light that I love-- how it feels like a collaborative effort between Misery Signals and its friends. “Lost Relics” works best when Todd Mackey of With Honor joins in on the fun, and assists Schubach to deliver some of the album’s most memorable lyrics.

“The weak and broken, the castaways out in the cold,
they will be left abandoned by those who claim to care;
Those who stand proudly on the wrong side of history,
mark my words-- your time will come”


The most legitimate argument against Misery Signals’ latest release Absent Light is that it’s disjointed. And it’s totally true-- this record is filled to the brim with ideas, concepts that have been bouncing back and forth in the band members’ minds for quite some time now. The ideas occasionally feel pushed together involuntarily, as if Misery Signals decided, of its own volition, that transitions were to be the biggest chink in its otherwise robust armor. But the funny thing about this is that it works-- despite the truth that well-written songs are more likely to contain cohesive ideas, Absent Light proves that it can be just as equitable to cover as much musical ground as possible. Tracks like “Shadows & Depth” unfurl only to recoil immediately, exposing melodies only to bury them under mounds of gargantuan riffs. And while there must be more classically sound ways to bridge such musical concepts, I find myself impressed at how there isn’t any glue required-- these songs breathe on their own, showing clout in every direction.

Should I be surprised that Absent Light is so satisfying? It does make sense-- the record wouldn’t even have existed if Misery Signals hadn’t gotten back together to nudge all of its floating ideas into a tangible work. Maybe this record wouldn’t exist under slightly different circumstances, which makes it a more rewarding listen-- because it’s hard to imagine tracks like “Carrier,” songs that sound so vital for both Misery Signals and their fans-- crumbling under the weight of the group’s departure, never to come to the surface. But Absent Light made it through the process alive, and so did Misery Signals. Nothing makes me believe that more than the second half of “Ursa Minor,” where the group taps into a melody that reminds me why metal is so refreshing to me. The instant covers all the bases-- its foundation is a simple enough rhythm, the guitarwork is as weighty and affecting as it should be, and Karl Schubach’s lyrics paint pictures I wouldn’t have been able to cobble together otherwise. “No lantern, no compass / no map to be found,” he growls, but he sounds okay with being lost. He knows Misery Signals died in 2009, and that Absent Light is a new release for a new group-- a promising beginning for a band that has been aching to stretch itself further than it ever could imagine.

And one integral aspect of this record is that it exists, in this very form, because of us. If the band’s most committed fans hadn’t contributed to the Kickstarter project for Absent Light, if Misery Signals hadn’t received the outpouring support it’s received ever since its brief departure from the metalcore scene, then this album wouldn’t be as affecting as it is. This is a fresh start for Misery Signals, and a direct response to the generosity of fans worldwide.



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user ratings (428)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
DanielPlainview (4.5)
I would summarize this as Misery Signals' most dark release yet, which is good and bad. The bad part...

Chuck Haller (4.5)
Taking energy from their previous works, Misery Signals have succeeded in giving fans something akin...

Manqaness24 (3.5)
Malice of Magum Heart + Mirrors+ Syth= Absent Light...

Dante Alighieri (4)
We all give up eventually but for Misery Signals that day is not today...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2013



9503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

"Lost Relics" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3Yyw3l-OnY
"Two Solitudes" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKiLA-uztmo
"Ursa Minor" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V8S1zEG18E

hi

Digging: Koan Sound - Dynasty

KILL
August 13th 2013



67177 Comments


omg

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2013



9503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

hey kill how u doin man?

Tyrannic
August 13th 2013



3229 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

great write up. surprisingly enough this is my first ms album...


yes, i do suck.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2013



7165 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Eh. I had a 'pleasure' to listen to this through Spotify, and it's totally not my thing.

Digging: Floor - Oblation

CK
August 13th 2013



4551 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2013



9503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Just ask our very own Dante Aligheiri, he knows I didn't enjoy this thing on the first spin at all.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2013



7165 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Yep, but an album should have at least some redeeming qualities to give it the 2nd spin. For me, this just seemed too atrocious to bother.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2013



9503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

My soul is melting

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2013



7165 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

I overexaggerated a bit, but still the fact stands: I don't get the appeal of this LP at all.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2013



9503 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Hopefully my review sheds a bit of (absent) light on that then!

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 13th 2013



7165 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3

Good write-up, but eh... not really a fan. To each his own as they say.

Gyromania
August 13th 2013



14653 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

my rating is prob the same as greg84's. good review though

KILL
August 13th 2013



67177 Comments


review it gyro

Gyromania
August 13th 2013



14653 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

nah, i'd be too negative and end up saying 'this is boring, just not fun to listen to blah'

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
August 13th 2013



23667 Comments


I never know whether to trust sputnik with stuff like this. I just know that if I finally cave and listen to this, I'll give it like a 3 and be pissed that I even bothered.

Digging: Trophy Scars - Holy Vacants

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
August 13th 2013



23667 Comments


I do like a lot of shitty hardcore though so someone who knows me well tell me if you think I'd like this.

ps very nice review, I really like your style now.

KILL
August 13th 2013



67177 Comments


are you dissin sputcore why i oughta

Gyromania
August 13th 2013



14653 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i seriously doubt you'd like this, adrian

bloc
August 13th 2013



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sadly this didn't blow me away like I was hoping. Probably their worst album right now.

But it definitely does take from each of the band's previous albums.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood



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