Review Summary: Man's Inhumanity to Man.....
Upon the first opening riff of Misery Index
’s Heirs to Thievery one can instantly sense a close resemblance to the newest Napalm Death
offering. The blistering guitars and pounding of the double-bass acquires recollection of a band that has painstakingly and progressively refined their sound from each release. Not to say that any of their albums are necessarily weak, however, this is the first of the Misery Index discography that I have thoroughly enjoyed. While Discordia, and even more so on Traitors, displayed some tasty licks of finely tuned, metal artistry, there was something missing from those albums. While the tracks brought a refined and technical approach, there was very little in the way of memorable play-back value. This is vital in my musical criticisms and to this day I still have trouble sitting through those entire albums from A-Z, minus several finite gems scattered about. I already anticipate a barrage of neg’s for this comment alone because this band definitely has the right approach. One is hard pressed to find bands that can remain musically consistent and release album after album of stellar quality, and where respect is due; Misery Index is pretty damn close.
Currently signed as a Relapse Records release, Heirs to Thievery plays closest to a Death/Grind/Thrash outing with a smorgasbord of crunchy guitar riffs, kick-to-the-groin double pedal drumming and an unrelenting vocal attack driven by guttural screams from vocalist/bassist Jason Netherton. The opener ‘Embracing Extinction’ enters with a simple, yet crushing guitar line that runs with a rapid tempo speed as drums intermingle machine gun pedaling. To a certain respect, many of these torturous overtures play out like those of a Hate Eternal
composition as bass and drums add a second layer of thickness to the brutality. This aspect of the music is truly handled with masterful ease from drummer Adam Jarvis and his live, stage performance is no exception to the rule. I was fortunate to see their live act a bit ago and these songs were handled with the same devastating turbulence in accordance with their recordings.
Much of the lyrical approach is what one would come to expect; a civilization’s inevitable self destruction, man’s inhumanity to man and the exhibition of irrational power. The title track builds off these concepts most aptly and is reason in itself to purchase the album, standing firmly as being one of the best song’s Misery Index has written. The guitar lines near the one minute mark had me hitting the repeat button again and again. The Illuminaught is another tasty lick that presents the true technical precision that Misery Index has to offer and tackles the subject of false enlightenment and an individual’s willingness to fall victim to a sometimes illogical social norm.
Unfortunately, the real flaw that comes with this release is the production value. The drumming, at times, takes the highest precedence over the rest of the instruments and becomes rather tiresome in its own regard. This album would have given Napalm’s ‘Time Waits For No Slave’ a real run for its money if the guitars would have received the same, ample treatment. While Heirs To Thievery does present more of a thrash quality in its grooves and tempos, I still find myself going to the above mentioned for some meatier guitar play. Don’t get me wrong, production value on any grind release should be dirtier and muddied with the relentlessness of its time signatures. Regardless, all instruments require even uniformity, and at times, this isn’t always achieved.
I could rant on all the same points previously mentioned for the remanider of the album, but I find that to be rather tiresome in its own regard. This album is without a doubt a strong offering from a promising group. Still, some may have a hard time differentiating a fair portion of songs on here, and I can’t argue with that. Heirs to Thievery does by no means bring anything new to the table. Still, the musical onslaught sets out to pummel the listener in just under thirty-five minutes. And the rhythmic thrashing is oh-so gratifying.