Review Summary: A relatively standard Death/Grind album that helps you appreciate the band for the progress they have made.
Misery Index has come a long way since releasing this album. They've adopted a more technical style, become stronger songwriters, and have been continuing to progress. However, before these changes became evident, they were only a standard Death/Grind act with good ideas that weren't utilized to their fullest.
The album starts off a bit slow, but showcases a very good rhythm section, primarily demonstrating a fairly well-done chug from the guitarists and an impressive percussionist. However, after the surprisingly dramatic buildup, things fall apart a bit. It leads into a typical whammy bar wankfest of a guitar solo, and brings us to an extremely standard fast-paced Grind outro, which introduces the vocalist. The vocals are definitely an aquired taste. He keeps to one pitch and rarely varies his tone.
The majority of the remainder of the album (All tracks but the superb final track, "Birth of Ignorance".)sticks to the standard fast-paced Grind side of their music, and will keep the listener entertained but never amazed. This is partially because the album never gives you a chance to breathe once it builds up its steam from the intro. As soon as it hits the fast Grind part of the first track, that is what you get for the remainder of the album until the final track comes to play. The only two tracks that actually stand out due to their slower sections are the intro and outro. The rest of the tracks simply meld together and don't have any defining characteristics that let you know that you are listening to a certain song.
The positives to this album are that the musicianship is very good, especially the drummer, who has this Brann Dailor-esque sense of "How many different fills can I fit in this song"". The guitar is primarily tremolo-picking on the top three strings, but every now and then, they show off their talent with a few tasteful sweeping sections.
In conclusion, this album is a fairly standard Death/Grind affair that helps you appreciate Misery Index for the progress they have made, but in itself, it is nothing more than Misery Index in the beginning stages of establishing their sound.