Misery Signals
Controller


5.0
classic

Review

by NewBallistics USER (2 Reviews)
November 8th, 2016 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Holding on gets harder and harder..

Controller was released on July 22nd 2008 and marks a return to form for what many believe to be the greatest unknown metalcore act of the last decade. I’m not putting it lightly for a reason, I thoroughly support this claim. The band chose to collaborate with Devin Townsend as a producer once more thus reintroducing the complexity seen on their first full-length. This is the last record Misery Signals released before an unofficial hiatus, and is also the last Misery Signals record to feature Stu Ross on guitar. He was later replaced by Gregory Thomas on their follow-up record Absent Light. This was also thought to be the last album to feature Kyle Johnson on bass, as he resigned from the band in 2010. However, as of 2013, Kyle Johnson has returned.

First off, the production here is strong and crisp. Those who may have enjoyed a rawer sound found in earlier releases may find this displeasing, however, being a big fan of both this and Of Malice, this is not nearly the same complaint I had with Mirrors. This features the band's most complex and progressive material, often incorporating polyrhythmic drumming, and melodic counterpoints between the guitars, as well as complex song structures.

The guitar playing as always is phenomenal. In my opinion, the guitar work is more or less what makes Misery Signals who they are. These musicians are beyond incredible; no two other guitar players can so easily and naturally pummel the listener while soothing them with some of the most beautiful melodies I've ever heard. Songs such as "A Certain Death" and "Labyrinthine" shows the band’s writing form best with catchy hooks and lingering choruses. "Weight Of The World", for example, could be the most straight forward tune the band has committed to tape, that is until its foot to the floor tempo makes way for a hook laden chorus and a Meshuggah worthy breakdown. These tracks keep the record moving, albeit being faster and shorter than anything else on the album. Moving forward, “Parallels” and “Coma” strike a perfect balance between heaviness and ambience, the latter utilizing the percussive talents of Ryan and Branden’s father in the background.

Vocals are also much lower than we heard on the previous record, but are delivered with amazing clarity. Many MS fans seem to have a greater attachment to the group’s original singer, and as such, they haven’t fully embraced Karl Schubach as a front man. I’m going to put it out there… Karl is a far superior vocalist! His voice has a massive bottom end yet still retains a clarity that makes every one of his lyrics audible and most importantly, understandable. The ending chant "I'd give anything to return to nothing" on ‘Nothing’ always gives me the biggest goosebumps everytime. The lyrical content on this album deals with loss, depression, love, self-hatred, forgiveness, and religion so fans should feel right at home. Tracks like "Parallels" and "Set In Motion" maintain lyrical intensity, while "Ebb And Flow" flaunts its melody throughout the track by implementing clean vocals. It should be noted that the clean vocals that appear in the song are courtesy of Karl himself, stunning even myself that someone who can deliver such unrelenting screams is capable of carrying a user-friendly tune.

In my opinion, the drumming in this album has ALWAYS been overlooked. Branden Morgan has always been fantastic, and shines bright and loud. The blistering opener "Nothing" doesn’t waste any time on starting the album off heavy. The very moment it came spewing out of my speakers, I was dumbfounded by the precision of the drum work. Throughout a flurry of creative drum fills the song still manages to maintain a steady beat, all the while Morgan is giving us mere mortals a lesson in drum kit theatrics. Towards the end, the track "Reset" finishes off the album well incorporating all that has worked throughout and "Homecoming" brings Controller an epic, soaring sound conclusion.

This album is still the best album of 2008 and probably the past 5 years coming out of the metalcore grinder. Strictly, my opinion is also based in the fact that is still my favorite band. The most impressive things strike me with each listen. So much diversity, talent, and aggression in them; I love everything about this album. I hate that this album and band are not more known around the mainstream and don't get the credit they deserve for making such amazing music. Alas, I hope that this review will get more people to pick it up a give it a spin. Trust this music addict, this is one you cannot pass up. 4.9


user ratings (1617)
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
NewBallistics
November 8th 2016


912 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I’m cutting the bullshit story for this review. You don’t care and neither do I.



I'm going on 3 hours of sleep so I'll see you guys tomorrow.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2016


57427 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

hell yeah

Digging: Charli XCX - How I'm Feeling Now

ramon.
November 8th 2016


3745 Comments


This album rules. I've only listened to this and Absent Light from the band so my opinions on earlier vocals are non-existent but I really don't like the harsh vocals on here. Especially when the lyrics are (imo) so corny. However, the clean melody on "A Certain Death" is so perfect that my biggest gripe with the album is the fact that it only crops up once during the track. Good review, nice to see you post something new.

BallsDeep
November 8th 2016


4645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Quite a well written review, although some of the first paragraph is a bit extraneous where you detail the lineup.

Also mentioning several times that its your opinion is a bit redundant since its a given.

The review is a bit adulatory but I guess thats bound to be the case when you're this passionate about an album and giving it a 4.9 rating so its not really a criticism.

Lastly is just the fact that Misery Signals aren't exactly unknown or underrated among metalheads either, possibly among surface level poseurs but even so they're far from underground.

Still nice review for the most part and a great album

bloc
November 8th 2016


63499 Comments


A modern classic

Digging: Disclosure - Energy

renegadestrings
November 8th 2016


1531 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

When life knocks you down, you listen to this

calmrose
November 8th 2016


5669 Comments


[2]

NewBallistics
November 8th 2016


912 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Trebor and I agree on something, does not compute.

NastyCrab
November 8th 2016


790 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Every time I think I want to listen to one track from this album, I end up listening to the whole thing. The momentum from start to finish is unreal.

RosaParks
November 8th 2016


593 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

best metalcore album

BallsDeep
November 8th 2016


4645 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

not even the best misery signals album (still probably my 2nd fav metalcore albums though lol)

SteakByrnes
November 8th 2016


21119 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album rules hard

Digging: Motives - Death Throes

Spec
November 8th 2016


35992 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

classic

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
November 8th 2016


6264 Comments


Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

classic

Spec
November 8th 2016


35992 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

11.08

Misery Signals - Controller

11.08

Dance Gavin Dance - Mothership

11.08

Vote

11.08

Election time!

11.08

my house is so cold

11.07

Dog breed poll

11.07

Memba Sach





GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
November 8th 2016


6264 Comments


YOU KNOW WHAT I DID SPEC!

Spec
November 8th 2016


35992 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

sputnikmusic cant tell me when i can and cant comment classic

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
November 8th 2016


6264 Comments


MODS!!!!!!!!!!!!

NewBallistics
November 8th 2016


912 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Might just do Of Malice next week. Idk

HarryBoBerry
November 9th 2016


620 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This might be my favorite personal album. Great review. I probably jam this at least once a week.



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