Review Summary: Frenetic, emotional, and deeply satisfying“Bore of our own necessity. Wristmeetrazor exists as a monument to the space between sanity and self-destruction. Happiness. Sadness. Life. Death.”
With an introductory statement like this on your band’s biography page, the expectation of an album drenched in emotion comes bubbling to the surface. Forget about the godawful band name for a second; despite referencing a Usurp Synapse track from 2003, it reeks of the distinct edginess that gave the emo subculture such a bad name just a short decade ago. Despite the obvious cringe involved, their goal (aside from the one mentioned in their biography) is to put together a mix of 1st-wave-revival metalcore and emoviolence. Think of it almost like you would a cross between Pg. 99 and Vein, if you will. Prior to this, Wristmeetrazor had released two EPs, I Talk to God…
and ...But the Sky Is Empty
, both of which relied a bit more heavily on their emoviolence roots than anything else.
On the other hand, Misery Never Forgets
taps into the 1st-wave-revival side of their sound far more than on previous work, bearing a sonic similarity to bands more along the lines of Eighteen Visions, The Chariot, and Converge. While not quite the technical powerhouse as someone like Kurt Ballou, guitarist Jonah Thorne knows how to deliver a stellar performance. The album begins with a riff driven by panic chords in opener “Loathsome”, setting the tone for what's to come afterwards. “XOXO (Love Letters from a Loaded Gun)” wears the band’s influences on its sleeve with its Ballou-esque build-up leading to a whirlwind of aggression. Sans the closer “No More Blue Tomorrows”, nothing on this breaks the three minute mark, making for a brief experience that’s all the more satisfactory for it. “Goodbye Sweet Betty” serves as a break from the chaos of the other eight tracks, allowing the listener to soak in whatever atmosphere is held within the brief runtime of the album.
Despite how common (almost to the point of cliche, in fact) the lyrical themes present on Misery Never Forgets
are in both metalcore and emoviolence, they hold significance here when considering the band’s intentions. Sorrow, regret, and mourning are just a few of the emotions that hold this twenty-minute deluge of patently controlled chaos together; whether it’s lamenting a death like in “No More Blue Tomorrows” or expressing regret in “He Smiled from Ear to Ear”, the level of emotional honesty on display adds to the overall humanity of the album. The three members of Wristmeetrazor certainly aren’t intending to blow everyone’s minds with an intricate concept on the level of Tool’s Lateralus
, but they really don’t need to in a genre that’s not bound by the same level of intricacy as something like progressive metal. The band simply says what they need to say and never overstays their welcome, which makes total sense when considering the brevity of each track.
While their name is arguably tasteless and may be offensive to people, it wouldn’t be the wisest choice for any self-professed fan of metalcore or emoviolence to ignore a mammoth of an album like Misery Never Forgets
solely because of the name attached to it. The emotional element of the record runs fairly deep, the music is caustic in all the right ways, and it’s abundantly clear that Wristmeetrazor is wearing just about every influence they derive their sound from on their sleeve. You won’t find long, sprawling post-rock jams here, as evidenced by the fact that only its closer breaks the three minute mark, but you will find an abundance of spastic numbers from beginning to end. What’s most impressive here is how the band’s sound manages to feel more powerful as a three-piece than many bands can pull off with five or more members. Here’s to hoping they stick around for a while longer.
1) Loathsome (4/5)
2) In Line for Halos (4/5)
3) Insecurity Checkpoint (4/5)
4) Come On In, the Water’s Pink (3.5/5)
5) Goodbye Sweet Betty (4/5)
6) XOXO (Love Letters from a Loaded Gun) (4.5/5)
7) He Smiled from Ear to Ear (4/5)
8) Expiry Date: 12 Hours (4/5)
9) No More Blue Tomorrows (4.5/5)
OVERALL ALBUM RATING: ~4.1/5