Review Summary: Beauty, chaos and everything in between.Ultraviolet
is the Misery Signals album that wasn't supposed to happen. Even coming off of the Malice X
reunion tour in 2014, guitarist Ryan Morgan stated that the band was at a weird point in it’s career where it was likely to disband after the tour. The sense of long sought-after closure portrayed in Yesterday was Everything
did little (besides a few hints) to allow fans to hope in any kind of long-term reunion of the band or creation of new material.
The writing of new material with the original 5 members of the band was first teased in 2016, followed by yearly updates, inching closer and closer to recording for what felt like forever. The distance between members and their different lifestyles had me worried about the writing process for the album. After all, Absent Light
seemed to have been written in a similar fashion, and in my opinion, that was apparent in the final product. Anyway, even mediocre Misery Signals is good metalcore, so I’ll take what I can get. Fast forward 4 years, Ultraviolet
is finally here.
When singles The Tempest
and River King
were released, I was filled with a light sense of dread. They were lacking what I would consider the signature Misery Signals staples. With very few hints of those abrupt melodic riffs that usually set them apart from other metalcore bands, it all seemed very predictable, safe and calculated. And, for the record, it has nothing to do with Zaraska coming back. I would have been happy with either vocalist.
Once I finally pressed play and gave the full record a listen, I found myself constantly jolted with shocks of nostalgia. Each riff slightly reminiscent of a different Misery Signals era. Sunlifter
(previously released as an Absent Light
B-Side 7” with Karl on vocals) sounds like it actually could have been a Mirrors
B-side. Songs such as Old Ghosts
and Cascade Locks
sound like a more mature take on the Of Malice and the Magnum Heart
style of writing, while others like The Fall
showcases the band’s similar kind of patience and control that could be found on some songs from Controller
. And while it sounds like there might be some leftover Absent Light
riffs or breakdowns scattered throughout the album, Ultraviolet sounds much more cohesive as a whole.
is Misery Signals condensed, focused and concentrated. The guitar work isnt as layered or sporadic as previous releases, which might make some aspects of the record sound a little August Burns Red
or The Ghost Inside
at some points, but all the classic Misery Signatures (see what I did there?) are hidden away in there somewhere.
Ultimately, the shorter length of the album left me wanting more. Songs such as [i]Redemption Key[i] would have benefited from being a little more fleshed out, as I feel there was still lasting potential when the song ended abruptly. I’ve also taken the liberty of re-arranging the tracks in my iTunes so that Though Vales of Blue Fire
opens the album, because let’s face it, that’s where it should be.
Here I stand, my worries crushed. After 6 years of hoping, waiting and wondering every day when my favourite band would finally release music that could make me feel this again. And while I dont think the album’s full potential was reached, I am once again reminded that Misery Signals stand out because their music blurs the lines of beauty, chaos and every sound in-between. But this time, it’s all very calculated.