The wait is over: a new Misery Signals song is here, with new album ‘Ultraviolet’ arriving August 7th.
Seven years ago, Misery Signals released ‘Absent Light,’ their last album with vocalist Karl Schubach, before Jesse Zaraska would return to the band for a ten-year album anniversary tour for 2004’s ‘Of Malice And The Magnum Heart‘ in 2014. Over the last few years, with new shows coming and going, the band have claimed that new material was indeed being written and that they working hard away on new songs. Yet for many fans, even with the ‘Sunlifter‘ 7″, a new album has basically been a pipe dream for the last five or so years; like the metalcore version of a new Tool record, just minus the lack of hair and take off an added nine years. But now, the day that’s been yearned and longed-over for what feels like aeons has arrived: a new album has been announced and new music from Misery Signals is in our hands. Somebody fucking pinch me!
The opening song off their new LP, ‘Ultraviolet,’ ‘The Tempest‘ is exactly what we expected these metalcore legends to return with. And that is classic Misery Signals, from top to bottom. In many ways, ‘The Tempest‘ is simply that: an imposing storm of bellowing, indomitable late 2000’s-sounding metalcore with bright melodies, chugging off-kilter riffs, huge grooves, big-ass crew vocals, and Jesse’s raw yet overbearing screams (which sound quite similar to Karl’s tone at times) leading the assault with spiritual, motivating lyricism to “forge through this tempest“, hold on, be honest, and one day find clearer skies. The short-lived intro of contemplative ambience is broken by mighty guitar and cymbal crashes as Jesse decries “we will be lifted” and from there, Misery Signals rocket off with quick-fire instrumental runs, cleaner melodic licks, galloping rhythms, tectonic drums, brutal heaviness, and tasteful singing parts. A bad song ‘The Tempest‘ is not, and it’s so cool to hear him screaming and singing back in the band on-record again after 16 years.
However, seven years is a long damn time, so now Misery Signals in 2020 does sound quite close to what many would expect from Counterparts – a band who literally musically worships the ground that Misery Signals walk on – or that of peers in August Burns Red, with some parts on ‘The Tempest‘ carrying some later-day ABR vibes. In the sense of finally having new Signals to wrap my ears around, this is a HUGE moment. It’s a massive moment-in-time for the band themselves, for the fans who’ve stuck around for so long, and honestly, for heavy music at large in 2020; one that myself and many others didn’t think would ever come to pass. Yet, as a single song and taking it for what it is, and whilst still a decent comeback effort, ‘The Tempest‘ doesn’t overly “wow” me all that much. I’ll put it this way: my excitement at them releasing a new song from their next album trumps my enjoyment of said new song. Make sense? Sweet!
While one cannot fault ‘The Tempest‘ for what it is – the kind of heavy, technical and purely distilled, dark-balanced-with-light metalcore that Misery Signals mastered off the back of ‘Controller‘ (2008) – I also can’t help but think that it would’ve been even more relevant and impactful had it arrived back in 2016 or 2017 instead. It’s light-years away from being one of my favourites of their works. Nonetheless, I’m incredibly pumped for what Misery Signals have up their sleeve for the rest of this long-awaited, Devin Townsend-produced fifth album. ‘Ultraviolet‘ is out August 7th via Basick Records. (The fact that it’s even coming out blows my mind a little.)
Fly into ‘The Tempest‘ below and move toward the light:
01. The Tempest
03. River King
04. Through Vales of Blue Fire
05. Old Ghosts
06. The Fall
07. Redemption Key
08. Cascade Locks
09. Some Dreams