Misery Signals - Controller

10 songs
41:51 minutes
***** ****


Controller is already the third CD by the American metalcore band Misery Signals who were under a lot of pressure to achieve again the same quality level as on their previous album Mirrors from 2006. Conscious of the expectations, they hired Canadian allround talent Devin Townsend to produce, as he did already on their debut Of Malice And The Magnum Heart in 2004.

I can say upfront that Controller has indeed become a record that lies far above the average. It’s not surprising that the sound has become very fat and epic, which gives the music a contemporary touch. Also the musicians still show that they are perfectly able on their instruments, hardly ever opting for the easiest way. Brutal breaks, aggressive guitar riffs and accessible choruses are the skeleton for the songs. There is always room for ultra-progressive thrash attacks and atmospheric parts that are often accompanied by some kind of spoken word vocals. It’s impossible to pinpoint Misery Signals to one specific genre, because they are more than just pure metalcore. Their attraction lies in their unpredictability. Controller should be the ideal soundtrack for fans of Meshuggah, Fear Factory, although everyone who likes everything between mathcore and brutal metal should be alright with it too.

Less sophisticated than the complex musical structures are the vocals that rely too heavily on grunting, although there are also clean parts during the choruses, some screaming choirs and the aforementioned spoken word parts. I would have wished for the vocals to be less brutal and more varied, as it was the case on Mirrors.

Even if Controller is not the masterstroke that their predecessor was, it’s still an excellent piece of extreme metal with great arrangements and compact song ideas. You won’t be bored, the running time is optimal for this kind of music, and if Misery Signals work harder on the vocals, we might just get another milestone the next time.

Back to Reviews