I think as Extreme Metal fans we can all agree that we were getting a little antsy awaiting new music from Baltimore’s loudest sons, Misery Index. Watching the news every day through my fingers I know that the world and a certain leader are shit, so I figured Misery Index are in no shortage of material to convert into awesome grind sounds. But wait no more, children; Rituals Of Power (Season of Mist) is finally here.
But to formally begin this review, let us all take a moment to appreciate the talents of one Adam Jarvis. If not for his work with Misery Index you may recognize him from such noisemakers as Pig Destroyer or Scour. I don’t know if there is such a thing as the Extreme Metal Hall of Fame (we should probably get on that), but young Jarvis’ chops should net him a seat at the table alongside guys like Mike Smith, Dave Lombardo, Flo Mounier, and Pete Sandoval. Notice the man’s machine-precise kick drums and blasts on bangers like ‘Decline And Fall’ and the ridiculous ‘I Disavow.’ If we could convert sheer kick-drum intensity into electricity Rituals Of Power could light up the city of Los Angeles.
But it is not just Jarvis who shows up in fighting shape as the rest of Misery Index pull no punches on stormers like ‘New Salem’ and the punishing title-track. Yet, it’s not complete Death Metal madness as from time to time Misery Index shows fleeting moments of beauty. ‘The Choir Invisible’ stands defiant by sticking to tradition and brilliantly being built around a conventional verse-chorus structure. Even the Grindcore arson job that is the aforementioned ‘I Disavow’ shows off some progressive tendencies with a series of technical and catchy guitar solos.
The world may seem like it’s on fire and the leader of the free world is a two-bit huckster with toddler hands, but I’ve got some new Misery Index so I can say its kind of worth it. I’d rather headbang than cry these days.
8 / 10