Overall Score: 8/10 Vocals : 8/10 Musicianship: 8/10 Variety : 7/10 Pros: Classic sound delivered with more maturity | High level of quality throughout with no tracks feeling like filler Cons: Lacks originality
As if the prospect of a new Misery Signals album after seven years wasn’t exciting enough for fans. Ultraviolet also sees the return of original vocalist Jesse Zarasaka for the first time since their cult classic debut Of Malice and the Magnum Heart. With all this in place is this album a classic return to form or do they fail to recapture former glories?
The album gets off to a fantastic start with The Tempest, a timeless blast of metalcore that should immediately put fans at ease. The combination of hefty metallic chug and soaring melodic moments just serve as a reminder why Misery Signals have been such a big influence on so many bands who have come along since. Sunlifter brings the emotional intensity up a notch with the sort of lovelorn lyricism but just delivered with more maturity. Jesse also fits back in perfectly, his vocal approach is more guttural this time round but he really channels the emotions of each song into every line.
River King is the first track to change up the pace a bit. Starting with a very somber melodic passage before the heaviness kicks in and hits so much harder as a result. The song does a great job blending the atmospheric moments in with the aggression so when the breakdown does drop it comes crashing in like a wrecking ball. The musicianship throughout is impressiv juggling technical moments with straight up brutality with neither suffering. It’s a difficult album to pick a highlight on as all of its 9 tracks really stand out. Every song feels like the same amount of craft has been put in. Whether it’s more restrained moments like Through Vales of Blue Fire or ragers like The Fall, none of it feels like filler.
You can hear a lot of newer bands in what Misery Signals are doing here but then that feels more like their original influence coming back round. Old Ghosts for example sounds like it could have been taken off any of the last three Counterparts albums but then it’s very clear Misery Signals have always been a huge influence on that band. Ultraviolet doesn’t exactly break new ground which might disappoint some but with this being a return to the original line up, it seems like the aim was to just deliver an album that feels like old school Misery Signals. Only with a modern production job that really lets those melodic moments sound bigger than ever without sanding down the edges too much.
Ultraviolet is every bit the record fans could have hoped for. This feels like the band who wrote Of Malice and the Magnum Heart with more maturity. It doesn’t do anything new but it never really needed to. It just had to recapture part of what made people love Misery Signals in the first place and it does an amazing job there. When it comes to straight down the line metalcore, Ultraviolet is definitely one of the stand out records from this year.
Misery Signals new album Ultraviolet is released today, August 7th 2020, on Basick Records.