Misery Signals: Absent Light

Metalcore aficionados drink deep from the roots

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In the five years since Misery Signals’ Controller, metalcore has experienced a commercial death and recent rebirth, so this seems the perfect time for their return. But although Parkway Drive and While She Sleeps have updated the genre’s blueprint, Misery Signals’ sound pre-dates even the original metallic hardcore boom.

Absent Light owes more to earlier innovators like Poison The Well and Cave In and, ironically, sounds all the fresher for it. As well as precision thrash riffs and grizzled vocals there are electronic soundscapes and complex mathcore freakouts.

Shadows And Depth and Two Solitudes deliver the necessary sonic punch to the gut, whilst never compromising on the fragile beauty that marks them out as more than another bunch of big-shorted punks with a couple of At The Gates albums. If you needed a reminder of what made this genre such a big deal a decade ago then you could do a lot worse than picking this up.

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.