This Misery Garden: Cornerstone

Modern prog metal with a broad, engaging palette

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These are cheering times for metal fans who demand a little more than cheap thrills and directionless energy from their music. Exhibiting a very obvious but shrewdly expressed debt to the modern progressive surge’s key heavyweights, This Misery Garden have a sound that is equal parts familiar and foreign.

The unmistakable rhythmic layering of Tool can be heard clearly, but these Swiss shapeshifters have added a beguiling shroud of melancholy that negates the notion that they are wholly in thrall to any one compositional ethos. Songs like Human ET and the stuttering Death Head Colors take interwoven riffing as a starting point, but sombre vocals and a faint sense of otherworldly yearning ensure that this is as much an exercise in emotion as it is technicality.

At their most restrained – the tense Siamese Again – This Misery Garden recall a mathed-up Katatonia, while shades of Alice In Chains point to an instinct for generating new mutations from revered ingredients.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.