REVIEW: OF MISERY – “Black Noose” [EP]
There’s no denying that deathcore is a booming genre. Whether it be the successful bands that have broken into the mainstream, or it’s burgeoning underground scene, there always seems to be a new suite of bands wanting to make a splash. Brisbane band Of Misery, is one of the latest bands to try their hands at it, and have bolted onto the scene by unleashing their terrifyingly dark debut EP Black Noose.
The spoken word introduction on opening track Misery which samples quotes from Werner Herzog’s documentary Burden of Dreams, is one of the best efforts of foreshadowing in recent memories. Lines such as “The trees here are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don’t think they – they sing. They just screech in pain” really dictate exactly what the remainder of this release is about, and having this EP succinctly summarized in such a short track by the band is truly remarkable. But it’s the way in which this track ties into its successor that makes it work so well with the music reaching crescendo point just as the band unleashes an aural onslaught in track Obsessions.
Title track Black Noose is a perfect example at the smart song structures that the band has put in place. Starting out with all instruments rolling during the introduction, the band silences the pounding drums and leaves nothing but the heavily distorted guitar chugging along before kicking the instruments back into full force. It’s a subtle move, but it’s definitely a move that commands a ton of attention, and instantly creates a memorable impact on this track.
With that being said, there is an evident pattern in the way that the band has composed their songs – you have your standard breakdown type moment in most of them – but the pacing of each track seems, for lack of a better word, familiar. That’s not to say that there is massive repetition on this EP, far from it in fact as the instrumental work helps to distinguish each track, but the pacing could lead to listeners feeling like there isn’t much variety on it.The EP is not all breakdowns though and has some decent melody across it’s seven tracks, but it is delivered in such a melancholic way that it feels very ominous to listen to. The impactful sound of the distorted guitar tone brings a very isolated feel to every track. Of Misery have used this to great effect in their songwriting and have crafted tracks that do a great job in making the listener question their own self worth. The lyrical themes and imagery also paint this very bleak picture of self loathing and isolation that this EP seemed to be going for. Fusing these lyrics with the slow pounding drums and the heavily distorted riffs really encapsulates this bleak perspective to great effect.
For a seven song offering, you can tell that the band has done their homework with the runtime showcasing enough ability to attract fans, but also not leaving the listener wanting more. It certainly caters to a particular type of listener, but it’s a formula that the intended target audience is going to absolutely love.Overall, Of Misery have created something dark with Black Noose that balances a fine line of being confronting, without overstepping its bounds. The unrelenting delivery of each track is very reminiscent of many similar deathcore artists, and definitely feels like it draws heavily from bands like Thy Art Is Murder, while still feels fresh in terms of things attempted. This won’t be a release that will revolutionize Deathcore, but it certainly is a very heavy hitter, making it a worthy welcoming statement for the band, and a worthy addition to the genre.