Misery Index - _Heirs to Thievery_
(Relapse Records, 2010)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (8.5 out of 10)
Have you ever seen molten iron? Do you remember that red glow that looks like the belly of the sun? The energy required to bring a block of iron to that point is immense, and so is the energy that burns in the bellies of Baltimore's Misery Index. The news about their number four effort _Heirs to Thievery_ brought up a grin of confidence on my face, confidence that Jason Netherton and his associates can once again strike with maximum efficiency. Put on your neck braces boys, this ride is not for the faint of heart.

_Heirs to Thievery_ consists of eleven blistering tracks of socio-politically critical, angry and unrelenting death metal. Starting from "Embracing Extinction" and ending at "Day of the Dead" (both under the two minute mark), Adam Jarvis pounds the drum set with endless tremors of energy. His accuracy and precision at such high speeds just keeps on improving record after record. "The Carrion Call" sees Misery Index introduce a short double guitar melody and a slightly slower tempo, but that hardly makes up the first half of it, for the next minute or so is another manifestation of the sheer power these guys can dispatch from their instruments. It's almost impossible to assume the role of a spectator while listening to "The Spectator"; a track that bursts non-stop with adrenaline for over two minute then Mr. Jarvis brings things down with a systematic beat on the toms only to have them raised up again for an awesome finish.

We have a nice proverb in Egypt that means 'two hits on the head really hurt'. It's not the wisest proverb we use, but I find myself reminded of it after listening to two of the most vicious aural beat downs Misery Index have ever put together; "Plague of Objects" and "You Lose". "The Seventh Cavalry" starts with this mid-tempo riff that's a little reminiscent of _Discordia_'s title track. It is in fact the slowest of the eleven little monsters crafted here, and it has a tinge of old-school death metal. Netherton's vocals are as commanding as ever, and he expresses his abhorrence towards the issues he's addressing quite masterfully.

This brutal offering is yet another confirmation that these guys still have a lot to say, and when you look closely at the album cover, you'll realize how intent they are on delivering their messages. They're not just chuggin' and blastin' for the fun of it. The album cover is the first thing you notice upon purchasing, and they've once again succeeded in using it to depict their messages. In retrospect, my fellow metal freaks, we have yet another album that spits in the face of conformity. With _Heirs to Thievery_, Misery Index maintains the almighty middle finger soaring high against conventions.

Contact: http://www.myspace.com/miseryindex

(article published 6/13/2010)


ALBUMS
3/15/2009 D Cairns 8.5 Misery Index - Traitors
5/31/2006 J Smit 9 Misery Index - Discordia
8/31/2003 J Smit 10 Misery Index - Retaliate
GIGS
2/25/2008 J Smit Despised Icon / Misery Index / Beneath the Massacre / Annotations of an Autopsy Bent Backwards and Broken
12/26/2003 J Smit Deicide / Destruction / Nile / Akercocke / Dew-Scented / Graveworm / Misery Index Redemption at the Palace
8/31/2003 A McKay Dying Fetus / Skinless / Divine Empire / Misery Index / Stavross A Mini Milwaukee
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