Misery Index - _Discordia_
(Relapse Records, 2006)
by: Jackie Smit (9 out of 10)
With the sort of critical acclaim that was lavished over Misery Index's debut, you could say that there's a certain weight of expectation hovering over its sequel. Ignoring for a moment the fact that a three year absence didn't exactly do wonders for the Baltimore foursome's momentum, it would be all too tempting for any act in a similar position to return to a formula that garnered them significant success in the past. Misery Index does the exact opposite, ditching for starters almost every remaining trace of its mainman Jason Netherton's alma mater in Dying Fetus. In its place is a slew of new ideas, running the gauntlet from punk on "Meet Reality" to the surprisingly demure use of melody on the title track, and even a brutal onslaught of Hate Eternal-like proportions on "Conquistadores".

There's no mistaking that this is still a Misery Index record, however. Despite casting themselves willingly into unexplored musical territory, it's a part that the band play with a great deal of confidence, and Netherton's larynx fraying growls alone are enough to put to any allusions of a complete about turn to bed. The same goes for the band's firebrand political lyrics, which previously took an almost central role on _Retaliate_. How this outing stacks up to that record therefore boils down to personal opinion, but for my money _Discordia_ would have been another perfect ten contender had it not been for some pretty stiff competition this year.

Contact: http://www.miseryindex.com

(article published 31/5/2006)

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