Of Malice And The Magnum Heart review by Misery Signals

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  • Released: Jun 1, 2004
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.9 (36 votes)
Misery Signals: Of Malice And The Magnum Heart

Sound — 9
I feel that Misery Signals really broke through a near-inepenetrable barrier after this album; the barrier in question is the sub genre. Their sound can not be easily defined or placed in any random category just for the sake of ease as it is something to be marvelled at. They formed after the term Metalcore was conjured up so they were instantally placed under it after their release of "Malice" but so many different tones and sounds are heard within the music it's hard to really find a definitive genre for them. A Genre using the terms "Metal Technical Melodic Hardcore" all in one. Guitarist Ryan Morgan provides super tight metal and hardcore grooves mixed with elegant and mystical lead parts, along with twin brother (and drummer) Branden Morgan who supplies excellent fills that are a treat to listen as well as keeping those technical grooves going strong. The production on the album is a good balance as well giving each instrument their limelight at some point during the album and flaunting the entire band's skill to change the mood of one of their songs in a matter of seconds (the producer of "Malice" was Devin Townsend). I've been a fan of their music for a long time and can confidentally recommend this album or any of their others (Mirrors and Controller) to any other musician.

Lyrics — 9
Due to the situation of the band's formation (the break up of compromise and 7 angels 7 plagues brought the band together and 2 members of compromise were killed in a tragic van crash caused by a collision with a drunk driver) a lot of the lyrics are in reference to the accident and the loss of the lead singer's friends. But the song title's and lyrics fit almost perfectly with the mood of the music. On top of this the vocals are constantly contrasting with the hardcore sensibilities heard in his voice as well as the metal attributes. There aren't as many singing moments in the song which might annoy some people, but there are enough shout-out moments to make up for that.

Overall Impression — 9
I personally prefer Mirrors myself, as I feel it is more laidback and makes an easier listen, but this shouldn't stop every single person on this website that is interested in progressive rock/metal/hardcore checking them out. I can guarantee you've never heard a band that could make such technical guitar sound so easy in your life.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Ah yes, the good old "shredcore" formula that's so popular with the guitar-minded sceners these days. Still, this band pulls it off considerably better than most and can end up sounding pretty rocking sometimes. No way I could listen to a whole album of this though.
    'Shredcore'? Far from it. Every note these guys play is tasteful, and adds to the whole of the song. We aren't discussing The Faceless, or Beneath The Massacre here. And Paddles, you couldn't listen to a whole album of WHAT? There is no 'formula' here. The songs are less technical, and the (musical, not lyrical) writing is not as good as 'Mirrors', but 'Of Malice And The Magnum Heart' teems with honesty and a sense of sincerity that 'Mirrors' lacks. Take the track 'The Year Summer Ended In June'. I wouldn't say that there's much of a formula. I wouldn't dare call it 'shredcore'. I would however say that it's a very well-written song, and is emotional, complex, and shows tasteful playing.
    .cadence I love your honesty, completely agree witht he comment about 'the year summer ended in june'. That song made quite an impact on me due to the lyrics. basically outlines everything the band went through throuhgout the tragic accident with their past members split between the two bands. Again. not much of a 'formula' but still very effective.