MISERY INDEX
"Heirs to Thievery"

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01. Embracing Extinction
02. Fed to the Wolves
03. The Carrion Call
04. Heirs to Thievery
05. The Spectator
06. The Seventh Cavalry
07. The Illuminaught
08. Plague of Objects
09. You Lose
10. Sleeping Giants
11. Day of the Dead

RATING: 9/10

This is exactly the kind of album that MISERY INDEX has been moving toward making over the last several years. A comparatively more varied affair called "Traitors" served as the bridge between the ferocious "Discordia" and the equally ferocious (ah hell, they're all ferocious) "Heirs to Thievery", the most complete, consistent, and dynamic album MISERY INDEX has recorded to date.

Folks will argue about the uncompromising grind/death of earlier releases and that's fine, especially considering the fact that MISERY INDEX has stood apart from the extreme metal crowd since the beginning, based on tightly wound intensity alone. Hinted at on "Discordia" and further developed on "Traitors" though was an elevated level of songwriting that introduced more recognizable choruses and distinctive compositional values. Yet the sensory decimation stayed put. The beauty of "Heirs to Thievery" is that MISERY INDEX have level jumped the songwriting; making each track more memorable, and in the process not only maintaining the same brute force, but in some cases exceeding it! That is a nearly impossible feat for the vast majority of heavy bands.

In other words, for all but the hardcore contingent of fans that accept only the earliest works based on often logically convoluted claims of artistic purity, "Heirs to Thievery" will sound like the same MISERY INDEX from the standpoint of destructive capability. My god, between the inhuman speed-drumming, the flesh shredding guitars, and Jason Netherton's threatening bark (undeniably among the best in death/grind metal), "Heirs to Thievery" is a jolt to the system akin to extreme paranoia and wild-eyed rage brought on by a three-day meth binge culminating in a stolen ambulance ride through streets jam packed with Greek rioters in an uproar over the current financial crisis. Even folks that listen to death, grind, or even hardcore metal regularly have to admit that this stuff doesn't just wrack nerves, it severs them. One's tinnitus always seems to worsen when a MISERY INDEX album is playing too. Have you heard "You Lose" (featuring Vince Matthews) and "Sleeping Giants" (featuring John Gallagher)? That shit hurts!

That is "Heirs to Thievery". But it is more than that too. It a concise, perfect concoction of grindcore and death metal (and undercurrents of the most brutish hardcore) woven into lethal, brilliantly structured tracks made even more impressive by a wider array and sharper use of guitar interplay, riff accents, leads, backing vocals, and arrangement tweaks. Just when you assumed MISERY INDEX couldn't get any better, "Heirs to Thievery" smacks you right in the mouth for harboring such thoughts.

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