I think of Australia and I see the sun. But there’s darkness there. And avant-garde black/death metallers Miserist are its highest practitioners. Scraping for the sharpest of angles and topographic shadows in the land down under, the band is a study in minimalism and ascendance. They contrast a direct and illusory observation and pummel it with deep and unique ideas. There are no need for words on their debut self-titled full length, only movements of passion and expedition.
Songs breathe in unison and then jaunt violently. Outbursts are organic and philosophical. “Miserist” is their hunting song. Cubist and nebulous, it rips sharply and dances odd. The golden aged Hollywood hymn before “Horror Infinitum” is placed mindfully. It’s a symbol and a false idol. Deep and pocketed feelings then flow forth—introspection—as if walking with your head down, your feet moving on layers of volcano and acid. “Lung Rust” starts slow like some mini-tornado gust, then tech-war drums and expansion. The band is adept at noise and sound structure. The whole album is a deep ponder: sociological and tactile.
Bands like Portal, Blut Aus Nord, Gnaw Their Tongues and even White Suns come to mind for comparison, but Miserist is slower, more organic, and more perplexing in their psychological breakdown than those bands. There’s some maddening reflection hovering throughout every composition on this record. “Narikuntu”—the last number—is tribal and perhaps the most devastating. It’s the furthest thing from fundamental on the record, but easily the most penetrating. Magic and mysticism is crucial to Miserist. The band members are anonymous and so is the total definition of their sound. Their new album is filled with clues, thoughts, and poems, but nothing is for certain. You have to brave that dungeon on your own.