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ALBUM REVIEW: Misery Sermon – Slaughter To Prevail

Having only formed in July 2014 and already having a European, Russian, and USA tour under their belts, it is safe to say that SLAUGHTER TO PREVAIL, who boast members from both Russia and the United Kingdom are taking the extreme metal scene by storm. Following the release of their critically acclaimed EP Chapters of Misery, SLAUGHTER TO PREVAIL are now set to release their debut full-length album Misery Sermon through Sumerian Records, demonstrating why they deserve the attention of the collective extreme metal scene.

The album opens with Misery Sermon, with dissonant guitar riffs before swiftly descending into an onslaught of furiously paced percussion and guitar riffs. Alex’s vocal diversity is showcased almost immediately, featuring intense gutturals sections followed by high pitched, CHELSEA GRIN style shrieking. The combination of both beatdown style breakdowns and breakneck technicality opens the album in an explosion of cacophonous aggression. Continuing in this Russian Hate explodes in a frenzy of tech-metal riffs, savage vocals and blast-beats. The aggression is broken up by distorted, yet strangely melodic sections throughout which give the song an ominous, yet hostile aura; as if the band themselves were a chalice of wrath which threatens to overflow at any moment.

Chronic Slaughter breaks up the aggressive percussion with segments which feel almost djent-like in nature, slowing the pace of the album down somewhat. King launches into an immediate aural assault demonstrating again the monstrous vocal prowess of Alex Terrible, isolated with only a simple, melancholy riff behind to accentuate their diversity and brutality. King then features increasingly melodic, yet crushing and catchy guitar and drum segments, hitting the listener with all the synchronicity of a sledgehammer. Featuring lyrics in both English and Russian which discuss the evil inherent within human nature. The atmosphere is then slowed down with Failed Hope, encompassing influences both melodic yet aurally cataclysmic. Opening with gang-chants, Born to Die again picks up the pace, swinging like a pendulum across the metal spectrum, featuring technical riffs which would put the most proficient tech-death metal band to shame, then nosediving straight into an almost DSBM-esque coalition of melody and savagery.

Systematically bludgeoning any hope of melody, 666 forces the listener straight into a fusion of riffs reminiscent of a beatdown band. Much like a fist to the throat, 666 packs a hard-hitting and slamming punch and interspersed with occasional guitar licks, one cannot help but start limbering up in anticipation of a violent and thoroughly spin-kick-your-friend-in-the-face pit. The Hell in Man and Malice of Rites continues in an aggressive tirade, offering up a sound so lethal it will undoubtedly put some listeners at risk of initiating pits in their immediate vicinity, wherever that happens to be.

Following on from haemorrhoid inducing violence of the prior triumvirate of songs, Below introduces the first and last, instrumental of the album. Dissonance reigns supreme here as the drums and guitar slowly build up to a melodic, crushing finish. With a distinctly Eastern vibe throughout, Below conjures up ritualistic imagery, providing a gloomy, yet welcome reprieve from the otherwise overwhelming intensity of the album. This is not to last, however, as the final track Cultural Ills is the musical equivalent of a battering ram, launching straight into a complex and terrifying musical assault which somehow manages to swing right across the musical spectrum, complete with beatdowns, intense blastbeat sections, black metal-esque riffing and technicality impressive musicianship. Whilst on paper, this sounds messy, SLAUGHTER TO PREVAIL manage to bring it together in a nuanced and effective way, yielding absolutely nothing in their quest to make the most aggressive music possible.

Overall, the ubiquitous atmosphere of hatred and ferocity that runs throughout this album makes Misery Sermon an exhilarating, refreshing and thoroughly perilous listen. Far from being a run-of-the-mill deathcore album, SLAUGHTER TO PREVAIL manage to combine a brutal fusion of extreme metal, deathcore, punishing vocals and musical technicality into a creation which defies labels. Aggressive, ominous and threatening, with a technicality and catchiness which pervades every song on the album, SLAUGHTER TO PREVAIL offers something to appeal to every niche of the extreme metal scene – from beatdown anthems to slam your friends with right across the board to a more melodic, yet still terrifying, DSBM-esque atmosphere. Anyone calling themselves a fan of extreme music should give SLAUGHTER TO PREVAIL a listen. Misery Sermon effortlessly manages to synchronise a diverse array of influences into a neat, vehement album. Hats off.

Rating: 9/10

Misery Sermon - Slaughter To Prevail

Misery Sermon is out now via Sumerian Records.

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