Misery Signals - Of Malice and the Magnum Heart (Cover Artwork)

Misery Signals

Misery Signals: Of Malice and the Magnum HeartOf Malice and the Magnum Heart (2004)
Ferret Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: elliotElliot Imes
(others by this writer | submit your own)

If there's one thing lacking in metalcore today, it's passion. There are so many bands out there who are doing the exact same thing as the next, going through the standard motions of "breakdown, metal riffage, scream." For a while, it seemed that the genre was dead, with no hope of being r.
iTunes StoreAmazon

If there's one thing lacking in metalcore today, it's passion. There are so many bands out there who are doing the exact same thing as the next, going through the standard motions of "breakdown, metal riffage, scream." For a while, it seemed that the genre was dead, with no hope of being revived.

Enter Misery Signals. Their new album, "Of Malice and the Magnum Heart," has shot a much-needed dose of passion and creativity into metalcore's veins. Whereas most bands sound like they only take about five minutes to write their songs, Misery Signals offer up unusually complex time signatures, exceptional guitarwork, and daunting experimentation, like on the instrumental "Worlds & Dreams." However, there are hardly any times where it sounds like Misery Signals is getting ahead of themselves. This band exudes a confidence and assuredness that few bands in their league can. Misery Signals have perfected the art of the breakdown. The all-to-standard open chord chugging that you hear everyday is not good enough for them. Challenging time signatures and strumming patterns are sprinkled all over the album, pummeling the listener, but still breaking new ground.

Vocalist Jesse Zaraska, formerly of the band Compromise, writes lyrics that put all of those pseudo-poets of metalcore to shame. His words and scenarios are direct, to-the-point diatribes that scorn those who have done him wrong, and pay tribute to those he has lost. Compromise split up because of a van accident that killed two of their members. In "The Year Summer Ended In June," Zaraska offers us every bit of his heart to tell us about the experience of losing his close friends. He talks to them, with the line "Waiting to see and be with you again/Wishing the best for you, my lost friends/to hear you laugh one last time/I hope you know I tried to find those pictures, Jordo." The emotions that went into these lyrics is so palpable, it's nearly impossible to listen to this song and not feel what Zaraska is feeling.

The rest of the songs are equally great. Not one moment on this album sounds forced or fake. Misery Signals is the real deal. For once, we have a band that actually is passionate, without overdoing it. If the world of metalcore made sense, Misery Signals would rise to the top and rule over everyone else. And with only one full-length album to their credit, who knows what kind of amazing music they still have in them.


People who liked this also liked:
Comeback Kid - Wake The DeadEmery - The Weak's EndNo Trigger - CanyoneerEvery Time I Die - Hot Damn!The Receiving End Of Sirens - Between The Heart And The SynapseHot Water Music - A Flight and a CrashA Wilhelm Scream - RuinerCrime in Stereo - The Troubled StatesideDead to Fall - The Phoenix ThroneCrusades - Perhaps You Deliver This Judgment with Greater Fear Than I Receive It

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
ak3punk (April 24, 2008)

One of my favorite albums...

bytheslice (August 15, 2007)

This is an album that set the bar high for every other band playing metalcore. A killer release.

teegz (May 17, 2007)

i love it i love it i love it...awsome guitarist!!!
xx teegz

epilougex (October 31, 2006)

this album is amazing.

Anonymous (June 2, 2006)

this album fucking rips, great vocals and great passion wich is what metalcore is definitly lacking these days...great job guys

Anonymous (January 4, 2006)

one of the best metalcore albums to date. It has actual emotion and feelings instead of just breakdown after breakdown. It has some of course, but there is actual musical content unlike many of the bands saturating the metalcore world.

Anonymous (January 2, 2006)

they need a new person to write lyrics that isnt 5 years old.

Anonymous (August 23, 2005)

the guy two down from me is a fucking loser and has no balls!

Anonymous (August 23, 2005)

the guy two down from me is a fucking loser and has no balls!

Anonymous (May 30, 2005)

I've had this album for roughly a year give or take a few days and it still makes very regular appearances in my cd player. Definetely my favourite metal album of 2004. I was disappointed it didnt make anyones end of year toplists but whatever I still love it


Anonymous (February 8, 2005)

I thoughtlessly bought this album having mistaken the band for the far-superior Misery Index. My fault entirely--what is NOT my fault, however, is the sheer crassness and unoriginality of this record. If you've never heard a "real" hardcore band before and are still rocking out to Atreyu in your mom's basement you might dig this. Fans of Victory/Solid State/Ferret-esque mallcore garbage probably swoon over this self-absorbed crap. Trendy "metalcore" groups are the new boy bands, get used to it. You'll all be embarassed for having liked this fashionable bilge when you grow the fuck up.

Back to the CD store I go! Hopefully they'll be sympathetic and let me trade this coaster in for something better and more genuine...the new P Diddy album perhaps, or maybe that Lindsey Lohan record.

Anonymous (January 27, 2005)

This is possible the best metalcore albm ever. You cant get enough of this masterpiece. The guitar work is astonishing, the drums will beat you to the ground, and the vocals are some of the best out there today. They also throw down some wicked breakdowns that you can dance to all night long. There is so much passion and heart into this albm, especially the lyrics, that is why it is my favorite albm. Everyone who likes metalcore should go get this albm......now........

Anonymous (December 2, 2004)

every other metalcore band wishes that their songwriting was as genius as these guys. this record has put my faith back into a dying genre, its really amazing.

Anonymous (November 4, 2004)

Misery Signals - Of Malice and the Magnum Heart
Posted by Anonymous on 2004-06-07 09:27:45
My Score:
ok......the fucking picture on their site jsut inspired me to NOT buy this album

what the fuck jsut look at it

this guy is an obvious cocksucker. these guys obviously dress like queers but its about the music right! all band like this dress in girls pants and shit because that is whats cool in "the scene" now but come on, dont hate on the music they're making!!!

Anonymous (November 4, 2004)

i had the lead singer lick my scrotum!

Dyrwen (August 4, 2004)

I was suprised upon finding tracks online one day, which eventually lead me to constantly listening to their songs over and over. I put them on a mix CD eventually and still couldn't get enough of em. Finally saw them Live, at Hellfest no less, and they were just as amazing live as on their CD. Good review up there as it states the obvious goodness of this album well.

Check this band out, if not for the quality musicianship, then for the passion exuded by the singer in his lyrics and voice.

Almost_scared (July 15, 2004)

Loved this cd. Makes rotation daily in my car, no questions asked. Drums are fucking amazing, lyrics are briliant, guitar is tight and flows flawlessly, and the bass pounds you into the ground like no other. This will be at the top of my fave's list for a long long time.
Also, from the above mentioned bands that make up this musical magestry: Divine Right, circa 1998. B and R morgan, with lyrical help from the likes of Matt Mixon. Also worth a listen if you can find it...

bemused (July 1, 2004)

I like this. I don't know how much yet, cos its only early days, but the music is fantastic especially on the instrumental song and the standout track for mine, "The Year Ended in June". The singing kinda reminds me of early Poison the Well


Anonymous (June 17, 2004)

just to state the obvious: it shouldn't matter in the slightest what a band looks like, the "look" of hardcore has changed over the years but the bands that mean what they say still mean what they say. For all i care misery signals could wear tracksuits and traffic cones on their heads the album is absolutely mindblowing, the melodic bits are immense and its sooooo heavy. I agree with the reviewer about the lack of passion in modern metalcore, theres a million and one bands in the emo/screamo/hardcore/metalcore whatever umbrella and few of them can back up genuine emotion with the kind of imagination and technical ability MS have in my opinion. Of course everyone digs different music and its not up to me to say what to listen to, i just wanted to share my opinion that this is one of the best hardcore records i've heard in my life, i have had the cd on repeat for weeks on end now and still find it inspiring, moving and rocking with every listen. whatever you think of them for being on ferrett (which may i remind you all has been putting out this music since long before it got so popular) i think MS are raising the barrier with this album and frankly i can think of few bands who can measure up, in my opinion it makes just about every other metalcore album around sound stale and weak, there isn't a single riff or idea you can reference to another band (unlike killswitch, as i lay dying etc) except maybe 7A7P/hamartia etc and the lyrics mean something and aren't just about killing girls or whatever (yawn fucking yawn). if you like your hardcore deep and intelligent you'll realise that this is a landmark record.


xignitex (June 15, 2004)

If you are ready to write off a band because of the way they look, then I think you're really into the wrong kind of music, because punks are, as a rule, the ugliest bunch of guys you'll ever see. Silly me, I thought that we belonged to a community and scene that was able to judge people based on factors other than appearance. If image is that important to you, check out the new brittney spears, it may be more your speed.

Oh, and I checked out their picture, and I fail to see the problem.

Anonymous (June 10, 2004)

This is quite possibly my all-time favorite album! The guitar work is top-notch, kind of reminds me of Shai Hulud who the guitars go from heavy breakdowns to beautiful meody-driven clean parts without sounding thrown together! The bass works really well. The vocals are amazing. The dual channel effect envelops and intimidates the listener in ways no other metalcore album to date has ever really captured. The vocals seem to be on the oopsing far channels to give you that surrounded feeling. Last but not least, the drums are INSANELY tight! This is one of the best drummers I ever heard. Just when you think you've heard it all, track #10 comes in from out of right-field and totally throws you for a loop! Exceptional songwriting and musicianship make this one of the definitive must have albums for the last couple of decades!!

Anonymous (June 7, 2004)

i agree with the guy that was turned off by the picture.

this band sucks based on picture alone.

elliot (June 7, 2004)

hmmm....okay.....looking at it.....don't know what's the big deal.

how about you listen to the album instead of being a jerk?


Anonymous (June 7, 2004)

ok......the fucking picture on their site jsut inspired me to NOT buy this album

what the fuck jsut look at it

Anonymous (June 7, 2004)

and then the other bands they were in when they were younger.......you know the ones that dont matter at this point

Anonymous (June 6, 2004)

If you want to get technical, there were 4 members of 7a7p in this band. Seeing at that Brandon Morgan filled in for the last little while when Jared quit the band.

If you want to get really technical, this band contains members of

7 Angels 7 Plagues
The Hollywood Ending

and if you want to get even further you can add the.stars.wept, the preshure point, standing for somthing/falling for nothing, and all the other bands that r. morgan, b.morgan and kyle fucking johnson were in.

Anonymous (June 6, 2004)

I enjoy lyrics that are straight and to the point

Fuck You

elliot (June 5, 2004)

to the comment way at the bottom....

i wasn't trying to say that all metalcore bands sound the exact same, just that there's a lot of bands out there who aren't doing anything very daring. actually, with the swedish metal thing, there are TONS of bands who are doing that right now, and even that is starting to get old. misery signals doesn't have that swedish, as i lay dying-type of sound. it's their own sound, and there aren't many bands who sound like them.

Anonymous (June 5, 2004)

score is for the comment about TRIAL

Anonymous (June 5, 2004)

how bout MISERY INDEX!! Yeah!

punkcorekid (June 5, 2004)

nehemiah fuckin own. and ive got some coma eternal stuff, just yet to listen to it.

Anonymous (June 5, 2004)

Yes, there are actually 3 7a7p members in this band. Also, they do bring a different more melodic sound to metalcore, more passion than most. But saying some of those bands earlier, killswotch and stuff, their not good at all, very generic. Ive been into this music for many years, seeing bands come and go, but misery signals and 7a7p have always stuck with me, because they always were different. Other great bands in this genre are Nehemiah and the late and great Coma Eternal.

Conduit (June 4, 2004)

Haha...Sweet..I just reviewed this last night..guess you did a bit before me.

Anyways, since they probably won't post my review now, I think it's a fucking amazing album, great band.

pastepunk (June 4, 2004)

yes sir - the 7a7p influence is pretty strong in the songwriting, but with the better production, the music is even more toothy...

punkcorekid (June 4, 2004)

Aren't members of the late, great 7 Angels 7 Plagues in this band?. That right there makes them automatically good.

xignitex (June 4, 2004)

I havent heard these guys yet, so the score is simply to stay neutral until I have. However, I have issues with the reviewers comment that no other metalcore bands are doing anything interesting. Personally, I think Darkest Hour and Killswitch Engage are great examples of bands trying something new (a swedish metal feel in this case), and succeeding. New doesnt always mean good though, and good examples of bands doing what they do best and putting out great albums are Undying and Unearth (my opinion, of course). Not ragging on the band being reviewed here, or the review, just putting in my opinion on other metalcore bands that are worth hearing.

PorkPie (June 4, 2004)

not a bad record, but after about 100 listens through i don't care for it much anymore. branden morgan is an awesome drummer, though.

Anonymous (June 4, 2004)

I actually really into the layered spoken vocals that hit at the point always just before the breakdown. Those parts kinda remind me of TRIAL. Good stuff.

aubin (June 4, 2004)

How long till someone dismisses this band simply because they're on Ferret? As if Scarlet, Every Time I Die and Funeral For a Friend sound anything alike.

I don't think this record is quite as glorious as the reviewer makes it sound, but it's certainly interesting and despite the fairly generic vocals, the music behind them is memorable.

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Managing Editor

Adam White

Contributing Editors

Kira Wisniewski Brittany Strummer Armando Olivas John Flynn Chris Moran John Gentile Mark Little

Copy Editor

Adam Eisenberg Britt Reiser

Podcast Producer

Greg Simpson


Aubin Paul

ISSN 1710-5366

© Copyright 1999-2013 Punknews.org

Terms of Use Privacy Policy Contact Us About Punknews.org

Other Places to Go