The Sorrow - Misery Escape (2012)

After releasing three full-length albums in their seven years of existence, The Sorrow is set to release another. Misery Escape is the Austrian metalcore band's fourth release and it hits the shelves on November 6th (October 26th in Europe) via Napalm Records.

Before listening to Misery Escape, I had to do a bit of research on The Sorrow. I went back and listened to Blessings From A Blackened Sky (2007), Origin Of The Storm (2009), and the band's self-titled album (2010). What I noticed was that I was missing out on a solid metalcore band, but it was nothing to lose sleep over. The riffing was fairly standard on previous releases and there wasn't a whole lot of melody, but it sounded good. The simple, but effective riffing reminded me of Beneath The Sky, one of my favourite metalcore bands. The drumming and breakdowns sounded good too, but my favourite part of the band's previous releases was the vocals. The harsh vocals are great and very easy to understand and the clean vocals are spectacular.

After nearly three hours of listening to The Sorrow's first three albums, I was finally ready to indulge in Misery Escape. I immediately noticed that The Sorrow really stepped up their game on this release. The drums are very hard-hitting and so too are the breakdowns, the vocals have remained very strong, and the guitar riffs and leads have improved drastically. There is a fair bit of melody heard on the first track, "Retracing Memories", but the melody presents itself even more a few songs later.

"Burial Bridge" comes in with a massive guitar lead that has a melodic death metal feel to it, and before it was over, I had a hunch that this would be one of my favourites on Misery Escape. The track remains impressive as it alternates between the aforementioned lead, fast metalcore riffing that is very reminiscent of As I Lay Dying, and a catchy chorus. The following two tracks, "My Oblivion" and "A Reason", are also fairly impressive, but the track that follows them is one of the strongest on the album.

Similar to "Burial Bridge", "Buried In The Deep" opens with a massive guitar lead, however, this track is much different after the intro. "Buried In The Deep" is one of the slower tracks on the album as it maintains a steady pace for the first three minutes. It briefly picks up during the bridge, but shortly transitions back into the chorus and the track ends with a peaceful outro. The remaining five tracks on Misery Escape are full of headbanging opportunities with a few extras thrown in on "A Thin Red Line" and the album closer, "Follow The Lights".

The only gripe that I have with Misery Escape is that while the clean vocals do sound exceptional, sometimes they don't slot in as nicely as they could. There are a few instances where the song flows extremely well until the chorus comes in and you're left wondering "what happened there?" Aside from the slight overdoing of clean vocals, Misery Escape has no major flaws. The Sorrow has compiled eleven strong tracks onto one album that will be a perfect listen for fans of As I Lay Dying, The Autumn Offering, and Heaven Shall Burn.

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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews