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"Heirs To Thievery" is a grindy, blast beat fueled slab of grade fuckin 'A' deathgrind. This is a record that could satisfy the tastes of a grindcore only or death metal only fan, although veers more to the death metal side of things more often. "Heirs To Thievery" combines tight musicianship with excellent production to rip the ears off its listener.
"Heirs To Theivery" starts out with "Embracing Extinction" which shows off the bands more grindcore influenced sound, short and sweet clocking in at 1:50 this sounds very much like "Harmony Corruption/Utopia Banished" era Napalm Death. Even the vocals sound similar to Barney Greenway. This song, the finishing song and "The Spectator" are the three songs which show more grind influence than death metal influence.
From track two onwards "Heirs To Theivery" switches to a more death metal style with grind thrown in for good measure, slower sections with more intricate death metal style riffing takes over as the main musical themes. That is not to say that there is no grindcore from here on in, that would be blatantly false. Grind sections like intense speedy riffing and blasting do show up in all of the tracks. Vocals show fusion between both styles, there are sections of more screeched vocals thrown in that really add to the songs. In the song "Fed To The Wolves" in particular there is really intense passage of blasting and speedy grindy riffing and screeched vocals. It's a nice contrast to the more death metal styled vocals and adds to the overall variety to be had on this record. The vocals throughout this album are really forceful, they feel like an extra instrument on top of everything, adding an extra layer of heaviness.
Lyrically "Heirs To Thievery" takes a strongly political stance, this album would definitely wet the noses of left wing radicalists of all kinds. It's clear to see how much Assuck influence Misery Index, not only have they gotten their name from an Assuck album and based their sound off of Assuck but they also take the same political stance as Assuck. The lyrics and themes on "Heirs To Thievery" would not look out of place Assuck's release "Anticapital". Lyrically it tackles subjects such as criticisms of the United States formation in the title track to loss of individuality and governmental control in "Fed To The Wolves". Very deep and controversial topics but so keenly and intelligently written. With "Heirs To Thievery" half of the enjoyment of listening is reading the lyrics along with it.
"Heirs To Thievery" is an interesting record for me, I bought this album on a whim. Normally I would bypass records by bands I never heard about but I felt like taking a risk and boy did it pay off, not only did this record give me more of an appreciation of deathgrind and introduce me to Assuck but it also reaffirmed my faith in extreme metal that there were bands still releasing good records now. I know nothing of their previous discography besides knowing I want to get them, now where did I put my credit card?
I was going to attempt to write a clever and wit-filled review for this, but listening to it now, it’s so hard to concentrate I’m not going to bother. If you like death metal or grindcore, or anything this band has ever released, buy this immediately.
“Heirs to Thievery” is brilliant in every aspect. The vocals (and lyrics) are absolutely top-notch, the guitars and bass will blow your mind, and the drums are simply stunning. To take the album as a whole is simply the easiest way to do this properly. The vocalist(s) are everything you hope your singer(s) will be. They are purely METAL, and always enhance the tone and color of the aural assault surrounding them. They convey the outrage and defiance inherent in the lyrics perfectly.
The instrumentation is staggering. Misery Index doesn’t reinvent the wheel, so to speak, but they made the damn thing round. To say these guys are “accomplished” players is as polite a euphemism as I can conjure for “HOLY SHIT THESE PEOPLE ARE FUCKING INCREDIBLE,” which was honestly my first reaction. I have been listening to the band ever since their first release, and was still blown away.
Musically, “Heirs” continues in the vein of “Discordia” and “Traitors” in that it blends eye-melting speed and ferocity with the perfect amount of melody and rhythm. You can get up and mosh and headbang and trash your living room, or you can sit with your eyes closed and let it all wash over you in a wave. I cannot stress enough how precisely balanced this album is. The music is coming at you five hundred miles an hour with the intensity of a class 5 hurricane, but you are never bogged down in it. It is a true testament to the band members’ abilities as song-writers that such an onslaught is not only palatable, but the listener is always coherent of everything going on. Anywhere you want to go, however you enjoy your metal, this album can take you there and knock your socks off.
What I love about this band so much, and this album’s greatest achievement, is that the music is so raw and malevolent on the surface but also completely enraptures the careful listener with its depth and eloquence. Any song can be picked at random and enjoyed, but listening to the entire album is a truly wonderful experience. It is a masterpiece within its genre. I cannot in good faith, even attempting to for the sake of balance, find something I would change about this. It is a special album from a special band, and everyone who loves extreme metal should pick it up.
To be honest, the bland and otherwise useless riffs and beats that Misery Index has churned out in the past never really got my attention. Sure, it was catchy, almost hypnotic, and the music as a whole was never bad; it just lacked that spice or punch that you expect in such a brutal and in-depth band as Misery Index. And it almost certainly reminded me too much of Dying Fetus (even without Jason Netherton). And that’s a bad thing.
But now, Misery Index has come here, this day and slapped me in the face with the authentic sound of PURE FUCKING METAL. Heirs to Thievery has to be the best release I’ve heard in a long-time. To sit down and listen to this album in full has to put you in a place much more evil than here. It was like listening to Portal (Aus) for the first time.
Let’s get down to business. To review the vocals, you have to credit all the singers. But I’ll do it; you’ve got; Mark Klöppel, Jason Netherton, Mough Alvarado, John Gallagher, Rich Johnson, Vince Matthews and Erik Rutan on lead and/or vocal back up. That’s a shit load of singers, and they all have one thing in common, they’re fucking heavy. Enough said about them.
The guitars. I haven’t done as much homework as you’d want, but I can tell that Mark Kloeppel and Sparky Voyles didn’t do a half-assed job. I don’t know who did what (as in the solos or whatnot) but I can tell you that whoever did them were pretty good. The riffs on the album are solid, with the occasional out-of-timed riff that sneaks in (check You Lose or Embracing Extinction). Overall, the riffs strongly resemble that of Chimaira or Black Dahlia Murder, though lack the grove-ness of these bands. The bass, along with most of modern metal is almost non-existent, but you can still ‘feel’ it. Somehow.
Adam Jarvis does another impeccable job behind the kit. His blasts are well timed, and if anything overused, but who’s complaining. He uses good technique, check out the short solo-like intro for Sleeping Giants for more. Jarvis strongly shows his power, and why he is still in the band and not Talley (who’s still no push-over). Brutal on drums from Jarvis; with that double-bass. (And I fucking love the sound of that snare)
Finally, can I point out that the message on this album is about politics, and even so should not be taken lightly. Think about this when you read the lyrics. Because this album is so based around politics I thought about leaving it. I’m glad I didn’t though. This album is epic in the sense of the word. It is a good, solid, heavy fucking slab of pure death metal at its finest. Suggestion, listen to the whole thing at once – you won’t be disappointed.