Misertus – Coil

Band: Misertus
Title: Coil
Label: Independent
Release date: 26 September 2019
Country: England
Format reviewed: Bandcamp Digital Version

“Life is hard, but there is light!”

MISERTUS released his debut album “Daydream” in early August of this year to a 9/10 here on Blessed Altar Zine, you can check the review right here! Now, just a bit more than a month later, the Manchester based one-man Blackgaze project returns with its second release in such a short time: “Coil” was released on September 26th and needless to say, after how strong the debut of this band has been, I was thrilled, to say the least when the Bandcamp-notification popped up, saying that “Misertus just released an album”. Clicking the link to the album as fast as I could, I saw the cover of “Coil”, gone was the dreamy purple tint of “Daydream”, something that I now, after listening to the album multiple times and exploring its themes, grew to understand within my own interpretation.

“Ions” opens the record with a strong, typically “Blackgaze”-esque riff that is soon followed by the onset of blast-beats and the distant, painful screams that I was familiar with from the debut. Something was different though, I quickly realized that the sound of MISERTUS had become a bit warmer than before, the melancholy of before had a glimmer of hope within. I found this to show the even bigger influence of bands like SADNESS who already perfected this sad, yet not quite hopeless sound. Another new addition soon revealed itself, as echoey and distant clean vocals were introduced to the track. These clean vocals, while first standing on their own, later got layered with the screams to great effect. More melodic drum parts that were occasionally sprinkled in further enhanced the track. Overall this track has a great progression and opens the album in a very strong manner!

“An Oversoul” then follows, starting with a barrage of blast-beats but soon letting go to a more classic Blackgaze sound. The clean vocals used now and again also appeared on this track. This second track has a progressive edge to it, as following around the mid-point of the song, lots of changes occur, and while I found most of them very compelling, some others appeared a bit too hectic for my taste. “Outstretched, Forthright” continued the previous strengths in its first half, but it was its second half that I found to be a standout: After a pleasant, more laid-back and melodic interlude at its mid-point that then leads into the next part fluently, the sound of the track got even warmer and had a generally hopeful quality to it, which I enjoyed a lot. Overall, the second half was very strong and moving. Track 4, titled “Inspire” then follows, being, in my opinion, one of the albums highlights. Fitting to its title, this song has an inspiring tone to it, I felt like it thematized overcoming an obstacle, a feeling of getting over something and growing in the process. “Pause” serves as a keyboard-heavy interlude track, creating some needed breathing-room in between the intensity of the other tracks…

“Visual Fading” starts of the albums second half. A later part of this particular track has the instrumentation dim down a bit and the vocals thus step into the foreground. It was then that I realized how good the vocals actually sounded, making me wish that they were more prevalent in the mix to begin with, as they are sometimes buried a bit too deeply below the instruments for my taste. The track ends with an atmospheric and very pleasant keyboard outro. “Palm-Print” starts with a highly distorted intro followed by a more mid-pace section that made me wonder how a slow-pace MISERTUS track may sound, something I’d certainly be intrigued to hear on future releases. “Descent”, the penultimate track of “Coil” has a generally darker feel to it with very intense drums and powerful vocals, yet still has some slower interludes, that further sparked my interest to hear a slower track from the project.

The albums closer, “Conjoined”, is the longest track of the record and brings a lot of strong elements that were previously introduced together for a definite highlight. “Coil” thus ends on a very high note.

After listening to the album I have a feeling that while the debut was more of a dreamy journey, this release now is based more in reality, the more earthy tones of the cover-art symbolizing just that. The daydreamer has now faced reality in both its bad and good aspects… it was time to wake up.

MISERTUS’s second album again really convinced me, yet I’m not sure if I would go as far as saying that it is better than its predecessor. It surely introduced new elements to the mix and changed up some that were previously present, yet it also had some minor flaws. Nevertheless, it still is another quite strong release from this Blackgaze project, and it again deserves a strong rating! 9/10 the trve Medvson

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