Horror, goth, and rock have been kindred spirits with one another since almost forever, though their prevalence as a combined force has somewhat dwindled in the background lately. Mister Misery aim to bring it back to the forefront with their new record, ‘A Brighter Side Of Death’.
Balancing gothic rock with tech metal, opener ‘Ballad Of The Headless Horseman’ delivers equal amounts of impactful riffs and corny choruses that initially make for an interesting mix of styles. This is quickly followed by ‘Buried’, a track that adds some dramatic death drops and dubstep synths, and from here the band continue to add subtle changes to ensure that there’s an essence of variety in each track.
Re-telling Robert Louis Stevenson‘s tale of Jekyll And Hyde, ‘Mister Hyde’ introduces itself with an apt layer of pianos and synths that lend itself to the period of the narrative, especially when the backing choirs kick in.
A pattern starts to emerge by the time you reach “Burn” of big openings, cheesey clean choruses, breakdowns and heaps of orchestral instruments that build the wall of sound they are after but the repeated formula does start to wane in interest.
The only thing that changes through ‘I’ll Never Be Yours’ and ‘Under The Moonlight’ is that the emo side is let out further, with longer choruses and vampiric verses from vocalist Harley Vendetta that try to assert a sense of drama, but fall disappointingly short of the mark.
Closing out on a bit of a high, ‘Through Hell’ ratchets up the intensity with a flurry of technical riffs from Alex Nine and Vendetta, but every time they want to push the envelope it’s reigned back to the safe shores of cleans and gothic rock.
Taking the roots sewn by bands like Murderdolls and Wednesday 13 and adding a tech metal edge certainly makes for an interesting twist, but as ‘A Brighter Side Of Death’ progresses it becomes a little formulaic. Mister Misery could really do with refining their craft, or carving their own identity with its follow-up.