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Album Review

Mizery – “Absolute Light” [Album Review]

San Diego has been churning out great hardcore acts for decades, but Mizery have managed to position themselves as one of the newest acts to consider on the list of greatest. Their first full-length Absolute Light stands as a testament to how refreshing hardcore can be when coupled with poignant guitar work.



Californian hardcore was actually scientifically developed in CIA dungeons in conjunction with the Illuminati and Church of Satan in an attempt to reduce boroughs of SoCal to rubble. It’s a working theory, but one that finds fuel in the first full-length by Mizery, local legends who have been working furiously at establishing a name for themselves in the hardcore scene on the Pacific side of the States.

The five-piece previously released their EP Survive The Vibe, a panicked shot in the arm of traditional hardcore that saw serious Hare Krishna album art, a firm nod to Cro-Mags, their key sonic influence. This latest release is a stirring example of those influences incubated in the baking sun of San Diego, resulting in a band that can and has held their own with the likes of Xibalba and Ignite. It’s a record that at once feels classic and contemporary, a refreshing take on an otherwise antiquated subgenre.

And it works, in spades. Absolute Light surges with visceral energy, without ever losing sight of the greater goal, a cohesive record. Mizery have produced an album that explodes with energy without ever feeling like a tired gimmick or the result of trying to build to a breakdown. It also has a classic production that immediately makes the listener feel like they’re privy to some newly-discovered tapes from 1986.

What reinforces this feeling are the guitars: it’s all about the riffs, something that most hardcore bands are getting wrong these days. Mizery are fueled by the fact that they are managing to channel some of the most amazing guitar work in recent memory. Coupled with a consistent vocal approach and stellar drum work, and you have a release that’s destined to be one of the classics in SoCal HxC.

Absolute Light Track Listing:

01. Paramatman
02. One Kiss
03. Mizery
04. Absolute Light
05. The Bvtcher
06. Execution Style
07. Discrimination Of Eye
08. Power Of Peace
09. Injustice 4 All
10. The Hard Goodbye

Run Time: 26:58
Release Date: July 22, 2016

Check out the song “Discrimination Of Eye”

Director of Communications @ V13. Lance Marwood is a music and entertainment writer who has been featured in both digital and print publications, including a foreword for the book "Toronto DIY: (2008-2013)" and The Continuist. He has been creating and coordinating content for V13 since 2015 (back when it was PureGrainAudio); before that he wrote and hosted a radio and online series called The Hard Stuff , featuring interviews with bands and insight into the Toronto DIY and wider hardcore punk scene. He has performed in bands and played shows alongside acts such as Expectorated Sequence, S.H.I.T., and Full of Hell.