Having been in the bag since October 2021, Complete Control, the seventh studio album from Baltimore skull-splitters Misery Index has been a long time coming but, now that it’s finally here, it only takes a few minutes in the company of opening track, “Administer The Dagger,” to realize that, even at two decades into their career, the band are as potent as ever.
Opening up with a creepy mid-’90s era Slayer-esque intro, it’s heads-down as the group thunder into the opening onslaught. What follows is a savage blend of mid-’00s death/thrash/hardcore. Through “The Eaters And The Eaten,” this neck-wrecking display showcases a band who, far from being at the peak of their career, sounds like they’re just hitting their stride. Three years since they dropped their 2019 disc Rituals of Power, tracks like the title track and “Necessary Suffering” are the sound of a band exploding out of that barren pandemic period with a fire in their collective bellies.
The drumming on “Rites of Cruelty” rattles like a machine gun before a tempo shift sees the band throwing some monstrous grooves and hooks into the mix for one of the highlights of the album, “Conspiracy of None.” Not only does this standout track offer some respite from the bludgeoning brutality dished out by the band but it also shows the wealth of options they have at their fingertips when they get that urge to mix it up.
Of course, the bread and butter of the Misery Index sound is face-pummelling fury and Complete Control delivers that in spades. Undeniably a death metal album at its core, the band pulls from all areas of the extreme musical genre to ensure that, even twenty years down the line, their sound is as fresh as ever. By the time “Now Defied!” pummels your head into a pulp to wrap up this album, Misery Index has shown that they’re going to take some stopping.
Complete Control Track Listing:
1. Administer The Dagger
2. The Eaters And The Eaten
3. Complete Control
4. Necessary Suffering
5. Rites Of Cruelty
6. Conspiracy Of None
8. Reciprocal Repulsion
9. Now Defied!
Run Time: 33:51
Release Date: May 13, 2022
Record Label: Century Media Records