Album Review: Misery Signals – Absent Light


I contemplated many ways of starting this review. I’ve been going around my head for days trying to figure out which collection of words could open up a review about (SPOILER ALERT) possibly my favourite album of the year. I mean, how on earth does anyone try to justify and clarify how much an album has truly blown their socks off? Do they use cliched phrases? In every sentence, all the time. Do they use superlatives? They most likely do. Maybe just hyperboles? Either way, ‘Absent Light’ by Misery Signals is quite literally the best album you may just hear all year and it’s bound to blow your socks off.

What has always been remarkable about Misery Signals is their ability to create truly beautiful music out of the monstrous; the ability to create beauty from destruction. The opening chords of ‘A Glimmer Of Hope’ are only a sample of this trait, gently flowing on guitar strings that we’ve been longing to hear for 5 years now. A string section accompanies once Karl Shubach’s almost demonic vocals tear through the gentle nature that’s slowly rotting in the decay.

The strings are a welcomed addition to Misery Signals throughout ‘Absent Light’ and accentuate the breathtaking nature that this album has. It’s taken the melodic and stunning nature of ‘Controller’ and raised it to a whole new level, placing it on a pedestal that the strings are praising; all we need now is a preaching choir. I mean, the ending of ‘Reborn (An Execution)’ could easily be the embodiment of that imagery. I still can’t quite get over how something done in such a behemoth style of brutality can have this layer of beauty and creativity, but more on that to come. One of my first listens to ‘Absent Light’ was walking through my local town centre and I honestly did get shivers down my spine.

There’s not just this beauty and perfection where you’d expect to hear it though. Misery Signals are easily one of the most creative metalcore bands you shall ever hear in your life and I’m certain that ‘Absent Light’ should be listened to by every fan of the genre as it’s truly capable of being such a landmark album. The end of ‘Luminary’ quite literally pummels you to take notice and anybody who doesn’t destroy everything around them has some serious self control, the same goes with the breakdown in ‘Lost Relics’ (you’ll know which bit I mean when you hear it).

But it’s not just in the incredibly heavy side of things as there’s definitely a progressive element throughout. Not in a 70s ‘Hey, let’s write 10 minute songs about space!’ kind of way but in a constantly evolving, changing and, well, progressing way. The music morphs, flows and channels from one rhythm to the next, laying on the metal and then bringing it back down to the atmospheric, keeping your attention constant and questioning to their next move. It’s an elaborately constructed way of music and one I’m certain only superhumans are capable of writing.

‘Absent Light’ has quickly cemented itself in my top 10 albums of the year despite the many months that we still have left in the year. It’s also fast becoming one of my favourite albums of all time. Music will always mean different things to different people; lyrically and musically. Right now I’m just completely overwhelmed by the musicality of this record and will highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be wowed and learn what can really be done with music on a creative, inventive and original scale.

And after all of those words I’m still not sure if they do this album any justice; please, go and listen for yourself.


‘Absent Light’ by Misery Signals is out on the 22nd July on Basick Records.

Misery Signals links: Website|Facebook|Twitter

Words by Mikey Brown (@MikeyMiracle)


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