Misery Inc. - Yesterday's Grave
ZYX Music
Sentenced Style Heavy Metal
10 songs (33'58)
Release year: 2004
Misery Inc., ZYX Music
Reviewed by Marty
Surprise of the month
After three demo releases (2 of them reviewed here at Metal Reviews), this Finnish band has finally landed a label deal and they present us with their first full-length album. Last year, I reviewed their demo Suicide Serenade and really liked what I heard. A great mix of crunching heavy riffs and melody, their songs are heavy, catchy and instantly likeable. With this new album, the band has re-recorded Suicide Serenade, Darkness and Life Ain't Fair from their Suicide Serenade demo as well as Darkest Night from the Chains demo and No More from For Your Misery Only. As good as this album is, it really is not all that surprising as even with their demo recordings, the quality and talent of this band was quite evident. Yesterday's Grave presents the band in it's truest form; crunching heavy with thrashy riffs and a dark depressive, suicide infatuated metal that has lots of melody, a brand of metal that Sentenced brought to the metal scene years ago.

The first three tracks Suicide Serenade, Darkness and Life Ain't Fair really come out swinging on this album much like they did on the demo that these tracks were originally recorded on. The biggest difference here is in the production. With the guitars cranked up and very chunky sounding this band has never sounded better. Tons of great old Metallica style aggressive riffs, dual lead harmonized solos and an overall classic old school thrash metal feel, the difference between these guys and the Bay Area thrash metal sound is in the great melodic sense to the verses and choruses. With most lyrics being about suicidal thoughts or dealing with a tortured existence, the desperation in lead vocalist Jukkis Huuhtanen's voice seems very genuine and adds to the emotional depth that Misery Inc.'s music has. Several tracks namely Life Ain't Fair, Through The Dark and Share My Madness use a mix of quieter and heavier passages allowing the emotion and energy to build to a shattering climax. It's in the use of the quieter melancholic segments that the band gets into more of a gothic metal sound. The lead vocals range from a James Hetfield shouting style to a more emotional and warm sound. Lots of speedy drumming and thrashy intros to many of the songs are often followed by dramatic tempo changes and this gives the band great dynamics as it's not just a barrage of thrashy heavy metal. Once again, the main difference with this band is that despite the aggressive, chunky riffs, there's lots of emotion and melody, more of a staple of European heavy metal than the typical North American style. They even manage to throw in some death metal growls on a few tracks to back up the choruses.

There's lots of variety with the song arrangements and it becomes quite clear that they have several "formulas" to writing songs with all the songs following a particular “blueprint”. This is a great thing, especially with a new band as it shows that they're focused on the future and have a recipe for success. Although this is the band's first real full-length album, it clocks in at just under 34 minutes. With most CD buyers being very value conscious these days, it would've been great if they could've included more material seeing that 5 of the 10 songs have already appeared on previous recordings (albeit demos). In all fairness though, these versions sound light years better than on the demos and it was worth giving them the proper treatment in the studio. This is a great album that should appeal to fans of melodic yet heavy and depressive heavy metal. Fans of Sentenced will almost certainly like this album as it reminds me a lot of The Cold White Light album. It's great to see these guys finally getting a deal and getting noticed as although the influence is obvious, they have something to offer that's unique, catchy but still very chunky and heavy. The real test will be when they have to rely on all new material for their next album; a test that I'm sure they will pass with flying colors. This album has not been released in North America and according to rhythm guitarist and main songwriter Janne Tolonen, the label has no plans to. However, it's widely available online through various mail order websites. Surprise of the Month material only in that it's a debut album by a new band scored over 75/100....I'm not surprised by the quality of this at all...

Killing Songs :
Suicide Serenade, Darkness, Life Ain't Fair and Through The Dark
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Misery Inc. that we have reviewed:
Misery Inc. - Breed, Greed, Breed reviewed by Marty and quoted 65 / 100
Misery Inc. - Random End reviewed by Marty and quoted 84 / 100
Misery Inc. - Suicide Serenade reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Misery Inc. - Chains reviewed by Chris and quoted 72 / 100
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