Some people just…don’t like being around other people. Rather than drawing positive energy and excitement from being surrounded by others, they dwell in negativity and bitterness. These people are introverts—literally defined as those who find solace in solitary situations. For years, you were called this—an introvert—rarely invited to parties and even more rarely did you enjoy the parties you managed to go to, society began the slow, stinging process of turning its back on you. Rather than dwell in loneliness, you desired to expand it: to destroy the species that had so deliberately rejected you. Your feelings towards humanity were no longer lukewarm, and sociopathic was too frail a term: what you felt was full on Misanthropy: a violent disgust for mankind that could be quelled only by its complete and crushing extermination. The decisive, detailed distaste for mankind is personified in the technically lacerating, yet brutally bone-breaking music of Misanthropy—an ideally-named four piece of ultra-heavyweights from the UK. With an arsenal of marvelously technical, subtly symphonic and mindlessly heavy musicianship, Misanthropy wage a full-scale war on the listener—and man-kind in the process.
Misanthropy is an experience defined by the instrumental whims and proclivities of its creators. Misanthropy leave no stone un-turned in the search for a perfect blend of raw, hardcore energy and scintillating, catchy symphonic segments to blend into a uniquely immersive deathcore masterwork. As a result, their self-titled full length is equal parts raw aggression and carefully crafted beauty. On “Phantom” and “Slave Creator,” percussionist Szymon Ogiello leads the charge with heavy, fast-paced percussion that begins with a template of time-tested hardcore drum patterns, dressed up with metallic, technically marvelous fills. Ogiello’s talent goes even further on epic tracks like “The Perfect Disease” and “Age of Broken Idols” which are decidedly more metallic, but feature roomier, splashier drum sections that allow guitarist Andrew Wiseman and Bassist Benjamin Jones to create more driving, riff-based song structures. On the furiously fretted “Age of Broken Idols,” as well as throughout “Human Error” and “Parasite,” Wiseman takes charge, dictating the flow of the song with leads that are so precise and sharp, they feel as if they might slice the listener’s skull cleanly in half. As Wiseman cuts away with the remorse of a mass-murderer and the precision of a neurosurgeon, Jones plunks and plods away, driving every stab of Wiseman’s guitar home with a booming, rollicking bass lick that stays stuck in the listener’s freshly decimated cortex for days.
Where Misanthropy are musically energetic and a raw, ruthless blend of metallic precision and hardcore aggression, the true source of their distaste for mankind is truly evident in the vocals of Scott Rudd. Rudd is the preacher for Misanthropy’s church of sin and hate—letting loose with an entire range of bellows, growls, screams and shrieks all designed to fill the listener’s head like water, but melt their mind like acid. From the very first shout of “Unbreakable,” Rudd is gruff, intense, visceral and unfiltered—in the best way possible. His expertise is best seen, however, when used in combination with any of the impressive guest vocalists throughout Misanthropy’s self-titled album. On “Phantom,” his shouts give a perfect frame of reference for the shrill, grating shouts of J.T. Cavey (of Texas in July). Here, Rudd masterfully contrasts his vocals against Cavey’s without overwhelming them. The same effect is reached when he works side-by-side with Nexilva’s Gaz King on “Human Error.” While King is piercing, punching teeny-tiny holes in the listener’s eardrums, Rudd bellow beneath him, opting for brute force over belligerent pestilence—ripping out the listener’s incus and malleolus instead of slicing and cutting them carefully. The truth is that whether it’s with another vocalist or on his own, Rudd adds a defining layer of visceral, tangible hatred and anger to Misanthropy’s dynamic that helps define them as a remarkable band in a scene overwhelmed by careless mashups of metal and hardcore.
Misanthropy’s moments of go-for-the-throat heaviness and ruthless brutality—like those found on “Human Error” and “Parasite”—are enthralling, they are only one side of Misanthropy’s detailed, Janus-like dynamic. For every moment Misanthropy are murderously heavy, they are also marvelously melodic and include moments of heart-touching and sincere symphony. Those moments—like those found on any one of the “Transcendent” tracks, the climax of “Sinister,” or “Soul Season” among others—are what make the band different enough to truly catch the listener’s ear. While the riff-driven, raunchy and heavy moments are absolutely incredible—as are the spine-crushing, dismebowelingly brutal breakdowns—the moments of symphony are where each member of the band comes together to work in perfect harmony. Ogiello’s punchy, polished patterns melt together with Jones’ beautiful, booming bass lines to create an anchoring low-end that lets Wiseman’s immense leads and overarching melodies soar sky-high to create a surreal soundscape that encircles the listener—until Rudd pulls the knot tight with hellish, gruff shouts that let the listener kick their legs and claw at their throat until the last breath is drained from their lungs.
While hatred for humanity is rarely considered a good thing, in the case of these British brutalizers, it’s synonymous with perfection—as Misanthropy’s debut self-titled full length is just that. Driven by catchy, metallic riffs, punchy, prominent percussion and grating, tastefully terrifying vocals, Misanthropy is an album that makes the day mankind meets their maker something to look forward to.
For Fans Of: Martyr Defiled, Decapitated, Whitechapel, Demoraliser, WolveXhys
By: Connor Welsh