Review || Brutality Will Prevail - "Misery Sequence"

UK heavyweights Brutality Will Prevail return on September 13th with their brand new, sixth studio album titled "Misery Sequence". It comes two years after "In Dark Places", which remains one of their best works to date. Having that in mind, I was naturally curious as to how the band would continue building their legacy, and whether they would continue blending in their own unique way all their diverse influences.

"Misery Sequence" consists of nine songs. Seeing the promo folder, I was quite taken aback that two of them were instrumental tracks. All good, no bias here, the album is about to start playing. It kicks off with the title track, which was previously released as a single. The crushing riff never fails to make me want to headbang along, all while Louis Gauthier spits his contempt with his hoarse vocals. Not gonna lie, this is probably one of my favorite songs they have written; it ticks all the right boxes, plus the melodic, east-inspired guitar solo speaks straight to my heart. Another single follows. "Slither" continues in a similar path, building intensity with heaviness from the nifty tempo changes and not with aggression. I think a lot of people don't realize how sound can become thicker and stronger when the metronome drops, instead of blasting at full throttle and this is how the song ends. The outro is linked to the third track, the almost stoner-y instrumental composition titled "Twisting The Knife". As we are met with the ferocious intro to "Deny The Truth", the tables have turned. However, the sudden outburst doesn't last long and the quintet establishes dominance once more by returning to their familiar recipe. 

We are currently entering the second half of the album, introduced by the other instrumental track. Powerful from start to finish, "Unsettling" is lives up to its name and fittingly gives way to "Sense Of Doubt". Its structure clearly indicates that it was written as an invitation for fans to grab the mic and stagedive during shows; from the sharp metal riffing to the savage vocals, it's a track that will make you want to smash everything around you. Similarly, when "End Of Me" (also featuring a rare guest appearance of Brendan Murphy of Counterparts) kicks in, its energy is overwhelming the listener. So far, I must admit that the second half of "Misery Sequence" is closer to the sounds I enjoy exploring. Accordingly, it comes as no surprise that the mesmerizing "Breathless", performed by an enchanting Toni Coe-Brooker, became an instant favorite. Her dark timbre perfectly complements the striking instrumentation that supports her her. As we have reached the end, "The Bitter End", one could say, the final piece boasts the most technical variety we have seen so far. Expanding a little over 5' in duration, it seamlessly blends parts of the sounds we have encountered so far. The almost agonizing music is enhanced by the devastating lyrics, which manifest in a morbid way, as we "end [the] Misery Sequence".

Overall the album feels deeply personal. Brutality Will Prevail has always had a borderline soul-destroying element in both their sound and their lyrics but over the years it became clear they have mastered the art of producing dark music without resorting to speed or complex patterns. "Misery Sequence" left me mostly satisfied, especially with the last four songs, although I feel the band didn't reach their full potential with this release. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it is bad in any way but after "In Dark Places", I was expecting a little more. You see, the tricky part about linear trajectories is that they don't always reflect progress, and here I think the band chose to play safe than expand their ever-growing sound to a new territory. From a technical standpoint, I saw few flaws; on creativity and originality, unfortunately, "Misery Sequence" failed fully win me over.
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