MIST OF MISERY HAVE PERFECTED THEIR CRAFT WITH SOPHOMORE FULL-LENGTH 'ABSENCE'
There has been a lot of reworking and rereleasing of largely the same content on the first three releases - EP 'Bleak Autumn' from 2010, 2011s debut album of the same name and 2014s 'Temple Of Still Voices' EP - from Swedish Symphonic Black Metal/DSBM trio Mist Of Misery, but comparing the progression across the tracks I've heard from those past releases, that reworking to develop and perfect their style has paid off with their latest release, second full length 'Absence', with their sound taking on a degree of depth and sophistication across the nine brand new tracks that rises to a whole new level completely.
The album is separated by four reflective and atmospheric instrumentals; the opening keyboard led 'Melancholic Thoughts', 'Final Departure', 'Wistful Twilight' and closing piece 'Serenity In Nothingness', a format which personally I like as it adds flow and reflective periods between the tracks.
Another element which has benefited the sound is a more defined emphasis on the keyboards, a notable example of this benefit being on 'Absence' where the keyboard work adds a subtle Gothic, haunting atmosphere to the opening and closing part of the track and a symphonic and choral element midway that sits so well amongst the melancholic riffing.
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Of the tracks that aren't instrumental, the mood and tempo is either pulled back and reflectively melancholic or right up in your face and blackened and I like that strong contrast, the way the music ebbs and flows in waves making it engaging and intriguing, particularly 'Paragon Of Perdition', one minute powerfully crushing and the next dropping away to wistful and reflective.
The lead work is subtle and restrained, adding a lift without detracting from the mournful mood, particularly on the latter parts of 'Euthanasia' and it coasts over and around the protracted rasping vocal delivery on 'Epitaph Of Penitence' and 'Mist Of Misery' which also has more of those great choral keyboard elements.
There is certainly much more depth and richness to the sound and the production quality since joining the Black Lion Productions roster is also hugely improved and has a very crisp, professional finish.
'Absence' is out now on Black Lion Records as a limited edition release here, so get in quick if you want a copy.