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Misgivings – Misgivings Award winner

by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 04 July 2022, 4:26 AM

MISGIVINGS is a French death metal band who formed in 1991. Over the years they have released four demos and a split album but 2022 is the year they drop their self titled debut onto the underground. And it is one hell of a debut. The nine tracks contained within are blistering, razor sharp death metal. There are no intros, interludes; they trade filler for full songs. Despite the extremity of their nature, each track is surprisingly catchy.

Being of an old school nature, the hook of the songs lie within the riffs, of which many exist. The rhythm section is tight as hell, augmenting the hook laden songs with a brutal foundation. The album opens with "Deny The Divine Praise," which begins with a cacophony of riffs and a rumbling low end. The drums are a massive wall of sound but the album's mix is sterling enough to display the brutal aspects of the band without it becoming muddled. The song sets the tone for the album but also firmly establishes the band doesn't really slow down–unrelenting  all the time.  Even their slower moment are packed tightly, ready to explode. With that being said, the song handles tempo changes very well, the flow never faltering even when the riffs pick back up after a slow or mid pace attack. This is indicative of the album as a whole too.

The opening riffs to “Demonically Stigmatized,” are among my favorites on the album.  The track is rousing and chaotic but held together by tight groove and a solid barrage of drum and bass work.  The guitars building up the final crescendo, and the ending scream, cap the song off furiously. "Masquerading As God," ignores the build up and goes straight for an audible beat down. This is very much a drum driving song, displaying another song writing knack for the band: the synergy between the members is strong yet the songs can focus one particular element when needed—without sacrificing the others.

"Stormblood" is one of the more unrelenting songs on the album. The vocals are a deep, gurgling cesspool and the music is of a similar, grinding tone. Fast, vicious drums lead into a chaotic section made up of a battle between low and high death growls. I love the atmospheric and creepy moments of “Disgraceful Lust,” it shows a different side of the band.  This song mixes in slower tempos with their more graphic moments, at least in the beginning.  The later half of the song ups the slower moments to mid tempo and they double down on everything else.  A rager of a song! Near the end, the band throws a quick little track, “Serenity In Shades.”  I appreciate the shorter length as it helps stave off any monotony but it also gives them just enough time to zero in going all the more fast and hard—this song pumps up their already powerful sound.

Supreme Regression,” is very primal—the soundtrack to being shredded to pieces by nature’s predators.  But the groove is strong in this one, balancing out all that raw power with head destroyed riffs.  This is another short but vicious song. "The Age of Christic Sorrow," is an album highlight for me. This song is just extremely tight and balances a special sort of brutality with potent song building and well structured framework. The guitars are sinister; twisting and changing forms in between the lyrical stanzas, giving the song a maze like feel. But a way out is never found, instead it is a trap as the rhythm sections rains down hard. The final track "Ancient Fear," has an atmosphere of pure finality. The build up that leads off into a crazy lead section only adds to this. The frantic riffs and drums continue the Downward spiral into madness. This is a song that takes the sound of the previous tracks and amplifies them tenfold.  It is all encompassing and make for a great grand finale.

MISGIVINGS' self titled debut is an unstoppable death metal train that barrels down the track, leaving destruction in its wake. Any fan of death metal will find much to enjoy here and for me I’d have to say it is one of the best I’ve heard in this first half of the year.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Deny The Divine Praise
2. Demnically Stigmatized
3. Masquerading As God
4. Stormblood
5. Disgraceful Lust
6. The Age of Christic Sorrow
7. Serenity In Shades
8. Supreme Regression
9. Ancient Fear
Guilehm Auge – Drums
Infamist – Guitars
David B. - Guitars
Esteban Martin – Vocals, Bass
Record Label: Dolorem Records


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