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The Miser – Memento Mori Award winner

The Miser
Memento Mori
by Leanne "Metal Maiden" Evans at 25 January 2023, 8:17 PM

What do metalheads eat for breakfast, dinner, and tea? Riffs, riffs, and more RIFFFFFFS! So given we live on a diet of fat riffs, meaty riffs, and most of all, delicious riffs, you’ll be pleased to discover a rather tasty band to satisfy your need for metallic chunkiness. Meet THE MISER, a groovy, rock ‘n’ roll influenced, stoner-type, brawny band from London, England, who pack their artillery full of thick, chonky riffs. These guys manage to make misery sound fun, infusing their music with the rich and heady tones of the likes of THIN LIZZY, TROUBLE, and BLACK SABBATH, packing in as much energetic, bottom-heavy goodliness as a track can take, focusing on gloriously dark thematic - courtesy of the curiosities of Hieronymus Bosch and B-movie horror films - to fuel their embers, infusing nasty hooks, and whopping melodies to get their macabre fire roaring.

Initially forming in 2014, THE MISER has to date released the debut EP “Jack the Riffer”, and the debut full-length, “Where the Evil Things Dwell” back in 2018. Ensuring their haunting, fun-filled riff-centric melancholy isn’t too far from your ears, the band is now set to release the next instalment of its musical misery in the form of the sophomore EP, “Memento Mori”. This five-track stunner is a monolithic, monstrously meticulous riff machine that comes with plenty of charismatic allure and densely constructed tracks, so much so, you’ll struggle not to fall at the feet of THE MISER and worship the ground they walk on.

The subtle ferocity of THE MISER hits instantly in “House on the Hill” which beckons thumping bass lines and up-tempo, crunchy riffs gradually morphing into an eerie ambience in a BLACK SABBATH meets ORANGE GOBLIN hybrid. The dense, thick smog lifts briefly to make way for some clean leads, but the wall of sound rudely awakens your soul once more and the delightful vocal earworms work their magic ten-to-the-dozen on your lugs. No two songs sound the same on “Memento Mori”, so it’s hardly surprising that the distortion is ramped up a notch in “A New Dream” hailing as a more stoner leaning with a little wallow and a rock ‘n’ roll infusion to keep you on your toes.

It’s easy to hear the allusions to BLACK SABBATH when you’re hit with the deliberate, slow-creeping undertones of THE MISER, but the band’s embodiment of nostalgic throwback to the good ol’ 70’s encompasses more than hazy distortion and deliberate darkness. They manage to encapsulate misery and disillusion in their tones but wrap their melancholy and affliction in conviviality and vibrancy through ironically chirrupy riffs. Take “Scars”, an overtly painful piece that somehow projects a catharsis through a lighter output and drum fills with a mix of anger and a little flirtation, yet still retains that brooding, heavy bass backbone and leans on some syncopation and dissonance - just to make doubly sure it’s extra filthy - and I guess this is where the similarities to TROUBLE sink their teeth in.

Sliding into the latter part of the EP - and showcasing a completely different facet to THE MISER - “Yeah, We’re Back” offers a recipe guaranteeing lots of lascivious listening! Consisting of a formula of spicy hooks, fistfuls of filth, and those gorgeous bass tones, this track bangs out an incredibly catchy chorus and a couple of tasty solos, producing an all-round more rock ‘n’ roll fashioned composition that brings some heady hard rock to the table. The succulent juices of the title-track erupt into a blistering, billowing fury serving as a reminder that death comes to us all. Far from being something morbid, this instrumentally heavy track splashes a touch of psych-rock and lends to creating a fat and trippy piece that’ll have you far from fearing the Grim Reaper.

Matched with classic-sounding production, fearless genre exploration, and riffs fatter than a feeder’s dream, “Memento Mori” is a stunning, potently electrifying record that will intoxicate you from the opening chord right through to the final note.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. House on the Hill
2. A New Dream
3. Scars
4. Yeah, We’re Back
5. Memento Mori
Lineup:
Sean Crocker – Vocals
Scott Haslett – Guitar
Matt Hull – Bass
Dan Danby - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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