Dying Whale rides between the steps of doom and the waves of panic with Last Moments of Misery. Released through Nefarious Industries, and produced/engineered by Lee Dyess (producer/engineer on From First to Last, Evergreen Terrace, and the album Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me!), this three piece represents a part of the next call for great bands in heavy music. Dying Whale is at home when displaying their appreciation for oppositions. Maneuvering from heavy bass and drum sections to exploding chaos (“Distress”), or wild riffs that lullaby into breakdowns (“Thorn Sized Wound”). It is this unique blend of style that allows Dying Whale to showcase their music. Taking genres that can experience stagnation, and using aggressive brackets to sum them into a powerful in your face album. Singles like “One Final First Kiss” explode with a hardcore punk opening before falling into a heavy and dark hole. Jumping between these opposites, singer/bassist Matt Zagorski holds its all together with his raw, desperate screams. This is a common theme throughout Last Moments of Misery, with different plateaus reached to create their innovative sound.
Withstanding the mixture of genres, Last Moments of Misery is fast and heavy most of the time. The back to back monsters of “Average Over AwFul” and “Forged by Silver” being particularly ferocious in their delivery. Sprinting through chaotic pangs and heavy deluge. Throughout the album, the band is tight and skilled. Josh Zorn on guitar is relentless, unleashing barrages of energizing riffs held together by drummer Eli Werth’s dynamic understanding of the ethea Dying Whale conveys. Strong aggression in the vocals help maintain the album’s consistency such as in “Denial,” where changeups in the song might sound awkward without grounding, Keeping it from sounding too disjointed as the band traverses genres. The dichotomies and oppositions in their music go beyond the composition of styles. With lyrics like “tie me up, so you can expose me” in “Cloud I Hold,” or “cut me up, cut me down” in “Black Sky Absorbs You,” the band reaches to emulate an self oppositional direction in all aspects of their aesthetic. The bass is tight where appropriate, while occasionally being turned up and let loose for some real deep doom.
There is little comfort to be found here, but there are moments of calm. These moments are snatched away by the band like a smirk and finger waving “not yet,” seeing to it that the album avoids monotony. I have true admiration for any band that has this kind of scope and clear appreciation for the genres they amalgamate. From the blood pumping mechanical sprint of “Thorn Sized Wound” to the doom of their final song “Last Moments of Misery.” Dying Whale has produced something special that is worth listening to, and can be appreciated by listeners of heavy music with an open ear. If you want a dynamic powerhouse who knocks you out, picks you up, and pats your shoulder before doing it all again, listen to Dying Whale’s new, Last Moments of Misery.