Sometimes you come across an album that’s so mind-blowing that you forget to review it. When an opportunity arose to give my thoughts on Rituals of Power, I knew that my limited knowledge of Misery Index would work to my advantage and I pressed the play button. Then I pressed it again. And again. And again. Before I knew it, the album had already been released for almost a week. Being untethered to holding Rituals of Power by the standards of Misery Index’s previous releases left me blindsided because this album is so many things. Articulate. Coherent. Insightful. Brutal. But most importantly, terrifying.
Regardless of medium, art has always had the ability to provide stark reminders that the evils that plague humanity haven’t been eradicated from polite society, and if anything, there was never an attempt to eradicate them in the first place. From start to finish, Rituals of Power fearlessly assumes command of this approach and Misery Index astutely critiques the more insidious elements that have befallen civilization in modern times. So thoroughly in fact that you’re left with the profound revelation that tracks such as “The Choir Invisible” and “New Salem” are potential realities that have never been so close to being possible.
Getting back to the album being terrifying (in a good way, mind you), considering that Misery Index has never shied away from political topics, it’s easy to conclude who “They Always Come Back” is directed towards. I can only speculate because I wasn’t there when the band composed these tracks, but the terror comes from the realization that the song title is true. With all of this in mind, don’t mistake my grim portrayal for a bad album. Rituals of Power kicks all kinds of ass and Misery Index toes the line between death metal and grindcore with the finesse of a tap dancer along a razor’s edge.