Misery Loves Co – ST – Cassette tape on Earache Records

 

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Misery Loves Co – ST – Cassette

Recorded by the original duo, with Patrik Wiren on vocals and Örjan Örnkloo handling everything else, Misery Loves Co.’s debut effort is a striking and powerful effort, showing that the Swedes had easily taken the industrial metal promise of bands like late-’80s Ministry and run with it. Indeed, “My Mind Still Speaks” starts the album with some of the firing-gun sounds that help conclude Ministry’s dramatic Psalm 69 effort, as near a conscious taking up of the flame as could be imagined. That said, Misery Loves Co. is hardly a Ministry tribute band per se; Wiren’s singing alternates between the type of full-bodied growl which Phil Anselmo helped popularize in Pantera and a disembodied, ghostly goth fragility that’s beaten-down instead of rampagingly triumphant. Örnkloo’s music has its emphasis on technical precision — not a riff is wasted, the rhythms have a mechanical search-and-destroy bent — but like Wiren’s singing finds a balance between pure slabs of mega-metal riffing and restrained calm. Often one can hear strange, subtle textures and alien drones playing out behind the most high-volume sections, while “Need Another One” in particular matches up a darkly beautiful verse set against a chorus that could kill at 50 paces. It’s a seemingly strange combination, but in fact it suits the songs excellently, not to mention forecasting similar but nowhere near as striking efforts in later years by the likes of Linkin Park. More so than most albums, Misery Loves Co. is also a well-sequenced effort, getting all the more powerful as it goes rather than simply off-loading potential singles up front. The one-two body slam of the take-no-prisoners death disco punch that is “This Is No Dream” and the mechanistic Alice in Chains-in-hell “Happy?” make for mid-album stunners, while “Private Hell” is no less involving and descriptive a listen.

Song List
1. My Mind Still Speaks
2. Kiss Your Boots
3. Need Another One
4. Sonic Attack
5. This Is No Dream
6. Happy?
7. Scared
8. I Swallow
9. Private Hell
10. Only Way, The
11. 2 Seconds

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