Swedish depressive black metallers Mist of Misery are dropping their second full length album in 2016, conviently entitled ‘Absence’. Because this is a record full of absences; joy, happiness, hope to name a few. ‘Absence’ is out now on Black Lion Records, and is 44 minutes of suicidal black metal art.
Black metal has always regarded itself as art, ever since Emperor proclaimed itself as such on their classic ‘Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk’. But that doesn’t always coincide with the music within. Mist of Misery come very close to that however on ‘Absence’, collecting not only the ragged riffing of vintage black metal but absorbing into it classical strings and an aching misery. If art is designed to provoke feelings in the beholder, then tracks like ‘Euthanasia’ empower those of depressive natures. This is bleak, almost hopeless at points, and the atmospheres are perfect, particularly the soaring title track. It is odd how a song can feel almost uplifting an bleak at the same time, but Mist of Misery can pull this off.
The acoustic interlude of ‘Final Departure’, the gloomy strings of ‘Epitaph of Penitence’, the fiery ‘Mist of Misery’; the band have captured many parts of the pure essence of black metal as an art form, and ‘Absence’ is up there with my favourite blackened releases for this year. Evocative, emotional and furious, Mist of Misery have birthed something rather special.