Misery Sermon - Slaughter to Prevail
Artist: Slaughter to Prevail
Album: Misery Sermon
Review by Steve Jenkins
I never thought I would say in 2017 that deathcore was stronger than ever, and yet it's only 5 months into the year and a lot of the big releases in the genre have been some of the strongest the genre has ever offered. Aversions Crown, Boris The Blade and Shadow of Intent are three names that immediately come to mind when considering the better releases, all offering interesting and conceptual themed albums with monstrous vocalists, equipped with diaphragms that can only be described as gateways to hell itself. Slaughter to Prevail are a trans-continental deathcore band, based both in Russia and the UK. Since their EP, Chapters of Misery, there has been a lot of anticipation for the band to release a full length, and now that has been brought to us as Misery Sermon. One of the main centerpieces about this album is the vocals. Vocalist Alex Shikolai (aka Alex Terrible) is well known for his YouTube covers, and he's been regarded by many as one of the best front men in the deathcore scene at the moment. It's easy to see why, his growls are utterly monstrous and his screams sound like a gremlin having a panic attack. In a very similar vein to the aforementioned two bands, the vocals give this album a lot of power and a very dark atmosphere. Where those bands discuss lyrics in a very sci-fi tone, however, Slaughter to Prevail tackles a different theme, mainly focused around religion and current social and hierarchical issues, as well as focusing on the connections between good and evil. This is by no means new ground to cover, and the music will certainly remind you of bands such as Thy Art is Murder, with incredibly fast drumming (See songs such as "Misery Sermon" or "Chronic Slaughter") and punishing breakdowns aplenty (See "Russian Hate" and "666"). If you're looking for something new and groundbreaking, don't expect to be impressed with this album. When all is said and done, this is still a deathcore album, but it's a solid slab of it, with a very sinister undertone to boot. Alex has gone into depth in YouTube videos about the evil atmosphere he wants to create with his music, and it certainly shows on here. The vocals are also a mixture of English and Russian, which almost gives the impression that there are two characters on this album; the lyrics in English seem to be cries of desperation, frustration and anger, whereas the lyrics in Russian deal with the more sinister side the album has to offer, touching on themes such as misanthropy, evil, and hell. The album does have its weak points. As well as the instrumentation not being that special, the lyrics can be quite immature at times. Whilst this is fairly normal for a deathcore album, it would be nice to see these new bands spend more time constructing better songs. The mix seems to be off at times too, with the vocals overpowering everything else. The amount of breakdowns may be a turn off for some people too, although thankfully there are also plenty of good riffs, strong drumming and even some black metal tendencies at times, which redeems this album from just being a breakdown fest. All in all, this album gives Slaughter to Prevail a lot to build on. It's solid for a debut LP, and hopefully with further releases they'll continue to evolve into a more unique band. For now, though, Misery Sermon is a solid album that you shouldn't sleep on if you're at all a fan of this genre of music.
7.5 out of 10 stars.
Misery Sermon is out now via Sumerian Records and is available to purchase now from iTunes and all good music retailers. You can also stream the album on Spotify.
Watch the video for "Chronic Slaughter" below:
Find them here:
Instagram - @slaugthertoprevail
Website - http://www.slaughtertoprevail.com/