Mother Misery - 2010 - Stand Alone
Looking at the artwork and song titles, I was certainly not expecting a classic, middle-of-the-road glam/sleaze album in Standing Alone. It wasn't mucht to my surprise that I heard a hard rock/metal album from these Swedes.
1. Dirty Little Secrets
2. In Monochrome
3. Dying Heroes
4. Standing Alone
5. This Is What I Am
6. Fade Away
7. Inside The Hive
8. Eyes Of The Moth
9. To Hell
10. War Inside
11. State Of Grace
It's more than obvious that Mother Misery has had a long road already before releasing this record, as there's nothing to be said against the production and song value. It's just a matter of opinion if you like their style or not.
Musically, Mother Misery is nothing far from the Swedish metal/rock standard we know: strong melodies, an abundance of influences melted into their particular brand of music, strong and steady rhythm lines, no frills when they're not needed...
What puts them next (and above) many other bands from their region and genre, is vocalist John Hermansen. This guy is a powerhouse, the ease with which he delivers the strong lyrics is astonishing. His singing style only adds to the melodic aspect of their music, even though he's not that versatile. Not that it ever gets boring though.
Opener "Dirty Little Secrets" basically delivers the entire package, or at least gives a clear view of what Mother Misery represents. Steady drum beats drive the song from chorus to chorus, which is what holds the song together. Everything else is just building up or down to it, but that's a valid structure as much as any other is.
As said before, "In Monochrome" delivers the same goods "Dirty Little Secrets" did, all verses sort of hover around a powerful chorus, with their very own unique elements (just so I don't completely bash the verses in the chorus' advantage).
"Dying Heroes" is one of the best songs on the album, mostly because of the diversity in hardness throughout the song, all climaxing at the exact right times. This one's a wild bull, thrashing onwards with no holds barred.
Title track "Fade Away" somehow reminds me of Sixx AM's style, probably due to the lyrics and the singing lines. This is not the one you should hear first of all, but once you got their style down, this one's great.
"Inside The Hive" takes a more depressive, industrial turn to match the misanthropic lyrics. Not my cup of tea, not a bad song either...
The weight of the previous track is sort of lifted by "Eyes Of The Moth", which is more airy (yet still not a party headbanger). The slow rhythm track along with the musical break makes this a perfect late-night listener.
"To Hell" definitely puts them under the rock label also, from the first shout on you know this is where they got their inspiration.
As much as I hate to keep returning to the same comment: "War Inside" continues the way all previous songs did. Amazing vocal melodies, erupting in a climactic chorus. This is what I meant with liking their style or not...
"State Of Grace" is Mother Misery's attempt at a power ballad. They get there with the accoustic guitar and all, and the singer proves again what an amazing throat he's got. The song is a little too much of the same, which doesn't really make it a stand-out track, but the composition is pretty awesome.
All in all, I probably hammered on the equality of all songs, because they are kick-ass each on their own, so don't get me wrong... Dig into this one if you want something else than 80's (revival) music!