Weekly Wretched: Slaughter To Prevail - Misery Sermon
If the name Slaughter To Prevail doesn't yet strike fear into the very depths of your core, you clearly haven't seen them or heard their new debut full length, Misery Sermon. The band caught the attention of metalheads across the United States when they joined the Summer Slaughter festival last year, and spent the summer shredding the stage to pieces playing songs from their EP, Chapters of Misery. It seems like it's been an eternal wait waiting for this album to finally be in our hands, and Misery Sermon has surpassed our expectations and brought Slaughter To Prevail to a level of brutality many strive for and few achieve - 2017 is the year of Russian hate, and it's the year of Slaughter To Prevail.
Misery Sermon kicks off the album with the title track, and it pretty much instantly launches you right into full fledged chaos with blaring guitars and fast paced drums before the face of STP, Alex Shikolai (otherwise known throughout the scene as Alex Terrible) and his iconic vocal style penetrate over the instruments. His range of growls, screams, and even just straight yelling (see the intro to "Failed Hope") can be summed up in just one way: purely fucking demonic. Prior to the albums release, Slaughter To Prevail teased us with two songs off Misery Sermon: King and Chronic Slaughter. Both tracks are prime example of what you can expect the rest of the album to sound like - heavy, loud, and evil deathcore.
The band is based out of Russia, and these masked demons don't hide it for a moment throughout Misery Sermon; the lyrics constantly changed from English to Russian and back to English. If you're someone that can't appreciate it for what it is or you would be bothered by not having all English lyrics, this eleven track album sent straight from the bowels of Hell might not be for you. But if you can look past that, you're in for a sick treat as Misery Sermon delivers on all levels: each track of this bad boy kicks total ass. As you listen, you'll notice it never lets up: this album is heavy, through and through. Slaughter To Prevail made it obvious they knew what they wanted to sound like and the final product is sick. Some fans online have mentioned they think the vocals may be a little too loud over the other instruments, and it may seem that way at times throughout the album, but for the most part, it definitely doesn't feel over-produced or that too much focus was just on the vocals. "Below," the instrumental track of the album, is a perfect example of the talent these musicians have and what they can accomplish without the vocals.
Other notable tracks off Misery Sermon are "666," "Russian Hate," and the final track "Cultural Ills." All are hard hitting blows to the listener and would translate so well live. These guys definitely set out to write something a little different for deathcore fans - focus less on insanely heavy breakdowns and more so on an overall heavy sound. In a scene where so many bands are focusing solely on having the heaviest breakdowns, Slaughter To Prevail mix their breakdowns in so well it's like the song wasn't written around it, which it feels a lot of songs are like these days.
Overall, Misery Sermon is one of my personal favorite albums we've gotten in this first half of the year; it's easily a top contender with the big names we have in deathcore these days like Oceano and Thy Art Is Murder. The band clearly put their work in to deliver a sick record and their hard work shows, and that's exactly why they deserved to be featured for this weeks Weekly Wretched.