Miseration – “Black Miracles and Dark Wonders”


Miseration have waited quite a while for the follow up to 2012’s Tragedy Has Spoken, and time has not softened their approach. Black Miracles and Dark Wonders is filled with their unique blend of technical death metal with melodic and orchestral elements.

Since 2006 Miseration has released four albums with Black Miracles and Dark Wonders being the follow up to Tragedy Has Spoken. The band itself is one of the projects of guitarist Jani Stefanovic and former Scar Symmetry vocalist Christian Älvestam, and for this album they are the only two musicians credited which is a departure from previous efforts with this one also having Jani providing some vocals. The album was recorded between 2018-2021 and mixed by Plec, Jani, and Christian at the Panic room with final mastering by Plec at the Panic Room in September 2021. Artwork which perfectly captures the feel of the album was done by y Pär Olofsson.

Much like Tragedy Has Spoken, this album is one of those that wastes no time and literally explodes into a heavy dark riff and guttural growled vocals in “The Seal of the Eight-Pointed Star”. The song itself does provide a preview of elements that will become more pronounced later in the album, namely clean choruses/vocals and the importance of the keyboards providing the equivalent of a string arrangement and eerie atmospheric ambience.

“Reign of Fate” starts out with some of the creepy atmospheric sounds with some animals or demons making some guttural sounds, then the string arrangements come in accompanied by another heavy chugging riff. Later in the song is when the clean chorus comes more to the forefront and the contrast works really well. The pounding drums and ultra-fast double bass keep the song moving along at a good clip, and the growled vocals layered in during the clean chorus make great use of contrast. The genius in the production and mixing becomes apparent in this song and continues for the rest of the album. The clean vocals and choruses and keyboard elements are present in such a way that they don’t detract from the overall heaviness of the album and are especially catchy on this song, in particular.

“Desecrate, Dominate, Eradicate” has the band reverting back to the song formula of having a song literally explode into existence, this time with a higher pitched scream joining the pounding drums and fast, heavy riff from the opening seconds of the song. The arrangement itself is interesting as there is almost a groove metal section at one point and hints of atmostpheric black metal from bands like Antestor in places. Partway through the song, there is an extended solo section with just Jani’s guitar work and atmospheric keyboards that serve to divide the song and do lead back into the same melody and rhythm as the first part. Some of the heaviest parts of the song is when the title is screamed out.

Starting with “Enuma Elish” the songs on the rest of the album being in a more subtle manner with atmospheric keyboards setting the tone and “Enuma Elish” showcases a couple different styles of guttural death vocals to great effect and eventually settles into a rough melody that again is akin to older Antestor. There is enough silence of the guitars and bass in this song to again highlight some of the drums that have been put in and the overall rhythm works really well.

By this point, long keyboard intros aren’t really lulling the listener into a false sense of calm but “Fed by Fire/Led by Blood” has one. This song is characterized by some great riffs and the clean chorus as well as the symphonic break and quieter sections punctuated by a tolling bell that in essence warns the listener that chaos will return. “Kingdoms Turned to Sand” begins innocently enough and then quickly turns heavy once the guitars come in but then brings in the clean vocals changing the overall effect. The song also features some of the more unique death vocals and screams on the album that accompany and trade-off with the deep growled vocals elsewhere providing a unique sonic landscape that is at once heavy, dark, foreboding, and beautiful.

“Connector of the Nine Worlds” closes out the album and is the longest track on the album. Tribal drums and chanting open up the song and the subtle keyboards in the background keep the overall tone dark and foreboding, fitting with the overall feel of the album. Similar to other tracks on the album, there are a variety of vocal approaches here with everything from clean to different screams and growls. The song breaks in the middle with drums and chanting coming back but then jumps into a much faster rhythm than the first part of the song with keyboards providing great texture to the fast riff.

Miseration have taken a further step in the evolution of their sound since Tragedy Has Spoken and the incorporation of the orchestral elements and multiple vocalists add unique touches to their technical death metal. This is one of those albums that keeps getting better the more you listen to it, highly recommended.

Rating: 9/10

Written by John Jackson

Track Listing

  1. The Seal Of The Eight-Pointed Star
  2. Reign Of Fate
  3. Desecrate, Dominate, Eradicate
  4. Enuma Elish
  5. Fed By Fire/Led By Blood
  6. Kingdoms Turned To Sand
  7. Shah
  8. Connector Of The Nine Worlds

Band Members
Christian Älvestam – Vocals (Lead & Backing)
Jani Stefanovic – Additional Lead Vocals, Rhythm & Lead Guitars, Bass, Keyboards/FX, Programming

Release Date: April 22, 2022

Record Label: Massacre Records

Social Media: Facebook / Spotify 

Lyric video for “Reign of Fate’

Video for ‘Enuma Elish’

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