Miseration – Tragedy Has Spoken


Some albums should come with warning labels to avoid shocking the unsuspecting listener, and Tragedy Has Spoken by Miseration is one such album. You hear a click, then a film projector and the roar of the crowd and then the sound literally explodes at the listener with no real end in the intensity until the end of the album. Fast, technical death metal, with an underlying melodic sense and some interesting interludes would be the easiest way to describe the sound and that would not do the album justice as the musicianship and production are top notch and take the listener on a quite a ride.

Tragedy Has Spoken is the third album released by Miseration, one of the projects of guitarist Jani Stefanovic and former Scar Symmetry vocalist Christian Älvestam. Not only does this album provide some great death metal but it also has many unexpected elements incorporated that keep it interesting from start to finish, with nearly every song having some moments the listener would not have predicted based on the genre.

One aspect that stands out to me is the overall feeling of atmosphere that is present in the songs on the album. Many of the songs have interludes or endings that provide the listener some relief from the technical death onslaught in the rest of the song. The song Ciniphes, not only has some studio effects to the sound toward the middle of the song with just guitar and drums playing, but then ends with some sorrowful piano being played amidst a thunderstorm, providing a needed break before Hill of the Poison Tree kicks in. In between these softer sections, there is some fast riffing by guitarists Jani Stefanovic and Marcus Bertillson and some maniacal drumming by Oscar Nilsson. The contrast works very well and at times conveys almost a symphonic feel to some of the songs.

As one would expect with technical death metal, the drumming by Oscar Nilsson is exceptional and shows a lot more variety than I was expecting. There is plenty of speed and blast beats, but they are not the only aspect to the drumming on the tracks. Some of this is due to the melodic nature Miseration has incorporated into their sound, something I certainly wasn’t expecting. Each song stands on its own and has a slightly different feel and sound than the others, making this an album with a lot of variety. Lyrically though the album is consistent and dark, covering tragedies of the human condition, including those from volcanic and nuclear disasters to persecutions motivated by twisted religious beliefs.

Production and mixing on this release is also one of the strong points to the album. With this much sound and chaos going on, it would be easy for all the instruments to blur together, but they are all very distinct and yet still able to combine into a pummeling force. Christian Älvestam’s vocals include the expected deep growls alternating with more standard screaming but also include some clean, almost choir-like singing in a couple of the songs, again adding to a symphonic feel at times. On Wings of Brimstone is the best example of this, starting out with the clean vocals and melodic section before exploding into the fast technical death metal style and then alternating back and forth for the rest of the song.

Overall, Tragedy Has Spoken is an excellent example of technical death metal. It has all the elements one would expect within the genre but also an unexpected melodic presence and incorporation of some other elements not normally found within the genre that keep the listener’s attention and interest from start to finish.

Rating: 9/10

Written by John Jackson

Track Listing:
01. Stepping Stone Agenda
02. Children Of The Flames
03. Ghost Barrier
04. Ciniphes
05. Hill Of the Poison Tree
06. Disaster Cage
07. On Wings Of Brimstone
08. White Light/Black Rain
09. Tomb Of Tephra
10. Waylayer

Band Members:
Christian Älvestam – Vocals
Jani Stefanovic – Guitar
Oscar Nilsson – Drums
Christian Lundgren – Bass
Marcus Bertillson – Guitar

Record Label: Lifeforce Records, July 2012

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