Soldiering on without your lead singer is a bold move for any band. Sometimes it really pays off (Faith No More), and other times it totally sucks (everybody else). After an emotionally and musically complex 2004 math-metal debut, Of Malice and the Magnum Heart,Misery Signals' hardcore-influenced singer, Jesse Zalaska, left the Madison, Wisconsin, outfit, leaving a hole that, frankly, didn't need to be filled. The remaining members create anxious, aggressive and well-polished metalcore that maintains just enough edge to keep it scary. Still, the quartet felt it needed a fifth wheel and found Karl Schubach via an open audition on MySpace. What the new guy lacks in emotional and melodic range (the strongest vocals on the new record are supplied by guest Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy), the other four make up for in blistering, bludgeoning symphonies of sickness that go for the throat and don't let go. Hey, at least they didn't pick Gary Cherone.
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