“Nothing” the opening track to Misery Signals’ much-anticipated Controller couldn’t be more promising. It bursts forth from the speakers with bold galloping guitar lines that will leave your heart pounding like a stallion’s. Wielding their instruments with demonic speed and intricacy bassist Kyle Johnson and guitarist Stu Ross along with the band’s frenetic percussionist Branden Morgan wear their math-rock label with an ironic grin.
Under the watchful eye of producer Devin Townsend Misery Signals’ third album takes the band’s technical musicianship and brutally aggressive lyrics to a whole new level of heavy metal excellence. Overriding everything with his unrelenting roars youthful Karl Schubach isn’t just the band’s acid-scorched voice — he’s also one of their biggest fans recruited into their ranks by way of a MySpace talent search. Controller comes fully equipped with hard-hitting numbers like the crushing “Weight of the World” and the circuitous “Labyrinthian” and then easily switches to a nostalgic ’80s prog-rock mindset for the fantastical epic “Ebb and Flow.” By the beauteous denouement “Homecoming” it’s clear the band has crafted a success.