Slaughter to Prevail - Misery Sermon
Slaughter to Prevail is a deathcore project from Russia that has made quite the statement in the deathcore scene worldwide over the past three years with their initial EP, Chapters of Misery. When the band signed to Sumerian Records last year, the EP was re released with a new song, “As The Vultures Circle,” which was fucking brutal to say the least. If that was any sign of what was to come from the band with their first full length album, the world was in for a treat. Slaughter made their first appearance in the United States touring on the Summer Slaughter tour for 2016, which left their fan base expanding even more than it was upon their signing. Fast forward to March of 2017, the band announced their first studio length album, Misery Sermon would be out of the fifth of May, on Sumerian. Deathcore fans were curious but uneasy by the first single “King,” it was heavy but there was no substance like what was found in their past music. May 5th has rolled around and the album is getting a mixed reception, some people love it, others (myself included,) are finding it on the other side of the scale.
Let me start by saying, I was fucking pumped for Misery Sermon from the leaked demo for the track “666” which actually is “Cultural Ills,” and the last official single, “Chronic Slaughter.” All in all, Slaughter to Prevail kept true to their original sound in many ways, guitars were tuned pretty much the same way as the original EP and the drums are crushing as usual. Alex Terrible himself, is still a fucking godly vocalist, if that wasn’t proved from his guest spot on Shadow of Intent’s new record, Reclaimer. However even upon listening to the first/title track “Misery Sermon” I was immediately greeted with a stale taste, there is something about the final mix for the record that is almost unfortunate, nothing sounds like it should really pack a punch. “Russian Hate” to me, at least, is one of the four tracks that actually feels like it is a decently written and structured song besides the singles. I actually could find myself listening to that song from time to time, but I don’t think I could say the same for the record as a whole as it’s nothing more than mediocre at best. “Chronic Slaughter” is great, but now overplayed as my hype for this record was beyond high, I loved the EP and I had extremely high hopes for the album as a whole. “King” was nothing to write home about, it crushed instrumentally but felt as if the correlation between instruments and vocals was non-existent, like all members went a different route than one another. Let me say though, “Failed Hope” is excellent all around, it’s groovy and violent and you can tell that Alex definitely stepped out of his comfort zone vocally which is awesome, he should do more of that for the next record. “Born to Die” is boring, it has it’s moments from the guitars but other than that it just seems like another rehashed track we had already heard from this band before. “666” is a fantastic track, even though the leaked demo for it actually was the album’s closer “Cultural Ills” which makes the track not as good as the demo had made it seem at all.
The album picks up tremendously after “666” with tracks like “The Hell in Man” and “Below” coming out on top for me, taking the best songs of the entire record, especially “Below.” They snuck in “Malice of Rites” between the two tracks which is a good place for it I believe, just nothing tops “Below” it’s a full fledged instrumental track which the album definitely needed to help pick itself back up from the dead before ending the album with “Cultural Ills.” The last four tracks are easily the most polished and they without a single doubt make you want more music like those songs, however you really have to push through the first part of the album so you can get what you really want from this band. Misery Sermon is not an album I will listen to in full, probably ever again, unless I’m driving and stick it on in the background. I still do believe that these guys have the complete potential to make an amazing sophomore record with the way Misery Sermon closes out. Regardless of your thoughts on this record, go see Slaughter on the Oceano Revelation album release tour that’s happening right now, you do not want to miss their performance, they absolutely kill it on stage.
- Dakota G.