Misguided Aggression [Canada]
Flood the Common Ground
Year of the Sun Records
At the opposite end of the bestial war metal side of the spectrum of Canada, young bands such as Misguided Aggression are wreaking their own brand of chaos and destruction. After numerous independent releases, the young band last year finally clinched a record deal, releasing their second full length album, Flood the Common Ground. With the band boasting influences from bands like Lamb of God, Pantera and Meshuggah, it certainly left me slightly slow to take my first listen, personally not being a fan of the first two bands.
When I eventually got around to listening to the album though, Flood the Common Ground presented quite a surprising experience. The opening introductory track with the spoken commentary felt almost cheesy, fortunately the band does not spend and waste too much time as the album soon begins proper with Winter Soldier, leading on from the theme that was set down by the spoken intro. And right from the start, the Meshuggah influences are immediately clear with the groovy riffs and the odd time signatures, though Misguided Aggression manages to avoid sounding like the entire flood of djent bands that have come about lately. This Meshuggah feel is rather prominent, from the large tone of the guitars, to the vocals of Rob which is reminiscent of Jens Kidman, and even down to the drumming of Taylor, who, like Tomas Haake, follows the riffing patterns with his bass drums, all the while maintaining the calm beats on his upper limbs. Despite the Meshuggah references though, the band goes back to some sense of sanity with tracks like The First Stone being more of a typical death metal nature.
The band’s attempts to sound innovative comes about most clearly in the guitars department, with the playing style of Randy and Dobson, such as the entire pinch-harmonics section on Chasing Sanity. While such attempts are commendable, having an entire section played on pinch-harmonics certainly came about as too much personally, marring what would have otherwise been a rather enjoyable experience. Other than that though, the music of Misguided Aggression is aggressive, in-your-face and nothing short of crushing and brutal. The seamless transition between songs also help in creating a coherent listening experience despite the disjointed riffs that the band presents, and displays the band’s songwriting abilities, making Flood the Common Ground sound more like a single, 30-minute track instead.