What do you get when you crossbreed metal and hardcore? Metalcore, you say. Well, no, not necessarily. You see, before metalcore, there was crossover which combines thrash metal and hardcore punk, and which has much more edge and tends to be much more abrasive than metalcore.
The New Low from the hometown of none other than Hans Christian Andersen (it's called Odense, in case you didn't know) play crossover metal, drawing on both thrash metal and hardcore, also infusing elements from hardrock, traditional metal and more old school punk rock into their style, and on "Misery", they show that crossover thrash still is awesome and that it is still possible to be innovative within that genre.
After a citation of William Blake's 'Auguries of Innocence', the title track kicks off the album with, perhaps surprisingly, an energetic old school heavy metal guitar figure in the same vein as the main riff of Iron Maiden's 'Back in the Village' - the track quickly takes on a more primitive punk-thrash character, which rocks hard and wonderfully aggressively, and there is also a set of very moshing friendly midpaced sections in this track. 'Sick of You' is a slightly heavier affair, which introduces both hard rock twang and groove into the overall sound of the album. And these elements characterize the remainder of the album, which seamlessly and very efficiently changes back and forth between hardcore punk, thrash metal, groove, traditional metal and hard rock as well as some more alternative metal oriented stuff.
I think that all tracks on the album are very strong - they are generally simple (but not dumb) and aggressive, but still The New Low manage to cram a lot of different elements into each track, and that generates a lot of energy and variation. With an average song length of about 2:40 minutes, the tracks on the album are thus very compact, which I appreciate.
The production is unpolished and that goes well with the angry street attitude of the music itself (just check the angrily screamed lead vocals and the riot choruses that pop up in some of the tracks), and the musicianship is characterized by both feel and professionalism.
Drawing on a lot of different influences and combining these into their own brand of crossover metal, The New Low have created a piece of work in "Misery" which should appeal broadly to fans of such diverse acts as Agnostic Front, The Misfits, S.O.D., The Kandidate, Pantera, Pro-Pain, Discharge, Metallica, Generation Kill, and Anthrax. Fans of crossover metal should definitely check this release out, which might also appeal to fans of hardcore punk, thrash metal, and sludge metal.