Music / Misery Index

Misery Index is an American death metal band. Characterized by their heavy grindcore and New York hardcore influences and scathingly vicious and caustic political lyrics, they've come a long way from being "that band Netherton, Voyles, and Talley started after leaving Fetus" and have become a major player in modern death metal in their own right.

Formed in 2001 by ex-Dying Fetus members Jason Netherton (vocals, bass), John "Sparky" Voyles (guitar), and Kevin Talley (drums), along with newcomer Mike Harrison (guitars, vocals), the band wasted no time in releasing the Overthrow EP along with several splits, though Harrison and Talley left the following year and were replaced by Bruce Greig and Matt Byers, respectively, though Greig swiftly left sometime before the release of Retaliate in 2003, which he had no part in. Byers left the following year and was briefly replaced by Talley before he left yet again, with a then-unknown young hotshot by the name of Adam Jarvis taking his place. Mark Kloeppel then joined in on guitars and vocals in 2005, creating the classic lineup and the one that would release the next three full-lengths and innumerable splits and compilations. All went smoothly until around 2010, when Voyles left shortly after the release of Heirs to Thievery due to his rising dissatisfaction with the touring life; after a brief length of time as a three-piece, they welcomed in Darin Morris as his replacement. A split followed in 2011, along with various tours, though Netherton was MIA for a while thanks to his being busy getting his PhD; rather than draft a fill-in, Kloeppel just assumed bass duties and all vocal duties. A new album, The Killing Gods, has officially dropped as of May 23, 2014.

Guest Collaborators:

  • Maurizio Iacono (Kataklysm, Ex Deo) - vocals on "Demand the Impossible" (Retaliate)
  • Guy Kozowyk (The Red Chord) - vocals on "Partisans of Grief" and "Traitors" (Traitors)
  • Tomas Lindberg (At the Gates) - vocals on "Ruling Class Cancelled" (Traitors)
  • Erik Rutan (Hate Eternal) - vocals on "The Illuminaught" (Heirs to Thievery)
  • John Gallagher (Dying Fetus) - vocals on "Sleeping Giants" (Heirs to Thievery), guitar on "Sentinels" (The Killing Gods)


  • Overthrow (2001) - EP
  • Created to Kill (2002) - split with Aborted, Brodequin, and Drowning
  • Misery Index / Commit Suicide (2003) - split
  • Structure of Lies / Misery Index (2003) - split
  • Retaliate (2003)
  • DVD Vol. 1 (2004)
  • Dissent (2004) - EP
  • Misery Index / Bathtub Shitter (2006) - split
  • Discordia (2006)
  • Hang Em High (2007) - EP
  • Ruling Class Cancelled (2008) - split with Mumakil
  • Dead Sam Walking (2008) - compilation of vinyl-only tracks
  • Traitors (2008)
  • Pulling Out the Nails (2010) - compilation of all splits and EPs
  • Heirs to Thievery (2010)
  • Siberian / Thus the Beast Decapitated (2011) - split with Lock Up
  • Live in Munich (2013)
  • The Killing Gods (2014)

The band contains examples of the following tropes:

  • All Drummers Are Animals: Jarvis is known for his explosive power, incredible speed and accuracy, and his immensely physical playing style.
  • The Anti-Nihilist: "Gallows Humor" and "The Weakener", coupled with Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: it's all too easy to fall into apathy and indifference as a coping mechanism to deal with all of the world's atrocities, but doing so will make you a sitting duck when those atrocities are right at your doorstep.
  • Badass Beard: Voyles had quite the impressive beard.
  • Badass Bookworm: Jason Netherton and Mark Kloeppel, who are current PhD and grad students, respectively.
  • Concept Album: The Killing Gods is a partial example, as the first five tracks form the suite-based "Faust" track.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: "The Carrion Call"
  • G.I.F.T.: "Plague of Objects"
  • Grindcore: Very heavily influenced by it and have dabbled in it here and there.
  • Hardcore Punk: Has noticeable elements of this.
  • Heavy Meta: "Cross to Bear" is an examination of the life of a touring band and why they do what they do.
  • Lead Bassist: Netherton is types B and C.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: A solid 10.
  • New Sound Album: The Killing Gods is noticeably more melodic and has far more complex arrangements overall.
  • Protest Song: About 85% of their lyrical content. The other 15% is a mixture of retellings of historical events and examinations of humanity.
  • Religion Rant Song: "Theocracy"
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Netherton's lyrics are far more florid and poetic than one would expect.
  • Signature Style: A mixture of death metal, grindcore, and NYHC riffing with lots of blasting, a death metal rasp/grindcore shout dual vocal system (which is made even easier to distinguish due to Jason Netherton's instantly recognizable howling rasp; anyone who has listened to a decent amount of death metal will be able to pick it out right away), and the occasional melodic solo. Adam Jarvis also has a very distinctive drumming style, making use of quick, stuttering bursts of fills that usually end in explosive snare rolls, in addition to a very recognizable snare tone.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Generally sticks firming to the cynical side. There are occasionally some cautiously optimistic themes, but they're mostly in the vein of "things MIGHT get better, but it's very unlikely at this point in time".
  • Sliding Scale of Libertarianism and Authoritarianism: Firmly at the libertarian (anarchist, to be more precise) end.
  • Spanish Civil War: "Ghosts of Catalonia"
  • Step Up to the Microphone: When Jason can't make a tour, they don't even bother calling someone in to fill his spot, instead just opting to have Mark switch up guitar for bass while having him do all of the vocals.
  • Take That!: "Scene and Not Heard" is this to deathcore.
  • Titled After the Album: They're named after a classic grindcore album by Assück.