Johannesburg, South Africa: Among South Africa’s shadowy players in the realm of heavier dark wave/industrial inspired music, In Misery has released its second full length album yesterday, titled Absence Of Light. The band is led by Leon Kemp, known to us and fellow metalheads as drummer for Spectral Realm and other projects such as Portraits Of Flesh, plus being the co-proprietor at Dreamlabs studio. Incidentally, Allen Purkiss, also at Dreamlabs, is included in the band along with other projects the two are involved in. With this album, and previous releases, we get to take a glimpse of Leon’s other, more personal ‘self’.
“In Misery has always been my side project. It’s where I get to play the dictator and bring my own vision to life. But for the past few years it has been more of a personal therapy than a band playing the live circuit. It has been kept in the dark on purpose; the best reason I can give is that it needed to evolve first and take a few obscure routes.” ~ Leon Calvyn Kemp (writer/multi-instrumentalist, In Misery)
As to being “kept in the dark”, Leon refers to the previous low-profile releases of In Misery‘s 2011 demo Praise Of the Obsolete and debut full length Within Depths of The Heart in 2012. He also describes the band’s evolution along obscure routes as being down to songwriting processes.
“The music is guided more by instinct than a vision. We simply allow this music to progress down its own hidden path; it would be interesting to see where it all ended up. Most of the song writing is done in an improvisational manner. So the end result is just as surprising to us as a band. My brother Charl (aka: Mr Morgue, Portraits Of Flesh) stepped in as guitarist as well. It’s a nice and casual setting to be in, as he plays for my band and vice versa. So everyone has creative freedom without disputes. I can’t imagine working any other way.” ~ Leon Calvyn Kemp
Absence Of Light was recorded, naturally, by Leon and Allen at their Dreamlab studio, with all production undertaken by the two. Other releases to have been churned out by Dreamlab include the most recent from Instrumetal, Spectral Realm, Gates Of Aaru, and the soon-to-be-released Tyranny from local metal legends SacriFist. The appearance of In Misery, and the likely attention to be gained from Absence Of Light highlights and lends strength to South Africa’s tiny niche which already includes the likes of Axxon, SubverS and Terminatryx, bands who currently also dabble in similar realms of musical sound and style.
“I hope that we can just continue making this music for as long as we can, and I hope that the listener would get something positive out of it. It’s always rewarding knowing your work gets appreciated.” ~ Leon Calvyn Kemp
With Absence Of Light being released (only digitally for now, get it at Bandcamp), Leon tells us that the band has begun a shift focus towards their live set and expect to be on the road soon to share ‘the misery’ far and wide.
Images: Live photograph courtesy of Annari du Plessis
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