MISERY LOVES CO. represented everything positive about the way metal was heading in the 21st century. They blended power and melody, aggressiveness and subtlety and still retained the most important aspect - the song. When the band first signed to Earache, they were a relatively new name to many, but within a few months they had rightly become acknowledged as one of the mightiest discoveries of '95.
Beginning life in January 1993, the core of MISERY LOVES CO. has comprised of Patrik Wiren on vocals and Orjan Ornkloo on programming and guitar. The former has a more traditional metal past, most notably in Midas Touch, who released one album for Noise Records, whilst the latter worked with a number of local bands in his native Uppsala. For the live line up , the duo were joined by Jim Edwards on guitar, Marre Ericksson on bass and Olle Dahlstedt on drums.
Their recording career began with an appearance on the 'Extreme Close Up' compilation with the track 'Sonic Attack' in June 1993, before releasing an EP 'Private Hell' in January of 1994. MNW Zone, the organisation partly responsible for the Clawfinger success became interested in the buzz the band were generating in the Swedish underground, and released the debut album 'Misery Loves Co.' in October 1994.
A copy of the CD reached Dig at Earache, who immediately became interested in the Misery sound, and swiftly negotiated a deal to licence the band for most European territories. The re-release of the awesome debut through Earache followed in March, and after distributing just one CD, the reaction was instantly ecstatic - Kerrang! editor Phil Alexander hailing the band and their album as: "...a brutal sod that comes on like Ministry at their heaviest jamming with Pantera! Add some twisted psycho-sexual lyrics and harmonies akin to Alice In Chains colliding with Bad Brains, and you've got the hottest new Metal combo since the arrival of Machine Head!"
A blistering debut UK gig at the Camden Underworld in March cemented the fact the band had truly arrived, and the album reviews heralded the band as a true major force to be reckoned with. Original drummer Bosse left just before the UK trip, replaced by Niklas Gabrielsson, but the band lost none of their power:
"If someone were to prescribe a formula for how metal should sound in 1995, it could be described in three words - Misery Loves Co." - Metal Hammer.
The debut show was recorded and broadcast on the Rock Show on Radio One before the album had even hit the shelves! The band soon returned with fellow Swedes Clawfinger as they rampaged through their first European tour, again laying waste to the UK. Now the stage was set for the third coming - a Kerrang! sponsored tour of the UK alongside Warrior Soul, Clawfinger and Headswim, a chance for those who missed out last time to catch the Swedish terrors in all their monstrous live glory. The drum stool again changed hands, this time Olle Dahlstedt pounding the skins. Ending an amazing '95 with a lengthy European tour with Paradise Lost, the band released a double CD package including the US promo CD for 'Need Another One', featuring remixes by the likes of Killing Joke, Pitch Shifter and Technohead. A German special edition boasted remixes by Clawfinger and Technohead.
A year later after recording a live session for the BBC Radio One's Rock show, the Misery Loves Co experience reached the computer screen in the form of a CD-Plus EP titled 'Happy?', enabling the viewer to access exclusive information on the band, up to date news, a full discography and exclusive images of the band, In addition the full video to 'My Mind Still Speaks' could also be viewed making this the most up to date Misery Loves Co package available. The CD was also complemented by seven audio tracks, including four live tracks taken from the recent tour with Paradise Lost as well as an unreleased track 'Strain Of Frustration'. The release was issued at a special budget price making the music and technology available to all. The band's live appearances in '96 were also notable for a sold out headline at London's LA2, plus a prestigious one-off Kerrang! gig, where Misery supported Fear Factory and Slayer.
The band's second album, 'Not Like Them', released in 1997, was a darker, introspective take on personal trials and tribulations and earned the band a prestigious Swedish Grammy Award. With titles like 'Infected,' 'Owe You Nothing' and 'Deny Everything,' the album did not make for comfortable listening. Hailed by Kerrang! as "boldy unsettling and often brilliant", the album made No.12 in the magazine's prestigous Top 20 Albums of '97, above the likes of Metallica and Oasis. A full European tour followed with a support slot with Machine Head, which was backed with a successful set of shows as part of the Earache Next Gen 98 extravaganza.
All this has experience resulted in the making of their strongest album, "Your Vision Was Never Mine To Share". Michael Hahne and Olle Dahlstedt joined the band full time, and as Patrik stated at the time: "...it shows. It's more instant, more energetic. The sound is exactly what we have always wanted to achieve." The trademark industrial-infused beats and samples provided an extra dimensional twist to a very diverse but cohesive album where heavy alterna-metal meets indie elegy with darkwave undercurrents. Black-hearted and powerful, moving and self-effacing, the album dug deep and exposed the nerves with the kind of clarity expected from NIN - indeed, Misery Loves Co were the European contenders to the throne.