Misery Index's Mark Kloeppel serves up destructive open-string riffs in knockout Administer the Dagger playthrough

As they gear up to release their seventh album, Complete Control, Baltimore, Maryland death metallers Misery Index continue to harness the same visceral energy they’ve bent to their will for the past 21 years. 

The band have so far treated us to four cuts prior to the record’s release next week (May 13) – The Eaters and the Eaten, Infiltrators, Complete Control and Administer the Dagger – all masterclasses in unbridled death metal intensity.

We’ll have to wait just a little longer to spin the whole record, but in the meantime, guitarist Mark Kloeppel has filmed a sleek new playthrough of Administer the Dagger, which we’re exclusively premiering at Guitar World.

Armed with an ESP LTD Phoenix Black Metal electric guitar plugged into an 50-watt EVH 5150 III guitar amp and Mooer GE250 multi-effects pedal and amp modeler, Kloeppel navigates the track’s clutch of drop-tuned open-string-flavored riffs and thunderous alternate picking passages with enviable aplomb.

“I’ve always been more of a metal songwriter than an absolute shredder – more of a Hetfield than a Hammett, so to speak,” Kloeppel says.

Administer the Dagger is the first song that began to emerge and take form in prewriting for Complete Control. Stylistically, it borrows a bit from our past efforts like Fed to the Wolves [from 2010’s Heirs to Thievery] and Theocracy [from 2008’s Traitors], namely with the main pedal tone riff bouncing off the thrash and blast beats.

“But the introduction – with riffs plus sustained disharmonic arpeggiation – sets it off with a nice and dark Jack the Ripper-in-a-rainy-alley-way kind of vibe.”

Kloeppel says his solo from the 1:30 mark – which is shaped by two-handed tapping and soaring bends – doesn’t “reinvent the wheel”, but honors his favorite classic guitarists.

“The solo is really fun for me as it chases the minor melody up the fretboard through tapping, before going all the way off the cliff and then soaring into the air,” he says.

In addition to offering a helping of six-string eye candy, Mark Kloeppel is also giving fans the chance to win an LTD Phoenix Black Metal – the same model he plays in the playthrough video – as well as a Mooer GE150 guitar effects processor.

For your chance to win, simply presave Misery Index’s new album Complete Control and fill out the entry form over at Sony Music.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.