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Church of Misery | Master of Brutality | review | doom | metal | Lollipop

Church of Misery

Master of Brutality (Southern Lord)
by Craig Regala

Jesus... when the Japanese adapt to something, they sure as fuck go elemental with it. These guys really have a thing going for round-eye serial killers and very heavy doom metal topped with a course, gritty this-side-of-grind vocalist. It's strong stuff with well-integrated samples of news clips, court reports, and biographical information. Throw this up there as poster child for the Doom-R-Us club in your town. Outside of the Electric Wizard guys, there isn't much that strides the basic template so well; timeless, I suppose. They add a bit of dynamic to the proceedings, keeping it from being slowed-down death metal. It also has too much base-level groove.

For a change up, check the the fourth cut, a wiggly, burnt psychedelic instrumental - the sort of woozy elephantine meandering reminiscent of Son's Of Otis' "SpaceJumboFudge." It needs to go on far longer, and maybe it does live. In keeping with the motif, it's named "Green River," a Pacific Northwest stream that lent its name to an uncaught murderer who laid his victims to rest there. Previously, Church Of Misery have covered St. Vitus, this time around it's Blue Öyster Cult's "Cities On Flame" which they flail nice and straight, much like Entombed did with King Crimson's "21 Century Schizoid Man" - heavier, tighter on the turn-arounds, and with the nancy parts excised in favor of the root riff. To emphasize the groove component, the third cut, "Megalomania," is the strangled sister of early Clutch, albeit without as much vocal syncopation. All in all, a real good one.
(PO Box 291967 Los Angeles, CA 90029)

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