Church of Misery
Thy Kingdom Scum

Church of Misery are an institution. When it comes to big, bluesy doom riffs they are untouchable, and if you’re into metal and have yet to hear the band’s serial killer-inspired doom boogie then I suggest you head over to Youtube, punch in “Killifornia” and give a good listen. I’ll wait… All set? Now if the filthy doom grooves didn’t sink their hooks in you and get the old noggin bouncing then you can stop reading now. Church of Misery is all about the big, ballsy riff, and laying down one grotesque hook after the other, and their newest release for Metal Blade/Rise Above is no exception. This is a band that revels in the riff and Thy Kingdom Scum is some of the best doom/stoner/heavy rock/whatever you want to call it of the year.

Closely following in the visceral footsteps of 2009’s Houses of the Unholy, Church of Misery tackles their patented murder centric shtick with grotesquely merry exuberance. Though the band’s sound is firmly and heavily influenced by Black Sabbath, there’s also a massive dose of classic heavy rock (think Blue Oyster Cult and Grand Funk Railroad) that lifts them to a place few of their contemporaries can reach: music that’s as dark as it is just a good fuckin’ time. The tone of the lyrics, the permagrin inducing grooves and psychedelic freakouts should be as incongruous as nuts and gum. But founding member Tatsu and company turn the dark art of murder into a Technicolor blood orgy with all the glee of the Manson family blasted on tabs of blue sunshine. Thy Kingdom Scum is a snapshot of a band who have nailed their craft, and they roll around in the glorious rock and roll carnage like giggling school children.

Take “Cranley Gardens”, for example. Based on the works of Dennis Nilsen, it opens up with that familiar bloopy psyche rock tone, builds to a thick doomy riff, and breaks loose as a ball-breaking rocker that sounds like it should be accompanied by a gaggle of dancing bell-bottomed lovelies. Vocalist Hideki Fukasawa’s guttural exhortation “I’m gonna fuck you! I’m gonna kill you!” lays the sleaze on extra thick before the band effortlessly shifts into an intense cover of Quatermass’ “One Blind Mice”. The departure of longtime guitarist Tom Sutton (ex-Firebird) hasn’t diminished their ability to induce psychotropic visions, as newcomer Ikuma Kaawabe melts neurons with his effortless freakouts on “Brother Bishop”, “Cranley Gardens” and closer “Dusseldorf Monster”.

Grinning ear to ear while stabbing a stranger in the face… it’s a perverse combination and these guys have honed it to such a fine point that they really have no equal. Not even Electric Wizard capture the dark, trashy underbelly of hippie and stoner culture like Church of Misery. Crank up this shit up and let there be doom.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chuck Kucher
November 6th, 2013


  1. Commented by: Noch

    Gotta agree that this is one of the tightest vintage rock/doom releases Metal Blade put out this year, along with the latest NOCTUM. I’m glad I was as impressed with this one as I thought I would be.

  2. Commented by: Luke_22

    For no good reason I’ve never given this band much of a listen, but damn this album sounds good. Heavy as balls and just plain fun to listen to. Good write-up and thanks for the heads-up!

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