Church Of Misery
Thy Kingdom Scum
01. B.T.K (Dennis Radar)
02. Lambs To The Slaughter (Ian Brady/Mira Hindley)
03. Brother Bishop (Gary Heidnik)
04. Cranley Gardens (Dennis Andrew Nilsen)
05. One Blind Mice
06. All Hallow’s Eve (John Linley Frazier)
07. Dusseldorf Monster (Peter Kurten)
[Metal Blade Records]
Sleaze is an under-appreciated component of modern metal. In comparison to other adjectives such as ‘clean’, ‘tight’ and ‘angular’, the property of ‘sleaziness’ has kind of fallen into the realms of unpopular lately but by the sound of Thy Kingdom Scum, Church Of Misery really don’t care. Looking at their back catalogue, which consists of nearly fifteen years of serial-killer obsessed stoner doom, it’s obvious they’ve never been one to pay much attention to the metal-world around them, but the overall atmosphere of Kingdom is filthy in a way that you really don’t hear enough these.
Opener ‘B.T.K (Dennis Rader)‘ sets the scene with marching drums, a psychedelic and echoing guitar riff and a pulsating tambourine(!?) build-up before succumbing to a massive swaggering riffs that just about masks the sinister samples playing that detail the horrific atrocities committed by the BTK Killer. The few previous fans out there will eat this up as more of those perfectly deranged grooves that the band do so well, but for a new initiate, ‘B.T.K‘ acts as a wordless mission statement — tight musicianship is traded for rough and natural swagger, crystal clear production is swapped for a grimy look through the lens of stoner rock and all your Metallica/Slayer/Meshuggah influences are exchanged for a healthy dose of worship at the altars of fuzz and debauchery in the name of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.
From there on out, Hideki Fukasawa’s vocals enter the mix. They’re unorthodox to say the least, taking on sounds that flutter between an atonal groan and a deep rasp than anything more commonly used. There’s many sections throughout Thy Kingdom Scum where they fall completely out of sync with all other instrumentation, in way that never invaded their previous work, yet they’re honestly more memorable than ever. Epic 12 minute closer ‘Dusseldorf Monster (Peter Kurten)’ (from whom the album takes it’s cover art), is lathered in his unique tones and is easily carried by that chilling refrain of ‘Here comes the monster…‘
Other highlights include the dark, slow crawl of ‘Cranley Gardens (Dennis Andrew Nilsen)‘ that includes a whole selection of brooding and stalking riffs throughout (although it may be a re-working of an older track) and the cover of Quatermass’ ‘Three Blind Mice‘ that brings a whole new perspective to the cult-classic hard-prog track. It’s nothing particularly adventurous for the group, beyond a few flourishes here and there, but Church Of Misery have never been one to mess with a successful formula. Instead they prefer to tweak it and Thy Kingdom Scum shows exactly what you can do with years upon years of focus and a complete disregard for what the rest of the world wants.
COM continue to carve their little niche with Thy Kingdom Scum, which will continue to appeal to fans of their bloodied stoner doom and while there are band’s that can put together some fuzzy riffs, lower the straps on their guitars and call it stoner doom, none will ever capture the gut-wrenching atmosphere that the Church conjure up here.
Church Of Misery’s Thy Kingdom Scum gets…