Music Reviews

Church Of Misery

Master Of Brutality

Southern Lord

As poignantly proclaimed on the back cover of Church Of Misery’s Master Of Brutality (brilliant title): “We hate trend. We hate corporate attitude. We hate the word ‘stoner.’ Death to false stoners!! Let there be doom!!”

Amen, brothers! Although Church Of Misery have been quietly cultivating a cult status through various vinyl-only one-offs, Master Of Brutality marks the Japanese quartet’s first long-playing appearance, really showing what these, um, stoners can do when given ample room to stretch out their elephantine grooves. Lockwelding ’70s boogie metal onto ’90s sludge overload, the Church kick up shit at various tempos, most being in the comfortably mane-shaking mid-range, with Yoshiaki Negishi’s gravel-throated bellows bespeaking all kinds of uncomfortableness about the band’s now-infamous serial killer obsession, even spelling it out for you all parenthetically: “Ripping Into Pieces (Peter Sutcliffe),” “Killfornia (Ed Kemper),” and the title track dedicated to John Wayne Gacy, among other songs. And even though “Megalomania (Herbert Mullin)” bears no semblance to Sabbath’s epic dirge of the same name off Sabotage (the greatest album of the ’70s, next to The Stooges’ Fun House, ‘course), the central riff to “Cities On Flame” (yeah, you read right) practically apes the one to Sab’s “The Wizard” • minus the harmonica, natch. Whatever. With some serious wah-wah bass-damage and an average song length at seven minutes, Master Of Brutality lives up to its title • this kills, folks. Buy now or be false trend (sic).

Southern Lord Records, PO Box 291967, Los Angeles, CA 90029; http://www.southernlord.com


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