Church of Misery – “Thy Kingdom Scum” (2013)

June 15, 2013 at 7:51 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This review comes from metal expert Adrien Begrand off his Headbang site (by way of This was written 2 days ago (June 11th). The music is pure Black Sabbath-inspired and well done but I’m not a fan of the hoarse, “Cookie Monster”-style of singing that is popular in a lot of death metal these days. I think it’s ridiculous and unlistenable… this music would be much better served by an Ozzy-type of singer… but it’s still worth a listen for the music…

Even though the Japanese band’s lineup is constantly in flux these days, whenever you hear Church of Misery on record or see them perform in person, you know what you’re going to get. Simply put, these guys, led by bassist Tatsu Mikami, pull off the wickedest doom jams you’ll hear from a modern-day band. One of the only bands around that remember that swing is just as important to doom metal than pentatonic riffs, Church of Misery emphasize the jazz and blues element that Bill Ward brought to Black Sabbath, and pull it off in stunning, convincing fashion. Their music makes audiences move a lot more than simply bobbing their heads.

Sonically, though, the albums have always been a bit lacking compared to the raw power of the band’s searing live performances, but they’ve righted that in a big way on Thy Kingdom Scum, their first new album since 2009’s Houses of the Unholy. Having reunited with singer Hideki Fukasawa, who last provided his demented, slurred singing on 2004’s The Second Coming, the band is scorching from the get-go, “Lambs to the Slaughter” loaded with the kind of contagious grooves people have come to expect. As usual, the songs are all about serial killers, which always adds a disturbing air to the proceedings, but in the end the music proves to be more important than the lyrical gimmicks, as “Dusseldorf Monster”, “Brother Bishop”, the colossal “All Hallows Eve”, and instrumental “B.T.K.” immediately rank as some of the best tracks the band has ever come up with. Also of note is the rampaging cover of Quatermass’s “One Blind Mice”, in which the band makes the song even more psychotic than it already is. 

Thy Kingdom Scum is every bit as obnoxious and twisted as the title implies, loaded with the kind of filthy grooves that make you wish more bands remembered how to pull it off. While the new Black Sabbath album will receive the bulk of the attention this week, Church of Misery have delivered a far more convincing album of Sabbath-derived music, albeit filtered thought their own disturbed imaginations. Let Ozzy have his day in the sun; it’s well-earned and we’re happy to have Sabbath back. Come the end of the year, though, it’s this album that many metal fans will be remembering.

Adrien Begrand

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