Review 1829 : Church of Misery – Born Under a Mad Sign – English

Day 1 - 11 - Church Of Misery

Church of Misery puts an end to silence.

Founded in 1995 in Tokyo by bassist Tatsu Mikami (Skull Pit, Sonic Flower, ex-G.A.T.E.S.), the band mixes Stoner, Doom Metal and morbid stories of serial killers. In 2023, accompanied by Kazuhiro Asaeda (vocals), Fumiya Hattori (guitar, Afterzero) and Toshiaki Umemura (drums, DeadClaw, Eternal Elysium), the band announced the release of their seventh album, Born Under a Mad Sign, on Rise Above Records.

The guitar parts were recorded by Yukito Okazaki (Eternal Elysium, Enough to Escape).

Beltway Sniper (John Allen Muhammad) kicks off the album with heavy riffs packed with the band’s trademark psychedelic, blistering harmonics. The vocal parts darken the whole mix, which becomes more accessible again with the groovy clean break, but saturation quickly resurfaces to drive the solo before giving way to a softer final, followed by the darkness of Most Evil (Fritz Haarmann). The unhealthy groove coupled with the whispers surrounding lead vocals greatly accentuate the sense of oppression, which also uses a sudden acceleration and choppy leads to reinforce itself, while Freeway Madness Boogie (Randy Kraft) reveals more vivid influences. The energetic rhythm provides a perfect refuge for the crazy harmonics and driving vocal parts, but the intensity drops down a notch when Murder Castle Blues (H. H. Holmes) comes into play with its intriguing introduction, before reviving with saturated Blues roots. The track seems more minimalist, like a reference to the man whose story it counts and who was recognized as one of the first Americans to perform his morbid activity, and whose thick rhythmic pattern helps to reinforce its weight, before Spoiler places more joyful sounds thanks to unexpected keyboards. Come and Get Me Sucker (David Koresh), which testifies to the growing activities of the former cult leader with its jerky riffs, is accompanied by tortured leads. Saturation makes the mix quite disturbing, even when riffs are almost danceable, then the approach becomes smoother again on Butcher Baker (Robert Hansen), as if to contrast with the savagery of its story, but which also places some deft heady touches, including a short sample.

Church of Misery return to claim their place as masters of morbid Stoner/Doom with Born Under a Mad Sign, an as greasy and inspired as ever seventh album, completed with a few samples to make the terror more tangible.


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