Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Church of Misery - Houses of the Unholy

Church of Misery
Houses of the Unholy
Rise Above/Metal Blade

Oozing out of the tar pits of Japan, Church of Misery tramples the world once again, leaving bloody kaiju prints on the flattened ground in its wake. The Tokyo quartet’s third studio album is as obsessed with homicidal mania as ever, rounding up another batch of nefarious evildoers. This time the notorious Richard Speck (Born to Raise Hell), Charles Starkweather and his partner Carl Fugate (Badlands), Albert Fish (Gray Man) and Richard Trenton Chase (Blood Sucking Freak), among others, get tributes/criticisms/whatever the fuck it is. (There’s also another classic metal cover, this time of Sir Lord Baltimore’s Master Heartache.) CoM’s thematic intentions may be unclear, but what isn’t in doubt is the band’s mastery of Godzilla-heavy doom metal; if Ozzy had been replaced by a demented grizzly bear, Black Sabbath couldn’t have sounded any better.

- Michael Toland

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