Thursday 3 March 2016

Church Of Misery - And Then There Were None (Album Review)

Release date: March 4th 2016. Label: Rise Above Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

And Then There Were None – Tracklisting

1. The Hell Benders
2. Make Them Die Slowly
3. Doctor Death
4. River Demon
5. Confessions of an Embittered Soul
6. Suicide Journey
7. Murderfreak Blues

Band Members:

Tatsu Mikami (bass)
Dave Szulkin (guitar)
Eric Little (drums)
Scott Carlson (vocals)


We begin our journey as a fly-on-the-wall spectator hiding in a closet and watching with wide-eyes as a notorious killer goes about his morning business of breakfast and bludgeoning. Opening track, ‘The Hell Benders’ eases us in with a warm, bluesy bass lick adorned with easy-going guitar and psychotropic synth. This audible wake-and-bake only masks the stench of death for so long before an ominous silhouette appears at the door and drags us into the basement, flailing in terror as the deafening roar of a full blown Sabb-a-thon pushes its grubby fingers into our wounds and hungrily violates our senses. Mikami and his new band of savages have clearly been drinking from the fountain of groove throughout the conception of this lumbering, great record and Carlson’s lyrics read like the secret journal of Peter Sutcliffe; leaving no doubt as to the grisly inspiration behind each killer track.

Some stand out songs for me include, ‘Doctor Death’ which features the most satisfying use of the word ‘yeah’ that I have ever heard. Seriously, it is now my message alert tone. This perverse explosion of sordid groove-porn should have you swinging your little noggin around all over the place in frenzied delight. Track 4, ‘River Demon’ encapsulates everything that I love about 70’s era Black Sabbath. Szulkin seems to slow time with his tasteful, intoxicating lead work and is complemented perfectly by Little’s chilled, rhythmic pacing. By the time Carlson celebrated the superb jam with a well-grounded “All right!”, I had already grown a full-on handle bar moustache and occultist symbols had mysteriously manifested in my cereal. Another great tune is the reposeful ‘Suicide Journey’. Personally I really enjoy these super-mellow interlude tracks, especially when they set the mood for an addition to the album such as the sluggish and sonorous, ‘Murderfreak Blues’. Just when you think you’ve had all of the closed-eye, grimace inducing, slow head bang action that you can handle this wanton sleaze-fest grabs you by the hair and forces your delirious dome up and down once more.

Church Of Misery are pretty outspoken when it comes to their feelings about certain labels often attributed to their classic doom sound, so I’ve respectfully tried to avoid using such terms. In conclusion what I will say is this; ‘And Then There Were None’ is a fleshy, foul-smelling, black-hearted bastard of a record with a relentless appetite for filth and a blood-soiled arsenal of tools with which the band show no reservations about using. If you do just one thing on March 4th, then make sure that you check out this glorious album. If Doctor Death doesn’t make you bang your head and piss your pants at the same time then I’ll eat shit and smile doing it.

Favourite track: Doctor Death

Words by ThisHairyGuy

And Then There Were None will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl fromRise Above Records from March 4th 2016.