Church of Misery hail from Tokyo, Japan. They also have a completely different take on heavy to their fellow countrymen Boris and Corrupted. Church of Misery combine many aspects of metal and blues to create a big heavy doom sound not unlike that coming out of the Nola sludge scene.
It would probably be fair to say that, perhaps, early Nola sludge has influenced their sound a great deal. For instance there are elements of Eyehategod, Crowbar and even Down in most of what they do on this album. Houses of the Unholy utilises these influences with great effect whilst incorporating early Sabbath doom and a moderate dose of some Pink Floyd style psychedelia. The solo early on in ‘Blood Sucking Freak (Richard Trenton Chase)’ serves as the best example of this, the arrangement and tones yell David Gilmour, before Yoshiaki Negishi’s powerful Anselmo-style vocals kick in.
All of Church of Misery’s previous albums have employed a srong serial-killer theme and a quick glance over the tracklist of Houses of the Unholy will tell you this album is no exception. Whatever motives they have for using such a theme is irrelevant as it adds a bit of controversial, bloodthirsty fun to the tracks. Plus it is a good excuse to use some awesome samples from interviews and news readings and I almost half expect to hear a Devil’ Rejects one in there somewhere! A personal favourite sample is at the beginning of ‘Born to Raise Hell (Richard Speck)’ including the transition straight into a class doomy, sludgy riff:
Houses of the Unholy is unrelenting and viciously heavy featuring some great solos, whilst maintaining all of its doom influences. The only problem with the album is the vocals, they’re good Phil Anselmo impersonations, but impersonations nonetheless and begs the question; why not just listen to the real thing?
|1||El Padrino (Adolfo de Jesus Constanzo)||8:51|
|2||Shotgun Boogie (James Oliver Huberty)||4:16|
|3||The Gray Man (Albert Fish)||5:46|
|4||Blood Sucking Freak (Richard Trenton Chase)||8:34|
|6||Born to Raise Hell (Richard Speck)||7:33|
|7||Badlands (Charles Starkweather & Caril Fugate)|
For fans of: Eyehategod, Electric Wizard, The Sword, Pantera, Metallica, Down