this is album is brilliant along with the rest of the bands earlier albums and one of my favorite's. You will be hard pressed to hear anything heavier than this, this year, a must have for any doom lover
Before I get into the actual review I will start from two different perspectives:
A) You already like Church of Misery or at least like some other Stoner/Sludge/Doom bands and are aware of Church of Misery = You will love this album, without doubt - hop to it!
B) You know nothing at all of Church of Misery, you have never heard a note, and are possibly not even familiar with any Stoner, Sludge or Doom music = Assuming you do indeed like some heavier rock/metal bands, this would be a great place to start exploring the doomy stonery world; a great gateway album for you. In short, you will still love it!
So, how does it sound? Well, if you're familiar with Church then business as usual, just on absolutely top form. If you are unaware of their music it is very "groovy", think Black Sabbath style riffs but with heavy use of Wah Pedal and all manner of psychedelic effects. Mostly mid-tempo with some slower sections pounding, groovy, straight-up rock'n'roll... and that's about it, in a nutshell.
Vocals? This could be a deciding factor for some people, and it is a difficult aspect of the band to describe. The vocals here (as with most official CoM releases) are sort of half-sung and half-screamed, and vary in their intensity on either side of this spectrum. The first track with vocals, "Lambs to the Slaughter" (as opposed to the actual first track, "BTK", which is an instrumental) showcases this odd, but good, style very well - the verses are, sort of, sung (but are largely indecipherable), then the chorus erupts into a Phil Anselmo-esque shriek... later in the song we are treated to a wobbly "Whoa Yeah" to keep the Stoner vibe alive (I love all that). If the idea of the vocals very roughly traversing these styles sounds like your bag then you should love this. It is probably worth noting that even whilst "singing" the vocals are still quite rough and slurred, so understanding more than a handful of lyrics in each song is pretty much impossible.
Lyrics? The band have stopped printing their lyrics but have always been very upfront that every song is written about a different (real life) serial killer (each track has a name in brackets to denote this). I couldn't possibly tell you if the band are looking to glamorise (presumably for shocking "rock'n'roll" effect), condemn or simply impartially document these individuals because, as I say, the lyrics are no longer printed and the vocals are quite impenetrable for the most part. What I would say is that if you take it all in good humour (as I'm sure these wacky stoners do) and this isn't likely to offend you then definitely don't let this put you off the album or the band. It is far from the focal point of the music.
Overall? I really would recommend this to any rock music fan in a heartbeat. If you like your rock music rough, raw and balls out, then you really can't go wrong here. Stoner fans already have this, but rock and metal fans need to jump on-board too for sure, they'd love it.
I have always liked Church of Misery and every release gets better (with this being the most recent, and strongest to date).
It is official; with the release of this album I now love them :)
As I sit to write this review the still warm entrails of my wife curl around my feet. The sensation is akin to that of having taken a warm shower in your favourite comfy slippers. The bread knife pierced her abdomen easily, a swift upwards movement and the evisceration was instantaneous. The Chez Vegas Slicer had claimed another satisfying victim.
Anyway, enough of my private life, what have Church of Misery delivered here? Well, it appears they have upped the ante and delivered their career highlight so far. A monolithic slab of Murder DOOM musically placed somewhere between the first two Sabbath albums. OK so the subject matter may not be what polite company would desire but with the singer sounding like he might well be gargling with the contents of Denis Nilsen's drains he could be singing his shopping list.