Archive for Church of Misery

Church Of Misery – Master Of Brutality [2001]

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 17th January 2012 by vmteam

Band: Church of Misery
Album: Master of Brutality
Release Year: 2001
Genre: Stoner/Doom Metal


Firstly, for those unfamiliar with this band (I counted myself in that category prior to this review), Church of Misery are a 4-piece Stoner Metal band from Tokyo who have been serving up serial killer inspired riffy goodness since 1995. Their debut album "Master of Brutality" features 6 tracks, of which 5 are based on and titled after infamous serial killers and the other is a particularly pleasing cover of Blue Oyster Cult’s "Cities on Flame with Rock And Roll".

First track "Killfornia" is  written about Edmund Kemper whose voice also provides the disturbing spoken word intro. It’s a good minute and a half before any actual music is heard and it’s the bass that kicks off proceedings with a distortion/wah pedal combo and choice of riff that brings to mind early Black Sabbath song "N.I.B". From here on in low-tuned fuzz-saturated guitar is the order of the day, and another slab of riffs heavier than a bag of Bieber’s hate mail is served up for your aural pleasure. Vocalist Yoshiaki Negishi remains on full throttle throughout, sounding like the chain-smoking bastard child of Lemmy and Matt Pike whilst drummer Junji Narita keeps everything tied down solidly and refrains from any ambitious overplaying.

Further on "Ripping Into Pieces", "Megalomania" and album closer "Master of Brutality" offer more of the same ; bass-heavy sound, plethora of Iommi-inspired riffs and Negishi’s razor-blade gargling vocals. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but at times it can seem quite drawn out and possibly formulaic. The instrumental track however  "Green River" does offer a glimpse of a slightly different side of the Church of Misery coin.It’s an altogether more spacey affair and serves as a temporary respite from the sledgehammer approach taken everywhere else.

The other song featured on this disc is the previously mentioned cover of "Cities on Flame with Rock And Roll",and I have to say it’s possibly my favourite track of the 6. The original song is a time tested rock staple and at the fingertips of countless would-be guitar heroes the riff has assaulted every guitar shop that hasn’t banned it. What Church of Misery have done is taken an already great track and turned it up to 10, bringing out the heaviness and improving ( in my opinion ) on the feel of the track.

Both structurally and lyrically however, I feel the album fails to broaden the heights of creativity,but then that is not what this genre of music is about. It’s about hard-hitting, in your face metal and there is no arguing that these 4 guys from Japan have achieved that. "Master of Brutality" is quite an obvious play on "Master of Reality" (3rd studio album by Black Sabbath and blueprint for all things doom related!) and their influence is worn firmly on their sleeves throughout the whole album. If you’re looking for something new and ground breaking then perhaps give this a miss, but if you’re a fan of early Black Sabbath and crave a bit more of the same with a slightly modern edge then you could do much worse than check out this album!


Reece Wilde