One would expect a band that sounds as grizzled and rigid as Church Of Misery to hail from a dilapidated basement in the deep south of the U.S. instead of the neon techno Mecca of Tokyo, Japan. Potential culture shock aside though, this serial killer obsessed outfit belt out disturbing odes to the macabre overtop of a doom metal/70's psychedelia hybrid that is as big on boogie as it is on brashness.
It's a caustic hybrid and one made even more so abrasive by the uninhibitedly shouted vocals which often spew forth like plumes of molten black tar. But while the bands more doomish ventures sound like Sourvein on some dirty amphetamines, it is the groups more lively southern boogie infused numbers like "Blood Sucking Freaks" that come complete with Clutch meets Saviours styled jam freakouts that really impress.
Make no mistake, there is enough bluesy skronk and psychedelia here to quicken many a hesher's pulse. Enough so in fact to make the bands self proclamation of being a doom metal outfit seem rather misleading. But this personality crisis can also see some problems crop up, especially on songs like "Blood Sucking Freak" where a turgid Nebula reminisicent jam suddenly melts down into a bong smashing fretburner. Still, it is at times harder to tell which might be more offensive to potential listeners - the lyrical tributes to the lecherous underbelly of society or the enthusiastic butchery of enunciation that generally crops up in the vocals.
That said, those able to forgive the brazen bellows of frontman Hideki Fukasawa (who does sing in English) will surely be rewarded with some of the most effusive doom boogie to ever come from outside of North America (or Britain for that matter). The gritty musicianship and prime riffing alone easily earn them such accolades. Though admittedly Sir Lord Baltimore fans may not feel as generous with praise after hearing the included cover of "Master Heartache" recklessly meet its 'doom.'
(4 / 5)