Long running Japanese doom metal outfit Church Of Misery have drawn up a slew of new serial killers to ravage your mind to. Born Under A Mad Sign is their seventh album and the first in seven years with seven numerological tracks to enact your septimal slaughter upon.
Their sludgy doom metal juxtaposed with tomes of terrorism is truly one of the most unique elements in doom metal, one that they have never really shied away from and at this point should just continue their sanguine siege.
Starting things off in more of a contemporary way with “Beltway Sniper” has a major bluesy vibe among the massive riffs before fading away towards the end of the song. Excellent dynamic shifts make for this opener to set the tone for the rest of the record. Featured on the album’s cover, “Most “Evil” is about German serial killer Fritz Harmann; a slow burn of fat distortion making fans of Goatsnake and Melvins sweat due to the prolific volume with which the band plays.
“Freeway Madness Boogie” has an infectious, underlying groove and “Spoiler” is a veritable jam session complete with keyboards to add even more to the fracas. Hitting another big name with David Koresh is “Come And Get Me Sucker” and while Koresh wasn’t responsible for any murders, his actions were vile in their own regard. The shouted song title fits well over the chunky riffs and manic drumming.
New vocalist Kazuhiro Asaeda fits extremely well within the mix, adding a bit of his own crazed flavor to this already well-oiled machine with session guitarist Yukito Okazaki making the most of his time in the spotlight, giving the rest of the band the proper foundation with which to operate.
Born Under A Mad Sign is no exception to the rules by which Church Of Misery abide: great riffs, crushing cruelty and immense atmosphere. If you are a fan of sludgy doom metal, then this record is an absolute must for genre stalwarts.
(released June 16, 2023 on Rise Above Records)