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I fundamentally believe that Church of Misery is immune to criticism; no logical human can intelligently look at the band and deface their glorious sonic assault. For those on the uninformed side of the coin, these Japanese doomsters have established quite a loyal following after much of the metallic universe heard the group's retrogressive reach into stoner/doom metal territory, landing not quite far from Black Sabbath. "The Second Coming," while acting as a direct continuation of the sound largely molded throughout "Master of Brutality," proudly gloats in the fact that it is an overall improvement in just about every category on the musical and empirical end, even though there was nothing wrong with Church of Misery's debut in the first place. Their material is generally crispier than the aforementioned release, and never fails to bite hard and discharge anvils of bruising satisfaction.
Oh yea, did I mention the lyrical groundwork of Church of Misery's endeavors revolves around serial killers? Certainly the life and times of Ted Bundy and pals makes "The Second Coming" even more enamoring, but hey, let's not glaze over the harbinger of the real goods here: the stoner/doom sandwich. On paper, "The Second Coming" is your standard stoner/doom affair with all the bluesy, crushing riffs and formulas one would expect. The kicker? Church of Misery covers your ass in gallons of awesome guitar chops even if you resist; every song is loaded with more zesty riffs than the average bear could ever fathom. The production and energy they apply both strike like lightning out of Zeus' palm; it's impossible to not go completely crazy from the emitting power of this album. Nothing incongruous at all appears on the record, and it thankfully remains true to its roots and never disappoints; only a handful of factions match the consistency of these Japanese nutcases.
Compared to the debut, the musical direction largely remains similar, but the individual performances are definitely in an upgraded stage. Yoshiaki Negishi's vocals here stretch beyond his work on "Master of Brutality" because his use of gritty harsh vocals seems sturdier than before, and the clean register he uses just feels that much better too. "Soul Discharge (Mark Essex)" throws in this killer cowbell-based solo section carefully crawling over a groovy bass mold, and it all flows so well despite coming out of nowhere; just an example of the improvements on the songwriting end which most of the album proudly boasts. In essence, "The Second Coming" flows better and tells the tale of maturation and overall improvement on the instrumental end without losing the initial infatuation that sparked the group's fire in the first place.
An unrelentingly awesome piece of stellar stoner/doom metal for the ages, "The Second Coming" has unanimously earned the approval of Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Ottis Toole as one of the finest gems lying dormant in the doom metal underground. With approval coming from just about every orifice of death, Church of Misery has officially earned an important role in doom metal as its unstoppable badass (as if one could ever question the legitimacy of a band with a song called "I, Motherfucker"). Needless to say, this record absolutely rules. Church of Misery doesn't sound like something you'd enjoy? Go on a roadtrip with Aileen Wuornos and die, pig.
This review was written for: www.Thrashpit.com