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Church Of Misery - "Houses of the Unholy" (CD)

Church Of Misery - "Houses of the Unholy" CD cover image

"Houses of the Unholy" track listing:

1. El Padrino (8:51)
2. Shotgun Boogie (4:15)
3. The Gray Man (5:45)
4. Blood Sucking Freaks (8:33)
5. Master Heartache (5:17)
6. Born To Raise Hell (7:33)
7. Badlands (7:57)

Reviewed by on July 24, 2009

"...an album of sick gore, screechy guitar work, and weirdly-assembled song structures, where each disconcerting track is based on the sins of serial killers."

Japanese four-piece, Church Of Misery, combine doom metal with heavy hints of 70's psychedelic rock in "Houses Of The Unholy," an album of sick gore, screechy guitar work, and weirdly-assembled song structures, where each disconcerting track is based on the sins of serial killers in a similarly ghoulish style to American death metal band Macabre. With disquieting lyrics that reach back to 1998’s "Taste the Pain," Church Of Misery have quite clearly outdone themselves with doom-riddled tracks and gloomy melodies.

Several tracks begin with disturbing report-style introductions before progressing into messy-sounding vocals that seem to have no set tune, and stand out harshly from the garish instrumentals. "Shotgun Boogie" has a faster, more furious rhythm than the other tracks, perhaps reflecting James Oliver Huberty’s wild killing spree.

"Houses Of The Unholy" has a tendency to drag out some pretty dreary guitar riffs that seem to contradict the vibrancy of grisly lyrics and serial killer references, such as "Born To Raise Hell," a title taken from Richard Speck’s infamous tattoo. Despite the gaudy instrumentals, Narita’s drum skills save the album, but the beats could have benefited from being slightly heavier, especially in "Blood Sucking Freaks." Although Narita is the most talented member of Church Of Misery, even he needs to get a grip of his instrument.

Taken as a whole, "Houses Of The Unholy" doesn’t offer much melody or structure, and with its freakishly horrific killer theme, the album is more musick than music.

Highs: The serial-killer topic is interesting before becoming over-used.

Lows: The half-decent drums are over-ridden by trashy guitars.

Bottom line: An extremely tasteless album.

Rated 1.0 out of 5 skulls
1.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)