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Church Of Misery - "The Second Coming (Reissue)" (CD)

Church Of Misery - "The Second Coming (Reissue)" CD cover image

"The Second Coming (Reissue)" track listing:

1. I, Motherfucker (Ted Bundy)
2. Soul Discharge (Mark Essex)
3. Red Ripper Blues (Andrei Chikatilo)
4. Filth Bitch Boogie (Aileen Wuornos)
5. One Way...Or Another (Cactus cover)
6. Candy Man (Dean Corll)
7. El Topo
8. For Mad Men Only (May Blitz Cover) (Bonus Track)

Reviewed by on February 23, 2012

"Swirling, pulsating effects show the band may have caught onto one of Hawkwind’s thermals and rode it to the uppermost layers of the atmosphere."

Groovy is an appropriate adjective to describe “The Second Coming.” The album contains a swagger that goes back to a time when “groovy” was common slang among the youth of America—the 1970's. The album recalls the loud, distorted style of bands such as Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath and Pentagram. Even though “The Second Coming” is retro in so many ways, Church of Misery added an element of danger absent from the above bands’ albums. Harsh vocals, especially the snarling kind heard here, were not part of the program in the late '60s/early '70s. Also, as extreme as early metal was, it didn’t relate the gritty/sludgy tones of Church of Misery.

One of the drawbacks mentioned in my review of “Master of Brutality” was its rhythms did not experience enough change to keep my interest. “The Second Coming” seems a bit more varied. Swirling, pulsating effects show the band may have caught onto one of Hawkwind’s thermals and rode it to the uppermost layers of the atmosphere. “Red Ripper Blues (Andrei Chikatilo)” mostly moves in a grim, down-tempo fashion suitable for telling the ghoulish tale of the infamous Russian killer. Near the end of the track, though, guitarist Takenori Hoshi picks up the pace, setting a blistering rhythm for pulsating, outer space-laced guitar effects. The energy at this point foreshadows something supernatural, like a lapse in time and space.

Another psychedelic highlight occurs on their May Blitz cover of “For Mad Men Only.” Its effects are akin to being sucked into a black hole. Church of Misery metalized this song from 1971 and added piercing feedback. Everybody knows about Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath, so it was cool to see them play homage to a lesser known band that influenced metal. “One Way…Or Another,” a Cactus cover, contains a cosmic jam of careening guitar solos and swing-style chords. If you’re looking for the type of harshness found in feedback-fueled sludge stalwarts such as Eyehategod, then listen to “I, Motherfucker (Ted Bundy).” There you will find Church of Misery producing its most menacing doom metal chords.

The samples pertaining to each serial killer in question is the most menacing factor of “The Second Coming.” On “Filthy Bitch Boogie” (great title), Aileen Wuornos, the hooker killer, hurls expletives at the judge that just sentenced her to death. This is the darkest sound one will hear on this album. These clips add a sanguinary texture to each song, fitting for Yoshiaki Negishi’s quasi-screams. Still, if the group featured a vocalist with a greater sense of melody, “The Second Coming” would have the sing-along quality that most great albums possess.

Highs: Serial killer samples, heavy groove, trippy guitar effects

Lows: The vocals can be a turn-off

Bottom line: A solid stoner/doom album contaning odd/controversial song concepts.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)