Church of Misery – And Then There Were None

COM-promo_RingMasterReview

As much as anticipation, there was plenty of extra intrigue involved leading to the release of And Then There Were None, the new album from Church of Misery. The sixth full-length from the Japan bred band, it is also the first since bassist and mastermind Tatsu Mikami was forced to assemble a new line-up a year after the unleashing of the 2013 album, Thy Kingdom Scum. It was an obstacle which has seemingly made little difference to the band as in And Then There Were None they have come up with one ferociously compelling provocation.

Another reason for that intrigue was that Mikami has linked up with musicians outside of his homeland for the first time; enlisting Blood Farmers guitarist Dave Szulkin, Earthride drummer Eric Little (ex-Internal Void) and Repulsion frontman (and former Cathedral bassist) Scott Carlson on vocals. It is easy to assume this was a challenge in itself in the creation of the album due to distances between members and indeed the bassist when talking about the album admitted, “It was a challenge because there was not much time to make this record—only two weeks,” going on to add, “One week for rehearsals and then one week to record all materials.” With Carlson providing vocals for an album for the first time in almost 30 years, it seems like it was a project pushing each member to their creative edge; an essence which has gone so me way to giving an extra spark and bite to the “blood-soaked trip through homicidal hell.”

Fuelled by the tales and bloody mayhem of killers both infamous and obscure, And Then There Were None opens up with The Hell Benders. Emerging from a viscerally sanguineous opening, funk spiced melodies quickly seduce the imagination as nagging rhythms rap the senses. It is a mellow and tantalising entrance which is soon spilling suggestively sultry grooves and incisive beats as Carlson’s growling delivery mixes it with the sweltering climate of doom/sludge bred heavy rock ‘n’ roll. The intoxicating invention of the guitars is invasive yet at times provides a mesmeric lure for a perpetually captivating frame to the barbarous lyrics with the bass of Mikami bridging the two with its heavily alluring tone and rapacious shadowing of voice and sonic enterprise.

COM-and_then_there_were_FRONT_RingMasterReviewThe gripping start is reinforced by the almost carnal resourcefulness and snarling nature of Make Them Die Slowly. Riffs immediately provide a tasty intrusion, seeming to relish their antagonistic presence within a web of sinister yet seductive grooves. With vocals across the band stalking the imagination too, the track reveals a punk infused attitude to its Crowbar meets High on Fire meets Earthride like trespass.

Doctor Death prowls ears and imagination next, inspiration coming from British killer Harold Shipman. As thoughts are reminded and provoked, guitars again spread a lattice of juicily enticing grooves aligned to forceful rhythms as Carlson shares the insidious deeds. Enthralling and increasingly irresistible, the sonically humid track makes way for the funkier revelry of River Demon, where bass and drums go on a rampage of addictive and incendiary rhythms. A slab of volatile and bruising groove bound devilment which enslaves appetite and energies from start to finish, the track is a vampiric treat leaving the body and senses exhausted with its blues soaked punk ‘n’ roll.

Through the muggier sonic climate of Confessions Of An Embittered Soul and southern soaked Suicide Journey, the album reveals more varied hues to colour its melodically toxic and addictive body. The first of the two has the imagination wound around its creeping grooves, they in turn winding around the senses as Carlson shares the song’s hellacious contents. In contrast, its brief successor is a warmer if sinister wash of mellow sound and intensity but a match in igniting the imagination and pushing it to explore its own interpretative adventure.

Bringing the album to a close is Murderfreak Blues, a song which crushes the senses yet within a breath or two becomes a stalking, seducing, and ravishing provocation of their weaknesses as, unsurprisingly, psyche twisting grooves and demanding rhythms leave, through murderous traits, their own lingering and welcome marks.

It is a mighty end to an album which grows with every listen, managing to seem even more antagonistic each time as it impresses in sound and craft. And Then There Were None is a blood encrusted groove fest and very easy to recommend.

And Then There Were None is out now via Rise Above Records @ http://www.riseaboverecords.com/shop/

http://www.churchofmisery.net/   https://www.facebook.com/churchofmiserydoom/

Pete RingMaster 07/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Firelord – Hammer Of Chaos

Georgette Pavanati Photography.

Georgette Pavanati Photography.

     Firelord seems like a name more than recognisable but truth is the band’s new EP Hammer Of Chaos is for us our first encounter with the Italian trio, and a long overdue meeting it is too. Fusing stoner-esque hues in rousing metal and heavy rock aggression, or as the band tags it, Doom ‘n’ Roll; the five track inferno of rock ‘n‘ roll is one of those propositions which energises body and emotions with ease.

The Turin hailing trio emerged in 2007 from the ashes of doom metal project named Saint Judas, which was also founded by Firelord vocalist/guitarist Mario E. Bussini. Initially a quartet with the addition of Beppe Tozza, Daniele Biffaro, and Giulio Buscaglione, the band drew on inspirations from the likes of Black Sabbath, Count Raven, Gates of Slumber, Earthride, and Saint Vitus as they developed their own sound. Line-up changes came with the subsequent years before some stability brought the release of the band’s debut EP, The Burning. Another shuffle happened before their well-received first album Among The Snakes was uncaged in 2013 whilst current line-up of bassist Alessandro Ferrari alongside Bussini and drummer Buscaglione, was in place earlier this year and is the creative force behind the thickly enjoyable Hammer Of Chaos.

Coverartwork by Randy Ramdhani _RingMaster Review

artwork by Randy Ramdhani

The EP opens up with A Good Way to Die, instantly smothering ears in a tirade of riffs as Ramones like as they are heavy rock bred. Against them the beats of Buscaglione resonate with every swing as Bussini brings his sandy roar to the mix alongside the punk scented prowling of Ferrari’s bass; all essences weaving their raw prowess into a blend of ravenous southern toned stoner and sludge thick rock ‘n’ roll. It is gripping stuff, not necessarily boundary worrying but with addictive grooves and fire spewing hooks, the song feeds all wants and needs from a slab of heavy rock.

The following Dancing on Your Grave is the same, originality maybe one of the more slimmer aspects but with fierce ear entwining grooves, hungry riffery, and rhythms that border on bestial, the song stomps along with irresistible attitude and an incendiary presence easily and swiftly recruiting full attention and involvement. At times the song, as the EP, has a feel of French rockers Face Down to it as well as some of those influences earlier mentioned, but all are spices adding to the highly agreeable devilry confronting and pleasing ears.

Devil’s Wonderland comes next with its own bruising intensity and tenacious tempest of forceful riffs and rampant rhythms amidst a trespass of dirty grooves. It is only possible to get involved with and hungrier for the band’s sound especially once confronted by the EP’s title track and its apocalyptic suggestiveness which leads to a gloriously hellacious maelstrom of intoxicating temptation in sound and ideation. Buscaglione crafts a persistently shifting torrent of rhythms, their stampede or more deliberate stalking each unpredictable involvements for ears and as anthemic as anything within the tremendous incitement. They are certainly matched by the searing flames of guitar and cantankerous bait of the bass too whilst vocally Bussini is an alluring wind of expression and matching incitement.

The track is an outstanding and increasingly inventive and galvanic encounter which would be a mighty end to any release, though Hammer of Chaos, song and EP allows that task to fall to a great cover of the SloBurn track Pilot of the Dune, Firelord turning it dirtier and punkish with resourceful zeal and strongly engaging enterprise.

For personal tastes, the name Firelord does not particularly entice but as we found the band’s music certainly leaves nothing on the table of persuasion as it takes ears and emotions on a thoroughly pungent and thrilling rock ‘n’ roll escapade.

Hammer Of Chaos is out now on CD through Sliptrick Records and digitally at https://firelordoom.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/FIRELORD999   https://twitter.com/FirelordStonerD

Pete RingMaster 28/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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