Artist:  Church Of Misery
   Title: Master Of Brutality
   Label: Rise Above records:

This Japanese doom/sludge metal band has been wowing the airwaves for the past 17 years.  With their songs focusing primarily on serial killers and mass murderers, this is the re-release of their 2001 debut.  Based on serial killers, five of the nine songs are titled after them, with one of the nine utilising spoken words from Ed Kemper (To find out more about the killers, look on Wikipedia).  They also have a cover of the Blue Oyster Cult song 'Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll'.  The band are further influenced by Black Sabbath and other 70s metal.

The album is a bizarre work at best, opening with 'Killifornia', which contains spoken word by Ed Kemper remixed into music, twisting and repeating it at will, although as the song moves it is more the effects rather than the words that are mixed.  The song then turns into more doom/stoner/sludge metal, with its slow, long chords and its lengthened rhythm taking it to a slower, more moody level.

This is not to say that the instruments are not played well, in fact they manage the slow steady pace easily and expertly, setting one on the other to create a depth of sound not usually found in stoner metal, however this may be due to the doom element.

The albumís slow and steady pace is at odds with the content of the songs, which focus around serial killers and death, and this juxtaposition sits neatly with them.  At times it does seem slow and almost stagnant, but it manages to bring each song to life easily and memorably.

Review by: Kerry H


1. Killifornia (Ed Kemper)
2. Ripping Into Pieces (Peter Sutcliffe)
3. Megalomania (Hebert Mullin)
4. Green River
5. Cities On Flame (Blue Oyster Cult cover)
6. Master Of Brutality (John Wayne Gacy)
7. Boston Strangler (Albert De Salvo)
8. Candy Man (Dean Corll)
9. Lucifer Rising (live)



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