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Thy Kingdom Scum (Metal Blade), The Fleshland (Relapse)

Church of Misery and Coffins

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Aug. 2, 2013

Raining bodies and bones beginning a decade apart, Tokyo combines Church of Misery and Coffins both reached sonic summits on their third U.S. full-lengths. Respectively, Houses of the Unholy (2009) and Buried Death (2008) fissioned a nuclear-strength sheen that now recedes organically on the bands' follow-ups. Mid-Nineties Sabbath worshippers Church of Misery cut through a face-melting mushroom cloud on the former disc to reclaim the titanic blues glower of sophomore LP The Second Coming, best growler Hideki Fukasawa fusing the pair to Thy Kingdom Scum with his ursine vocal broil. Power gloom instrumental opener "B.T.K. (Dennis Rader)" bleeds into the earthy atmospherics of "Lambs to the Slaughter (Ian Brady/Myra Hindley)" and shredding "Cranley Gardens (Dennis Andrew Nilsen)," the latter's third gear revving a Zeppelin backdraft comparable to the quartet's sole screaming subject matter: serial killers. Quatermass cover "One Blind Mice" rumbles classic peel, while 12-minute closer "Düsseldorf Monster (Peter Kurten)" scorches earth. Coffins' lo-fi-leaning doom on 2005 debut Mortuary in Darkness accelerated into marching, charging Buried Death, and fourth crypt The Fleshland erases any remaining boundaries between the two. First gallop "Here Comes Perdition" pulls alongside uranium dirge "The Colossal Hole," but fast and crusty ("Rotten Disciples") or six-minute glacial ("The Unhallowed Tide"), this throttling trio reanimates death and doom alike. *** (Both)

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