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Thy Kingdom Scum, The Fleshland

Church of Misery and Coffins

Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Sept. 6, 2013

Phases & Stages

Church of Misery

Thy Kingdom Scum (Metal Blade)

Coffins

The Fleshland (Relapse)
Phases & Stages

Raining bodies and bones beginning a decade apart, Tokyo cults 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 recedes organically on their follow-ups. 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 both antecedents to Thy Kingdom Scum with his ursine vocal broil. Power gloom instrumental "B.T.K. (Dennis Rader)" opens 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" peels classic, while 12-minute sealant "Düsseldorf Monster (Peter Kurten)" scorches heaven and hell. Coffins' lo-fi-leaning doom on 2005 debut Mortuary in Darkness accelerated through The Other Side of Blasphemy into marching, charging Buried Death, and fourth crypt The Fleshland erases any remaining boundaries between the two disciplines. 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.

(Scum) ***.5

(Flesh) ***

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