And so it also appears that CHURCH OF MISERY's new album, ‘Thy Kingdom Scum’, is already out in Europe since May 27th, 2013 on Rise Above Records. The long-awaited album has been obviously waited for a bit longer than necessary by me, while the Americans can pre-order it from Metal Blade Records here (Metal Blade store) until June 11th, 2013. ‘Thy Kingdom Scum’ is also available here (Rise Above Records), on iTunes and Amazon. CHURCH OF MISERY's new album was written and recorded by the band's founder and bassist Tatus Mikami, drummer Junji Narita, vocalist and keyboardist Hideki Fukasawa (who reportedly went missing (“literally!”) for a few years after 2009's album ‘Houses Of The Unholy’) and new guitarist Ikuma Kawabe (who replaced Tom Sutton).
CHURCH OF MISERY, one of the first doom metal bands to emerge from Japan, was founded by bassist Tatsu Mikami in 1995 in Tokyo, Japan. With guitarist Tomohiro Nishimura, drummer Hideki Shimizu and vocalist Kazuhiro Asaeda he recorded a demo called ‘ADV.1996.’ which U.S. label Doom Records released as ‘Vol.1’ without the band's permission - yet through it introduced CHURCH OF MISERY to the world. In 2000, Tatsu engaged new members, vocalist Yoshiaki Negishi and drummer Junji Narita, and incorporated the use of analog synthesizers in the band's sound - adding elements of krautrock and psychedelia. CHURCH OF MISERY's first full-length ode to serial killers and mass murderers, ‘Master Of Brutality’, was released in 2001 via Southern Lord Recordings, preceded by 1998's EP ‘Taste The Pain’ and a split CD with SHEAVY called ‘Born Too Late’. By the time ‘Master Of Brutality’ was issued, the band have been crowned “the undisputed (and unchallenged) kings of Japanese stoner/doom” by metal critics. Guitarist Nishimura left the band and was succeeded by Takenori Hoshi, and singer Negishi found his replacement in Hideki Fukasawa. This new lineup recorded COM's second LP called ‘The Second Coming’, and released it in 2004 on Japanese label Diwphalanx Records. It was reissued in 2012 by Rise Above Records and Metal Blade:
“Wild-eyed, raging, slobbering opener ‘I, Motherfucker (Ted Bundy)’ (yes, every song is still subtitled with the name of the serial killer who inspired it) comes off like ACRIMONY and ELECTRIC WIZARD beating each other bloody with the Stonehenge monoliths, and even its polar opposite in terms of tempo, the doom groove holocaust of ‘Red Ripper Blues (Andrei Chikatilo)’, knows absolutely nothing about subtlety. On top of that, there are of course the consistently disturbing lyrics, perhaps culminating in the tale of Aileen Wuornos [serial killer from Florida, USA played by Charlize Theron in 2003's film “Monster”], ‘Filth Bitch Boogie’, where disturbing dialog from her sentencing hearing is used as corroborating evidence for the song's MC5-on-meth rhythm & blues. … Such is the M.O. for CHURCH OF MISERY: their morbid curiosities about the darkest corners of humanity's soul ultimately serve to expunge listeners of their own guilty fascination through sheer musical horror, and for that we should probably thank them,” [grieved Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
In 2006, guitarist Hoshi departed from the band and was replaced by Australian Tom Sutton, with whom they recorded ‘Houses Of The Unholy’ LP, issued through Rise Above Records in 2009. With singer Hideki disappearing, the band turned to their previous vocalist Yoshiaki Negisi, with whom they embarked on extensive European and U.S. tours.
CHURCH OF MISERY features: Tatsu Mikami – bass, Junji Narita – drums, Hideki Fukasawa - vocals & synthesizer and Ikuma Kawabe - guitar