Top 20 Releases of 2013: No.5 – Church of Misery – Thy Kingdom Scum

Thy Kingdom Scum

CD/vinyl, Rise Above (UK)/Metal Blade (US), 2013

Let’s be clear about this before we start: There is no way that an album of dirty, riff-grinding, old-skool Sabbath-style heavy metal about serial killers wasn’t going to make this list somewhere, but it’s on the quality and execution of those grinding riffs that doom/stoner merchants Church of Misery come in so high. Thy Kingdom Scum is just raw, brutal, heavy like a collapsing cathedral roof in a thunderstorm. It’s also unashamedly epic, most of the songs hovering around the six-seven-minute mark with the notable exceptions of solo-shredding thirteen-minute closer Düsseldorf Monster and a relatively parsimonious, punkish cover of British 70s rockers Quatermass’ One Blind Mice, both of which underline Church of Misery’s prog credentials while simultaneously in their savage, remorseless implementation reminding us that they are here first and foremost to rock hard, harsh and heavy. Thy Kingdom Scum is sharp, intelligently constructed music, drenched in sweat, brood and who knows what other bodily secretions, that makes you feel like a god of Valhalla. It’s a beast of an album.Church of Misery: Brother Bishop (Gary Heidnik)

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