Rise Above Records
Rise Above Records proudly presents "Born Under A Mad Sign", the brand new studio album from Tokyo's Murder Doom Masters CHURCH OF MISERY and quite possibly their sickest, heaviest and grooviest slab of wax to date!
"Freeway Madness Boogie (Randy Kraft)" - Official Track Stream: https://youtu.be/ign_p6uRw1s
When the riffs start to flow, the concrete turns red with blood. Undisputed masters of bloodthirsty Sabbathian purity, Church Of Misery are back to kill again.
Formed in Tokyo, Japan, in 1995, Church Of Misery had a pin-sharp and focused vision from the very start. Led by bassist and mercurial riff-machine Tatsu Mikami, they conjured a perfectly pulverising new strain of doom metal purity, wherein an endless succession of monstrous pentatonic riffs collided with obnoxious levels of swing and swagger. Early releases like 1998’s seminal Taste The Pain EP and full-length debut Master Of Brutality (released in 2001) heralded the arrival of a uniquely potent and obsessive force. With every song dedicated to a documented serial killer, Church Of Misery set fire to stoner rock’s peace and love principles and plunged deep into humanity’s darkest horrors instead.
Five full-length albums, numerous split releases and multiple trips around the planet to spread the bloody code of doom later, few would dispute that Mikami’s crew are the living, breathing, riffing epitome of everything Lord Iommi taught us. And now, with the utterly peerless Born Under A Mad Sign, Church Of Misery are back to reclaim the throne.
“After we released our last album, And Then There Were None, we kept on touring Europe and the US,” says Tatsu. “That lasted from 2017 to April 2020. During the Covid pandemic, I lost my job for two years – the company I worked for went bankrupt, thanks to the virus. But I was writing tons of new songs over this time! This is undoubtedly the best record in Church Of Misery history. It’s a masterpiece of doom. The songwriting, the performances, the production, everything is perfect! There are no weak points. We are the true heirs to Black Sabbath!”
Over its 50 obnoxiously groovy minutes, Born Under A Mad Sign serves up an absurd number of magnificent riffs: each one hewn from primal Sabbath bedrock, but souped-up and sent spinning by Church Of Misery’s unique sense of momentum. And in keeping with the relentless thud and slash of songs like rambunctious opener Beltway Sniper and the untamed rush of Freeway Madness Boogie, Tatsu Mikami’s lyrical obsessions are still rooted firmly in gritty macabre and the psychopathic, thousand-yard-stare of a born killer.
“Beltway Sniper is about John Allen Muhammad. He was responsible for a series of coordinated shootings that happened over three weeks in October 2002 in Washington DC. Ten people were killed, and three others critically wounded. It’s the perfect way to start the album! Most Evil is about Fritz Haarman, the ‘Butcher of Hannover’. That’s him on the front cover artwork. He’s the main protagonist on this album!”
Elsewhere on Church Of Misery’s seventh full studio effort, Mikami conjures riff-driven tributes to Randy Kraft – a serial killer and rapist, sometimes known as the Scorecard Killer - on the spiky and motoring Freeway Madness Boogie; to H. H. Holmes, a.k.a. America’s first serial killer, on Murder Castle Blues; to Waco cult leader David Koresh, on the crushing Come And Get Me Sucker; and to Robert Christian Hansen, Alaska’s most notorious, on the monumental riff evangelism of Butcher Baker. The stories leave scars. The riffs finish you off.
“The Riff is my top priority when it comes to songwriting,” says Mikami. “But I don’t just need good riffs. I need the BEST riffs! Because in my philosophy, groove and riffs are the most important things in rock music. I just have the confidence to write better riffs than anybody else!”
As ever, Born Under A Mad Sign will be released via long-standing partners-in-doom, Rise Above Records, continuing a close bond that stretches back more than two decades, and that has led to some of the greatest doom records of all time. Plainly on the form of their lives and armed with their best and bloodiest arsenal of riffs yet, Church Of Misery are the unstoppable force that keeps on coming: riff after riff after murderous, magnificent riff.
“Next, we gig, gig, gig!” Tatsu Mikami concludes. “We’ll keep on touring everywhere, like always. The most important thing is to communicate with our fans. I’m not so good at speaking English, but we can communicate with people through the music. We haven’t been able to tour for three long years due to Covid, but now it’s time to get back on the road again. Of course, we will play songs from the new album. See you out there!”
1. Beltway Sniper (John Allen Muhammad)
2. Most Evil (Fritz Harmann)
3. Freeway Madness Boogie (Randy Kraft)
4. Murder Castle Blues (H.H. Holmes)
6. Come And Get Me Sucker (David Koresh)
7. Butcher Baker (Robert Hansen)