By Gruesome Greg
It took Church of Misery roughly six years to put out their first full-length album (an earlier recording, Vol. 1, was scrapped when they decided to write solely about serial killers), but its follow-up, The Second Coming, would be released three years later. This sophomore release would feature some of the band’s most well-known compositions, such as “I, Motherfucker,” an ode to Ted Bundy, and the Andrei Chikatilo-inspired “Red Ripper Blues”—though it was initially only available in Japan.
The former finds the band adopting more of a “stoner” groove, about as mellow and laid-back a vibe you’re gonna get for a tune dedicated to Ted Bundy, rolling across the plains of desert doom territory with a rollicking, catchy chorus riff. “Soul Discharge” also sees ‘em inject some desert sand into their Sabbra Cadaver, with cleaner guitar tones and more-distorted vocals, incidentally. They even throw in some cowbell, y’know, just for the hell of it.
“Red Ripper Blues” has a dirty, bluesy vibe with some heavy tones that bring Sons of OTIS to mind. This one’s a slow, steady, head-nodder, that’s for sure, picking up the pace into a solid boogie stomp. “Filth Bitch Boogie” has gotta be one of the greatest song titles ever, haha. An ode to Aileen Wournos, a hooker who killed seven men in Florida, this one lives up to its moniker, a filthy, driving foot-stomper that shoots to kill and leaves the bodies in an abandoned wooded area.
Aside from its obsession with serial killers, Church of Misery is also known for its 70’s rock covers, including the Cactus cut “One Way… Or Another” on this one. Lyrically, it might be outta place with the rest of the album, but those heavy grooves are right at home here.
“Candy Man” was included as a bonus track on the Master of Brutality reissue, although it appears on the original track listing of this album. This tune was obviously written earlier than some of the other material, as it’s more of a return to the band’s doomy roots, a slow, heavy stalker that wants you to be its victim. (Wait, wrong Candyman…) The only bonus material we get this time is a lengthy, drawn-out over of May Blitz’s “For Mad Men Only,” after the original album ends on a doomy instrumental note with a tune called “El Topo” that doesn’t have any singing until its final few seconds. But hey, I can’t really complain about the lack of extras when this album used to be so hard to come by in the first place. Thanks, Metal Blade!
(Rise Above / Metal Blade)