|Doom Metal, Stoner Metal
Metal Blade Records (US), Rise Above Records (UK)
June 11th, 2013
Release length: 49:36
Thy Kingdom Scum keeps with many Church of Misery staples. Six of the seven tracks are also given the name of a famous murderer, sometimes complimented with a related news bite at the very start to increase the darker themes, though it just doesn’t start out that way. “B.T.K. (Dennis Rader)” kicks the album off with a psychadelic trance-enducing instrumental, meant to present an out-of-body experience. For the most part, it’s rather unimpressive, and just goes on forever. The first half sounds rather thin, and the electronic bits end up holding it back, greatly taking away from the rougher, grittier sound of the band that comes into play about half way through. Sadly, there’s also some odd samples thrown in, such as a brief creaking of an old wooden business sign in the wind, or what sounds like the cork to a bottle of wine popping, all of which just making the propper Stoner Rock conclusion of the song sound incredibly cheesy.
After the six-and-a-half minute instrumental that feels more like an eternity, you’re greeted with “Lambs to the Slaughter (Ian Brady / Myra Hindley),” which starts off with some truly crushing riffs, using a lower tuning and thicker Stoner Rock distortion to good use. This shifts to a lighter and catchier Stoner Rock groove with a little complexity in the leads. The vocals lend a rather abrasive touch that counters the fun performance, but works wonders for the Quartermass cover song, “One Blind Mice.” It’s a fantastic track, if not slightly out of place thanks largely to how the band manages to respect the source material. The pace is somewhat faster, and the enthusiastic performance and richer chorus really make it a fun experience you’ll come back to time and again.
Thankfully not all songs do end up sounding a fun and/or upbeat. “Brother Bishop (Gary Heidnik)” has its fair share of psychadelic moments, especially in the solid guitar solo, all of which are surrounded by truly heavy riffs and a bleaker atmosphere. The drums fill the music well, finding the cymbals really sticking out this time around. This is important since the music does become hectic in some spots, especially right at the end. “All Hallow’s Eve (John Linley Frazier)” isn’t riddled with as much despair, but the simpler music does still have a solid enough weight to it, not to mention the vocals can be a bit eccentric at times and fit right in. There’s plenty of catchy riffs, and a rather unique guitar solo that cuts in and out between it and some of the main chords of the track before the deeper snares of the drum kit usher in an all-too-brief hypnotizing climax.
It’s very rare that Church of Misery ever puts out an album that simply misses the mark, and Thy Kingdom Scum is another album to add to that growing list. With the exception of “B.T.K. (Dennis Rader),” every track on here offers a good deal of variety, using crushing music and straight-forward sixties to late seventies catchy Stoner Rock well without ignoring the additional Doom Metal touches the band has been known for. While not quite on par with some of their previous outtings, there’s no denying Thy Kingdom Scum is a solid effort, and one fans are definitely going to appreciate.
01. B.T.K. (Dennis Rader) – 6:32
02. Lambs to the Slaughter (Ian Brady / Myra Hindley) – 7:22
03. Brother Bishop (Gary Heidnik) – 7:18
04. Cranley Gardens (Dennis Andrew Nilsen) – 6:54
05. One Blind Mice (Quatermass cover) – 3:30
06. All Hallow’s Eve (John Linley Frazier) – 5:15
07. DÃ¼sseldorf Monster (Peter KÃ¼rten) 12:45
|Initial Pressing Score: 8/10