Church Of Misery seems to be a truly indestructible band. It went thru countless member changes in the past, including several vocalist changes and still, it always survived and came back stronger then ever. And now the same thing happened yet again: even though all the members left bassist and band leader Tatsu Mikami in 2014, he still managed to revive the band and make it better than ever. It took him a while to get things back on track though, but they started to tour with a new lineup last year and a few weeks ago played their third and easily best show in Budapest. Not as if the ones before were bad, not at all. Those happened back in 2014 when they came here first as a support for Monster Magnet, then, just a couple of months later as a headliner and played two very solid gigs, but this one.. this was just on another level.

Maybe it also worked better this time because the venue was a lot more fitting, it being a small, crowded basement club, but still, it was mainly because of the new lineup, which turned out to be excellent. The drummer and guitarist were both great at delivering the slow, heavy and grinding doom metal inferno, but the true gem of this current lineup is clearly the new singer, Hiroyuki Takano. During the interview I did with Mikami before the show I was surprised to learn that he was actually the singer of Sithter, a completely mind-blowing sludge band I discovered about a year ago and he was also somewhat of a Church Of Misery fanboy, who decided to challenge himself and apply for the position when he heard that the old members left. And it shows. Besides him doing a damn great job at singing all those classic Church Of Misery tracks (which is actually no surprise at all after his work with Sithter), he also clearly had a really good time doing it. And talking about classics… the set list was also flawless and featured some of the best songs selected from the band’s albums… both recent tracks from And Then There Were None…, the 2016 album that Mikami recorded with US guest musicians, and old ones, from as early as 2001, from the band’s first album, Master Of Brutality . And while I am sure Mikami would survive any eventual member changes, I really hope these three guys will stick around for a long, long time to come as they work together incredibly well and can further reinforce Church Of Misery’s status as one of the best doom metal acts ever.

02.Make Them Die Slowly
03.River Demon
04.Born To Raise Hell
05.Red Ripper Blues
06.Taste The Pain
07.Blood Sucking Freak
08.Brother Bishop
09.Shotgun Boogie
10.Murderfreak Blues
11.El Padrino
12.I, Motherfucker