Church Of Misery 'Minstrel Of Mourning' review

'Minstrel Of Mourning'
(Razorback Recordings)

That things happen slowly, akin to the pace of the tunes played, is one of the most used jokes in the world of doom metal. Yet even by those standards the amount of time 'Minstrel Of Mourning' has taken to finally see the light of the day is mind-blowing, as documented by the extensive liner notes by both Stevo and Brett Fugate included in the album's booklet. Yes, Stevo - the monster best known and respected for his work in Impetigo, one of the most important and cult bands EVER in the underground history. Undeniably, there are some parts on these songs bearing resemblance to the classic that is Impetigo's 'Horror Of The Zombies', which could hardly be a surprise as both those albums have been written roughly at the same time, yet we're talking a different beast here. Stevo switched from bass to guitar, added the quite explanatory pseudonym "St. Vitus" to his name and alongside the remaining three band members created and recorded a doom album full of despair and mortal dread. An album that sounds as good now as it would've sounded if released back in 1993 - probably because the stench of death is eternal and some of it is captured here by no-frills riffs and tempos, interesting, sometimes rather bizarre, vocals and an overall atmosphere much akin to the one of strolling through the graveyard on a harsh November night. 'Minstrel Of Mourning' isn't the type of album to give you a revelation, neither is the end-it-all doom masterpiece but it's a good document of a band doing what's in their hearts, as morbid as they might be, ahead of its time. Doom fans and Impetigo maniacs alike should pay attention to this. [8]
(Vladimir Petrov)


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