Church – Unanswered Hymns ALBUM REVIEW

If there was ever an album to preach the parable of “don’t judge a book by its cover”, this is it. Holy hell I wasn’t expecting any of this. When I saw the cassettecore lofi black and white cover I thought “this is definitely going to be absolutely shit”. I was wrong. Dear god I was wrong. This is a major candidate for Sludge album of the year, with a combination of crushing riffs, screaming, rip your soul out vocals, and with just enough of a light touch in places to prevent you from being totally overwhelmed.

You might be wondering why I labeled this album “progressive drone metal”. While yes, that is a label I pulled from my ass, I think it fits this in the most literal way possible. The entire album is basically one progression. It starts out super sludgy and murky, being very much like Sumac this year. But unlike Sumac, this relented. As if it was just charging up it’s energy, it slowly crescendoed along to beautiful psuedo climax with the first introduction to the vocals. And oh how I love these vocals. Vocals that sounds like inane screaming are some of my favorites if the situation calls for it. Here, in an extremely non-technical, chaotic environment where it feels like people are just letting all of their energy go in a sea of, I don’t want to say rage, but emotion, it fits perfectly. The second track is set up as the calm before the storm, with a slow evolving lyrical riff that again does a climax tease with clean, somewhat whispered vocals. It acts really nice as sort of a pallete cleanser for the go to track in the album, the third track titled Offering. The opening to this is very stoner doomish in how psychedelic the instrument texture is and with how far out the vocals sound. Here again, we see the buildup that this album is so good as delivering on, building up to the conclusion of this album, where it utilizes both the clean and harsh vocals, as well as turning the sludge meter up to 11 in what I can only describe as a soniscape of musical hatred. I love albums that build up to a finale, and then deliver on it, and Unanswered Hymns answers big time. I very much want to compare this to Sumac again, the difference being this relents at times, mostly for the better, while Sumac is just nonstop sound crush. Also can I just get some appreciation for how awesome guitar distortion and screeches can sound? I always felt that that made the track in the right situations, as long as it wasn’t like Weed Eater who’s songs are pretty much only guitar distortion (still good shit though, check them out).

One of the most overachieving albums of the year, Unanswered Hymns takes your soul and fucks it senseless, let’s it rest and think it’s safe, only to do it again once it’s almost recovered. I have to say I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to be soul raped in my entire life than with this album.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s