Blackened sludge/doom gem, Churchburn, returns with their sophomore full-length release, None Shall Live… The Hymns of Misery (Armageddon Shop). This record is equally bleak as it is heavy across each track. There are great sections of songs where you can really bang your head to and then the next minute the tempo slows way down and you can feel the walls around you melt. Getting seven amazing tracks seems like the perfect length as well, so the album does not overstay its welcome, yet is still enjoyable.
‘Lines of Red’ is a killer track and the first with lyrics as the opening track is instrumental. Scattered between upbeat tempo verses, the riffs in the chorus sections are catchy and progress smoothly until the reprise at the end. ‘Misery Hymns’ opens with a false sense of security with a nice melodic riff before it comes crashing down. This same feeling comes back after a couple minutes in and eventually spills into the best riff in the song and perhaps on all of None Shall Live… The Hymns of Misery. The solo at the end of the song is also slick but not overbearing and stealing the spotlight from the main chugging of the riff.
Another track that really stood out to me was ‘Authorized to Cleanse’. The atmosphere to start off this track is absolutely breath taking and culminates to a gorgeously crafted guitar solo. Then the second half of the track hits like a brick wall being caved in with thunderous guitar riffs and leads over the top to round out the melancholy the song is depicting.
Churchburn put together a great selection of songs to create None Shall Live… The Hymns of Misery. There are no weak tracks on the entire album and I found myself hooked for the entire forty-five minutes that seems to almost fly by. Equal parts of aggression, catchy guitar riffs and oppressive atmosphere is the glue that holds each track together flawlessly. It may only be the second full release from the Rhode Island/New York natives, but with releases such as this will sure to fast track them to the top.