We were back at the Kingsland for a night of epic Doom Metal and Stoner Rock shenanigans. The place was packed in with heshers and hesherettes early. I was running around doing interviews so I dipped in and out of the main room and caught a little of openers Forming the Void and Black Wizard. Between those two bands, you have almost a perfect word cloud for Doom bands. Both bands rep beefy riffs worth getting wrecked over, so smoke ’em if you got em when you see these guys.
Valley of the Sun was also awesome. Such a stacked bill, but this band was a real standout. Their 2019 album Old Gods on Fuzzorama was strong, but they are even better live. I can’t recommend this band enough!
Truckfighters are one of the best bands in the world, and it’s a shame they aren’t bigger here in America. They write great songs, are incredible performers and have a rabid fanbase. I would say almost half the crowd in the room there to see them, also judging by the copious amount of merch they moved. We hung out with the guys a bit before the show, interviewing the band to catch up. The room was sparse with people for the first few bands, surprising judging by the quality of acts tonight. Truckfighters came on to a swelling room of crazies and the band themselves were hyped. There were some jokes about Valentine’s Day and the love of guitars and beers! Guitarist Dango is the chief instigator and a wild-man of the guitar! He jumped around the cramped stage, and even out into the crowd with his wireless rig for his axe. He shredded solo and generally was a shot of energy. Ozo and Toro also killed these songs. This band plays with so much passion for riffs and the Stoner genre, they really are a treasure. Get on the ball America! See your cool friend with that Truckfighters long sleeve or trucker hat? Ask about this great band get down with them!
The time had come and Church of Misery took the stage. The room was as packed as I have ever seen it. The stage was only covered in dim light while the band set up their gear. I positioned myself right up front, near the speakers. Likely not the best place to keep my hearing, but definitely the right spot if you want to be slain by riffs and have your organs turned to mush, while your brain melts. The lights dimmed and came back on a shade of blood-red. Yatsuo started to riff and the crowd went nuts.
Church of Misery is not so much a band but a force nature. Sure, their style comes from the tired and true book of Iommi and Pike, who came down from the Holy Mountain and the word was good. Like Truckfighters before them, but heavier and with less smiling, Church of Misery blasted away the gray grief of life with crushing riffs, soulful movements, great vocals and some might badass vocals and Theremin work from Hiroyuki. The band was ferocious and the crowd was great, screaming along to every word. Drummer Junichi was tight and founder Tatsu, with his bass slung customarily low, just ruled so hard.
As much as I love The Kingsland to hang out at, most bands sound rough here on the old PA and the typical club/bar lighting arrangement. But for doom, we don’t need hi-fi sound or pretty lights, because we have a wall of bruising sounds to soothe us. It was a triumphant night. These photos came from the sold-out Boston show the next night by Hillarie Jason.
WORDS BY KEITH CHACHKES
PHOTOS BY HILLARIE JASON