"Dead Rising"

By Dr. Abner Mality

While bands like Orchid and Kadaver get all the ballyhoo, Finland's Church of Void quietly sneak in the backdoor and proceed to level the place. "Dead Rising" is a real sleeper and will find its way back to my CD player many times more than more hyped acts. There is something about this record and band that just sounds right. It's not any more original than the bands mentioned above and their ilk, it's just that the grooving doom here sounds so very natural. It doesn't try super hard to evoke a past age and the result is something that sounds more focused and almost effortless.

To compare Church of Void to the rockier moments of Saint Vitus and Reverend Bizarre would not be far off the mark at all. "Tristess" welcomes us to the service with an elemental doom rock riff performed with no frills or fat. Singer Magus Corvus has got one of those classic doom voices kinda reminiscent of Albert Witchfinder and Christian from Count Raven. This band doesn't overcomplicate things, but pounds out timeless groove. Listen to the cool little number "The Magician" for an example of how to rock out Church of Void style. "Winter Is Coming" is where the Reverend Bizarre feel emerges and the song is simple almost to the point of simple-mindedness, but in these guys' capable hands, it doesn't overstay its welcome.

There is that certain Finnish gloominess, almost bordering on Gothic, permeating the record. "Owls Are Listening", "Entity of Kalypso" and the mid-section of "Son Of A Witch" have a touch that is light but dreary to them. The title track is as somber as a Finnish funeral...before the heavy rock kicks in. The doomiest number, fittingly, is the album closer "Little Child Lost", which is ponderous and sorrowful...until the last minute or two kicks things up to end the album on a high energy note.

"Dead Rising" is an extremely satisfying listen  from a band who leave the hype to big labels and prefer to let their music do the talking. This is one church sermon worth hearing!