Album of the Day: Fister & CHRCH – split


Label: Crown and Throne LTD

A split between two of the most solid, no-bullshit bands in underground doom, containing two tracks and running to almost forty minutes, this is a record for losing yourself within. It offers two different takes on long-form doom, mixing introspection and spaciousness with crushing weight and claustrophobia. As emotionally heavy as it is musically (i.e., very), this split is bloody great, and should not be overlooked.

The track from CHRCH (formerly known as Church), ‘Temples’, picks up where the practically-perfect album Unanswered Hymns left off, mixing spacious moments of reflection with crushingly heavy, soul-searingly cathartic heaviness. The emotional impact is comparable to that of, say, Pallbearer; but musically, CHRCH offer something much more blistering and heavy. They are, without doubt, one of the best doom bands active today.

Fister have a much bigger discography behind them, and are probably the better-known of the two bands here. Their track, ‘The Ditch’, is as bleak and punishing as you’d hope for from them, with a few black and death metal influences seeping in to their sludge sound. There is a mid-section that is relatively spacious, but rather than provide relief, it only heightens the tension for when the heaviness and feeling of being trapped comes back in. Whilst CHRCH offer catharsis, Fister’s music is that of misery and pain, pure and simple.

Split is available on white vinyl via the Crown and Throne LTD Bigcartel page; digitally via Bandcamp; and can be streamed on Spotify.

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