The congregants of Lord of Life Fellowship Church near Brian Carnahan's apartment shouldn't worry, at least no more than anybody in this crazy, mixed up world should worry. Churches Burn, the name of Carnahan's sludge-metal trio with Alyssa Osborne and Adam Boehm, is descriptive, not prescriptive.

The congregants of Lord of Life Fellowship Church near Brian Carnahan's apartment shouldn't worry, at least no more than anybody in this crazy, mixed up world should worry. Churches Burn, the name of Carnahan's sludge-metal trio with Alyssa Osborne and Adam Boehm, is descriptive, not prescriptive.

"For me it's never been like a call to action," Carnahan said.

The band, which celebrates its fifth album in four years, "Extraordinary Suns," with two shows at Carabar this weekend, was originally named after MC5's song "Black to Comm." A lawsuit from a German electronic artist by that name necessitated rebranding.

So Carnahan snatched "churches burn" from a letter to his former best friend, who was struggling with heroin at the time. The phrase, Carnahan said, was a reference to Norwegian black metal bands who "actually put up or shut up."

That was five years ago, around the time Carnahan discovered sludge bands like Eyehategod and Buzzov•en and decided to start his first band.

"I didn't want to just copy what was in my record collection," he said. Discovering sludge "was like standing on top of a mountain and seeing an undiscovered valley."

He sought to evolve the genre's glacial tempos and bottomed-out riffage, to make "stoner music for people who aren't stoners."

Debut "Adversary" aimed to damage speakers. "O.H. F.U." tackled fuzzy '80s punk. "Into the Briar Patch" explored dark, bluesy folk.

Now comes "Extraordinary Suns," on which Carnahan voices frustration with U.S. and Mexican drug policy, Columbus police, the lack of local methadone clinics and other horrors of the drug war.

"I just feel like no one else is dealing with it at all," Carnahan said. "You can get heroin delivered like pizza."

The critique comes wrapped in Churches Burn's clearest recordings, courtesy of Mark Parsons at The Tone Shoppe.

"The fuzz and distortion and awfulness are still there," Carnahan said, "it's just a pristine kind of dirt."