Monday, January 28, 2013

Album Review: Chapel of Disease - "Summoning Black Gods"

We all love death metal. That's a fact. If you don't like death metal, I understand where you're coming from, but you're wrong and I hate you. These past couple years have been fantastic for us death metal enthusiasts, with bands that push the modern sound even further, and bands that do nothing but play Death/ Asphyx/ Morgoth worshipping old school death metal. We hold the '80s and '90s bands we've come to love close to our hearts and it's a damn shame they're not around anymore (Death), or that they're just fucking with their fans by releasing complete atrocities (I'm looking at you, Morbid Angel). Fortunately for us though, we've got a new generation of bands that are bursting forth from the grave to deliver rotten, putrid death metal to our ears, and wouldn't you know it: Chapel of Disease is one of those bands.

Chapel of Disease is a German death metal band formed only back in 2008. It took a while for them to get things rolling, but they managed to pump out their original demo tapes and their first full length Summoning Black Gods in 2012 while signing to FDA Rekotz in between. Chapel of Disease is a band that focuses on what made late '80s death metal so freaking awesome. Catchy riffs, wailing, throaty vocals, and high tempo songs with soul-crushingly slow and doomy bridges. Here, the band is more focused on writing evil sounding, hook-laden songs rather than trying to be the heaviest or most brutal band on the planet.

The guitar riffs sound primal and thrashy, with tons of tremolo picked riffs and crushing power chords ripping their way across your speakers. Guitarists Laurent and Cedric's twin riffing attack uses thick tones, heavy distortion, and lots of chromaticism. It's like Death's Leprosy and Possessed's Seven Churches made sweet, sweet decrepit love and nine months later, out popped Summoning Black Gods. The solos are totally late '80s era inspired too, where small melodic passages are tossed in with chaotic thrash metal shredding to create some seriously addicting stuff. While neither Laurent nor Cedric are this new generation's Chuck Schuldiner (the man is a fuckin' legend), they can still bust out some fretburning, face-melting guitar work when they need to.

Laurent's vocals are probably the biggest throwback to OSDM on this album. Yeah, drummer David can double kick the shit out of his kit and d-beat with the best of them, just like the good old days, but Laurent captures the pre-90s death metal rasp perfectly. Most new-era OSDM vocalists go for Frank Mullen (Suffocation) or Chris Barnes (ex-Cannibal Corpse) style guttural lows, so it's really exciting to not only hear someone deliver these often-neglected mid-to-high pitched growls, but to hear them do it so well.

Production also (as expected) keeps in style with the old school feel of the band and album. Think a cleaner version of Spiritual Healing. Things are still raw and wild, but you can hear all the instruments perfectly, and there is no ear piercing treble or muddy bass to be found anywhere in the mix.

Bomb-Ass Tracks: Summoning Black Gods, Exili's Heritage, The Loved Dead

On a Playlist With: Your uncle's old underground death metal tapes from 1988.

Overall Score


Chapel of Disease is a horrible, filthy monster of a death metal band that looks back to the genre's roots. Summoning Black Gods sounds like it came straight out of 1987, right alongside Severed Survival, Master, and the like. If you've any space in your cold, black, unforgiving heart for another death metal band, make it Chapel of Disease.

You can pick up Summoning Black Gods from FDA Rekotz and Give Praise Records, and you can check out the band's Bookface page here.

That's all for now, folks! Trample the weak, hurdle the dead.


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