Having just reviewed Nominon’s new album The Cleansing, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the task of ripping on another album of ‘worship material’. Whilst extremely proficient in its capability to summon the ancient Swedish gods, the release had ultimately left me cold. Then again, only a chosen few, including masters Repugnant, have ever conjured worthwhile offerings from this over saturated milieu.
So, enter Chapel Of Disease. Another interchangeable moniker, but another interchangeable band? I think Jein… being a super witty German slang for ‘yes and no’.
On the one hand, Chapel Of Disease sound exactly like a band called Chapel Of Disease should, filthy ancient west-Krautern death metal with a darkened aura to die for. How individual or unique we can call it, on the other, is up for question. Let us look at this as a stand-alone product, as the first impressions were certainly overwhelmingly positives. The label F.D.A. Rekotz has displayed an impeccable Riecher (schnoz) for olden DM in the recent years and with CoD the upwards curve seem to further soar.
Hailing from Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia Chapel of Disease consists of thee fourths of the late demo band Infernäl Death, this being the debut full-length from this Kölle-lot. Showcasing what can only be called an essentially German take on DM, outside influence cannot be denied. Thankfully, the occasional deluge of Swedeath- and Sudamerica-worship (‘Dead Spheres’ is a near 1-1 ripoff of Sarcofago’s ‘Nightmare’) CoD really stand their ground, venturing out to create something of their own, within the given barriers.
Now, let us talk production. Oh the production! Completely self-recorded in the Junkyard Studio (well, their rehearsal room anyways) the band overcame a three month ordeal. The ends clearly justify the means, as the result is a monstrous, filthy as fuck DM sound, very unlike to what you hear today. Oh how satisfying for once to hear it done D.I.Y. (a term abused, but most appropriate here).
The easiest (lazy music journalist) comparison to pull here is to Bavaria’s Excoriate. Vocalist Laurent Teubl follows that same (ever-awesome) early DM Lemmy meets Tardy approach. The music has also transcended beyond mere worship, as song-writing has improved significantly. Parallels to Necros Christos and Autopsy (leads) can be drawn as this 8-track beast just keeps on beckoning the listener to descend deeper into its catacombs. Asphyx and Possessed touches are undeniable as well. It’s a record that really opens up to the patient and dedicated listener, and the final pay-off is a worthy one. A brilliant LP… gawd I just wish they left that fucking Sarcofago bit out… admittedly that left a bad impression, and for the only time on this record a sense of ‘are they even serious?’
So here you have it, another great release from Germany. Bursting with a blackened hellish atmosphere throughout, a most perfect sound and songs-writing of the highest calibre… all topped up with a deluge of leads, riffs, vocals & drums in perfect harmony … the harmony of dying.
( 8/10 Miika Virtanen)