I’ve been a big fan of Chapel Of Disease since their 2012 debut album “Summoning Black Gods” and I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing that and their second album, 2015’s amazing “The Mysterious Ways Of Repetitive Art” for one website or another. These Germans have shown a clear progression in their sound over their first two albums but stone me….. as excellent as their first two records were, this album is light-years ahead of them.
On this album the band shows such maturity and display some pretty heavy progressive tendencies which, to be fair, was hinted at on their previous album, that I had to check that there hadn’t been a hefty line-up change. The payoff is immense and I’m pretty sure I can say that this is easily in my top 3 releases of the year.
Now on paper, this shouldn’t really appeal to me. Six songs…… most of them well over seven minutes long and a couple of nine minute plus epics that at first glance had me thinking these Germans could have suddenly become so indulgent that they’ve disappeared up their own arses. Have faith old son!
Kicking off with “Void Of Words” with its super melodic twin guitars that are, not for the last time on this record, reminiscent of Smith / Murray, the song blasts along propelled by David Dankert’s drums with Laurent’s vocals still as harsh as ever. We get a super soulful solo, an acoustic interlude and, at 5m40s it goes all Dire Straits. Trust me on this…. it fits and it’s awesome! This is like a death metal “Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner”. But the lads haven’t blown their load straight away….no ma’am.
“Oblivious Obnoxious Defiant” is next and is more of a “standard” Chapel Of Disease song….. by which I mean it’s excellent ….. and has an almost New Model Army feel to it in parts… honest. Again, trust me.
“Song Of The Gods” begins with an atmospheric acoustic guitar intro and builds into a total banger of a riff! Probably my favourite track on the album this…. no nonsense aggressive heavy fucking metal. Dripping in hooks and melody, the boys knock it clean out the park with this one, especially with the killer solo at 5m10s…..pure Murray!
“Null” slows things down a touch but don’t let that fool you. This song has more layers than an onion and in its 9m21s is a constant source of surprise.
“1000 Different Paths” has another acoustic beginning with some clean folk type vocals and again the band builds the song over its six minutes or so. It’s remarkable that this, the shortest track on the album feels the most “epic”.
Rounding things off is “The Sound Of Shallow Grey” which again, crams so many ideas and textures in its near ten minute run time it boggles the mind. With a lengthy post-punk / Killing Joke feel at some points before wrenching you back to reality with blasts and aggressive riffing.
” … And As We Have Seen The Storm, We Have Embraced The Eye ” marks a significant leap for Chapel Of Disease. This album has effortlessly spring-boarded the lads to the top of the progressive death metal heap and I have zero doubt they will stay there as long as they want to such is the monumental song writing displayed here. Nothing ever sounds forced, nothing thrown in for the sake of it. Whether it’s an acoustic interlude, a mournful solo or a ripping lead, everything has its place and fits perfectly.
Buy this album. You will be happy you did I promise!
(10/10 Mark Eve)