The new album from German death metal group Chapel of Disease is certainly an interesting one. While carrying the death metal sound their name would suggest, they smoothly combine it with elements of thrash and seventies rock to create a sound that certainly rips, but without ripping off the classics.
The album opens with an instrumental, a slow menacing riff kicking off the album before punchy drumming barrels forth and high pitched tremolo picked guitars and wah heavy leads come in over the top to give it an occult hard rocking sound, before fading out into the first track proper The Dreaming of the Flame. A filthy death metal sound with a mix of slow dirty chugged riffs and faster tremolo picked thrashy attacks is matched by mostly mid paced drumming, snapping and punching it’s way along throughout, blasting occasionally for greater effect. The vocals are deep, ugly and buried ominously in the mix, but the warm sound of the 70’s inspired lead guitar gives the music a great occult sound throughout. The combination of the dirty evil metal aesthetic and the warm leads and production is different, and certainly enjoyable.
The lead guitar across the album is really interesting and varied, from the fast thrashy shredding,70’s style melodic solos, the wah fuelled extravagances and even the classical guitar on Masquerade in Red, it’s certainily impressive. The occult nature of their sound is no more pronounced than on Symbolic Realms, the intro to which has a warm psychedelic retro-vibe to rival any of the bands playing that style of music, with those power chord based riffs and eerie leads, before ripping into a barrage of fast thrashy riffs, shredding solos and sick screams. The pick of the bunch though is the eight minute Lord of all Death, a chaotic thrashier piece at first, before breaking out into hard rock style chugged riffs and leads. The way the track transitions between brilliant death metal and hard rock brilliance is great, thanks to the barrelling drums and stunning leads throughout.
It’s a really impressive album from the German four piece, a unique sounding death metal album which shows great creativity as well as great talent. Already billed on several German festivals this summer, if they keep releasing stuff as good as this, there’s no reason Chapel of Disease shouldn’t be blowing up on the scene in a big way soon.