Chapel of Disease [Germany]
The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art
German death metal band Chapel of Disease left me craving for more after their 2012 debut, Summoning Black Gods with the old school flair that they displayed on the record. 3 years on, the band releases their follow up with The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art, and along with that raw, old school and somewhat Swedish-inspired imagery that was presented on the cover artwork of Summoning Black Gods, the band seems to head in a somewhat altered direction this time round, while still retaining the occult and ritualistic imagery.
The first thing that one notices is the change in atmosphere on The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art compared to Summoning Black Gods, where one is treated to an atmosphere that is heavier and more crushing right from opening track The Mysterious Ways. With the ominous mood that lingers throughout the record, one is quickly reminded of bands such as Teitanblood or Grave Miasma and their focus on atmospherics, even more so with the trem-picked assault of Cedric and Laurent.
But as soon as the drums of David comes in, fans of Chapel of Disease are brought back to familiar ground once more. The Dreaming of the Flame quickly sees the band going back to their thrashy roots, and along with the howling vocals of Laurent, one is reminded of the works of bands such as Asphyx or Pestilence. The style presented on Summoning Black Gods is still present, as the band often alternates between high-octane, reckless speed and intense, doom-paced sections to mess with the listener’s mind like on Masquerade in Red.
Each of the members are in top form over here, with the thing that stole the limelight being the twin-guitar attack of Cedric and Laurent. Clean guitars are cleverly used as atmospheric instruments like on Symbolic realms, and tracks like Lord of All Death even shows off the old school, rock ‘n’ roll influences of the band, sure to please the old school fans of Chapel of Disease.
Yet The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art is far from just another clone of Summoning Black Gods.
On The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art, the band has also shown a growth in their songwriting, and throughout the record the band shows off the expanded range of influences that have been put into the writing of the album. In addition to the usage of sound samples to reinforce the atmospherics, the band also often throws in some black metal elements when least expected especially in the dissonant riffs of Cedric and Laurent, reinforcing the ritualistic ambience.
The thing that made Summoning Black Gods such an enjoyable release is Chapel of Disease‘s ability to balance out the faster, thrashy moments with slower, doom-paced ones, with each complementing the other. On The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art, the band has created an even more compelling record with the clever usage of a wide range of elements, resulting in a record that is even more impactful than their debut.
Favourite picks: Lord of All Death, Symbolic Realms