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Upon reading a few blurbs on various boards about Germany’s Chapel of Disease and hearing one small sample I was impressed enough to order my own cassette demo (limited to 166), and it has been a well-invested $6 purchase.
Chapel of Disease is raw and ugly, like early Death with a bit more polished edges, but don’t let the word ‘polish’ deter you; these guys pound it out old school with a tenacious energy that is criminally lost in a mire of mud and over-production in this modern age. The breathy vocals ala Chuck Schuldiner or early Cavalera is what initially pulled me into this band because, let’s face it, that pre-guttural art form has been all but lost. “Summoning Black Gods” rips the gate right off its hinges and throws it two blocks away with a plundering guitar riff throughout. I wouldn’t say CoD sounds Floridian, yet I wouldn’t classify them as Swedish in sound either. What they do retain is that classic German sound ala Immortalis. I like the overall dim and solemnity assigned to the music, and I’m guessing it was an effortless process. The thinly-thick sound is an absolutely perfect mix of both eras. I enjoy a band that can slow things to powerful crawl over barbed wire and speed through the razor wire all in one effort. Also being a dated fan of enunciated vocalization I really dig the singing style of clarity-within-rasp.
What we have with CoD is a myriad of early death metal hellishness that drives a steel spike into your cranium at a speed casually dictated by the band. “The Loved Dead” is about as close to the late 80’s movement as it gets without total imitation; Chapel has a fantastic aura of volatility and a genuine essence of strife and brutality that proves you don’t need to swim in mud to come out dirty and ugly.
(Originally written for www.metalpsalter.com)