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The Black Gods and the Schoolchild - 90%

Tlacaxipehualiztli, October 16th, 2013

2012 year was a real turning point in Chapel of Disease career. At that time, after four years of rehearsing, they released a debut album called “Summoning Black Gods” (introduced by a demo and 7’’ split with Lifeless). Musically Germans don’t reinvent the wheel, as they offer well-known old-school death metal tunes. During these eight songs, they summoned several gods and visualized them before my senses. Names? The pantheon is easy to describe: Asphyx, old Pestilence, Bolt Thrower, old Grave, old Death. And I want to tell you, this album is a kind of a tribute to this 90-ies direction: these bands are the main inspiration for the Germans. And even if it is totally impossible to count right now all the new bands trying to exhume the old feelings and magic of mentioned glorious bands, but these Germans are definitely worth the trouble.

The album is of full value. The first thing is a really great front cover by Andrei Bouzikov. His awesome job with only three colors fits perfectly to the music and Lovecraft (mostly) inspired lyrics. And even if they are bathed in obvious sounds, this album isn’t a blind imitation of another grey copy-cat: from the first seconds of the opening title track till the last seconds of “The Loved Dead” they show the roots of death. These eight songs are rather simple compositions, yet with own identity and something interesting to offer. The clear (but not sterile!) production helps to hear all the good points of the album. The musicians act in full consciousness while dosing the emotions through the songs: admiration and ecstasy wave naturally with the best moments in “Evocation of the Father” and “The Nameless City” in the middle of the album, and during the last colossus “The Loved Dead”. The album emanates many layers of mystery and grimness (the best example in “The Nameless City”), and I have an impression that the sounds effectively fill my brain cells with an unspeakable horror and choky morbid atmosphere. The band changes the tempo and there is no song maintained in the same speed. And what is more, they didn’t forget about melodic tunes. So, beside aggressive, straightforward riffs, the band created quite memorable sullen moments as well, especially on the end of “Evocation of the Father”, which is probably the best one here… Of course, the melodic layers are used little by little, and they are played with a real class, but the main killing force here are varied portions of riffs and guitar leads in every song. Just take a listen to aforementioned “The Loved Dead” lasting eight minutes, in the Asphyx vein, with almost two minute doom opening! This roll crusher slashed my spine, definitely. Also it is the best track to say something about Laurent vocal devastation, as he is a gifted schoolchild of van Drunen. The vocals don’t bring anything new to the metal world, however they are good supplement to the whole.

So, is it possible to offer an exciting record that uses well-known and popular now (trendy?) patterns? Yes, it is! If you don’t believe, check this album out. But, such a tribute release is meant rather for die-hard old-schools metallers, or am I wrong? Among many old school death metal newcomers, this band definitely seems to be a better kind, bringing the sounds and emotions that I loved many years ago. This murderous crew is like a time machine serving you a journey to the old times, where only real death was reigning. In one interview (Chaos Vault webzine), Laurent confirmed editor words about one Sarcofago “Nightmare” classic song and ripping-off it in the beginning of “Dead Sphere”. Simply, they found this piece a natural riff for their song, and they did it. No bullshit like “man, we didn’t know that”, or “Sarcofago? Yes, but only first LP” and other stupid tales. Thus, the attitude of the band is clear for me: a total dedication and honesty in the music. Then, what do I want more? I’m closing my eyes, the chapel is opening with the first seconds of the title killer, and the black gods are taking a morbid shape: beyond any doubt, this album is a truly impressive piece of metal.