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Few weeks ago I was lucky to purchase a copy of killer split 7”EP of two German death metal bands: Lifeless and Chapel of Disease. On that particular release I liked Lifeless music slightly more, their song was just amazingly good, but Chapel of Disease – who at that time was announcing the release of the debut album – also caught my attention, so I knew that I’ll have to check their first LP, as soon as it’s released. “Summoning Black Gods” has already been released and it’s an album, which I was listening to A LOT (REALLY! ) for the past two or three weeks. My hunch was right – this is damn amazing LP!
Once I've listened to “Summoning Black Gods” for the first time I was just blown away by this extremely great and crushing music. It seems like Chapel of Disease took some of my favourite albums from the early 90’s and compiling them together just recorded something very similar. Yeah, I know that it’s still just a copy, which will probably never get the same cult status as the originals and many will say that they don’t see a point in listening to something like this as they will always prefer the old stuff more. But think twice, when you say so, because really (REALLY) Chapel of Disease composed a number of awesome songs. I love the riffing, that dark and obscure, sinister atmosphere of their music and honestly I can say that I just cannot see anything what would be done wrong on “Summoning Black Gods”. OK, there’s one thing, which I don’t like here, I’ll mention that later, but it’s just a minor thing, so it definitely did not spoil the listening and I can really say that together with Coffin Texts’ amazing “The Tomb of Infinite Ritual”, “Summoning Black Gods” is my favourite album of the recent months and definitely one of the best ones of the whole year.
When I was a kid I loved Pestilence and early Death. I still do of corpse, but back then Mamelli’s band was my very favourite band of all. Nowadays I don’t have something like favourite band, because there’re too many of them and instead I have something like favourite 179 or something bands, hehe. But to this day I love the feeling, when I play the early Pestilence and early Death. I mention this, because “Summoning Black Gods” reminds me this feeling a lot. Chapel of Disease style is sort of combination of the “Malleus Maleficarum” and “Consuming Impulse” combined together with some very old Asphyx (“The Rack”), Death’s “Scream Bloody Gore” and “Leprosy”, Sarcofago's “Rotting” and with few more albums and bands, like Possessed’s “Seven Churches”, Massacra and Entombed from their “Left Hand Path” masterpiece. I love the production of “Summoning Black Gods” as it actually is as harsh and energetic as that early Pestilence, Death and Sarcofago LPs (listen to that fantastic guitar tone!) – I seriously think that while most of the current bands want to sound either like Incantation or some Swedish bands from Sunlight, Chapel of Disease along with Horrendous for instance went for something different and that makes their albums more special. Another thing, which I like are Laurent Teubl's vocals… Man, doesn't he sound like Martin van Drunen, but Martin from 20 years ago? There’s very similar expression of his voice, both spit their lungs out when screaming like possessed… but how great it sounds! Fuckin' excellent.
Basically all songs from “Summoning Black Gods” are excellent and I really don’t wish for anything more, when I listen to this album, so perfectly it sounds to my ears. There’s everything I like… A killer archaic death metal, which has almost some harsh thrash metal influence – check! Just listen to “Hymns of the New Land“, a great tribute to old Death and Pestilence. Crushing, dark and obscure slow, doomy riffing? Check, there’s song called “The Loved Dead”, which definitely belongs to my favourite tracks from the album. It is beautifully epic, dark and obscure and sounds very much in the vein of the early Asphyx! And the same can be said about “Evocation of the Father”. Some very fast death metal, which is able to break the walls and crush your skulls? Fuck, of course there’s a lot of that also! “Summoning Black Gods” has everything I love about the old styled death metal and all the songs are amazing.
I said that I have only one complain on this album. Yes, it is not huge, but one, which always comes to my mind, when I listen to “Summoning Black Gods”. A song called “Dead Spheres”… a good one, if you ask me, but why the hell did they decide to clearly RIP OFF this amazing old Sarcofago song called “Nightmare”???? This similarity is so obvious that it cannot be called an inspiration, as really what Chapel of Disease did in that opening fragment of this track is almost a complete copy, a rip off of “Nightmare”. At first I hoped it will just be that first riff and then they’ll change it, but even the part, which follows it, sounds very similar… Oh come on guys! You shouldn't have done that! I’m not accusing the band for deliberate stealing of Sarcofago’s riffs, maybe they have done it unintentionally, but the effect is clear and it really pisses me off. What’s more, even the guitar tone on that fragment sounds like production of the “Rotting” album. It’s good that Chapel of Disease after a couple of minutes takes the song into a different direction and luckily they didn't include a similar chorus like in “Nightmare”, but this feeling of going a step too far in imitating the old death metal albums is always there, when I listen to “Dead Spheres”. Something like this only will assure people, who say that all those new old styled death metal bands do nothing more, but steal the riffs, instead of making something own. I was never saying that so far and I’m not gonna say that about Chapel of Disease also, but in this particular fragment they definitely went a bit too far. Luckily, the rest of the album is just a fuckin' crusher, I have no doubt it will become a classic release of the current wave of old school death metal. A real must have in your collection!
Standout tracks: “The Loved Dead”, “Summoning Black Gods”, “Evocation of the Father” and all the rest!