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Ebullient Defilement - 89%

Five_Nails, July 11th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2018, Digital, Ván Records (Bandcamp)

An album that gorgeously lives up to its lofty verbiage, elaborating on its enchanting wording with such flow and flourish that it truly deserves its importunities while also demonstrating the grandest of lessons to look before you leap, Chapel of Disease's tertiary treatise, '. . . and as We Have Seen the Storm, We Have Embraced the Eye', is a daunting death metal display. Hearing the name Chapel of Disease immediately conjures thoughts of churning minimalist progressions with sickening gutturals and few breaths between blast beats, but this vision behind such a name is as vibrant and worthy of the juxtaposition of the life behind its music as Death was throughout its groundbreaking evolution. Chapel of Disease is not out to define death metal but to elaborate on the glorious vision that has so long been yearned for in the minds of every fan of Schuldiner's metamorphosis and in only six tracks has set its own standard for the progress that must make death metal ring true to its numerous counterparts while simultaneously striving to show itself as a worthy weapon in any metal fan's arsenal.

Taking its tension to a height, “Oblivious/ Obnoxious/ Defiant” rises to howling apogee with wailing harmony and flighty flourishes before it is driven down by rhythm guitar and a spray of double bass in a satisfying and showy display of songwriting acumen. Bringing this album to life with that descending bassy guitar tone so prevalent in progressive and death metal, gears shift into the destructive momentum of twanging riffs that churn and grumble above the frosty snare. Rising to the fore comes a wailing arpeggio joined by the tremolos of a chilling rhythm in drastic harmony. Nuanced in all its elaborations on such deliciously devious design, Chapel of Disease shows itself playing more an arena version of this dingy noise and flourishing almost too well on its bridges to warrant the glory of its soloing. Veering too close to Crüe in some spaces and quickly marking that step with another mind-blowing transition, brothers Cedric and Laurent Tebul bring their guitars to the calamitous edge with just enough familiarity to satisfy a longstanding metal fan while also ramping up the required complexity to show itself soaring above many a modern outfit.

A more eclectic and esoteric take on the groundwork laid by Morbid Angel, Chapel of Disease is more than a blend of two legendary song titles (“Chapel of Ghouls” and “Angel of Disease”) but brings incredible substance to such a sorrowful and hopeless location with such beautiful and elegant, detailed and intricate music to contrast the syllables comprising this young outfit's nauseating name. While the band is relatively new, having only been formed in 2008 and released its first demo in 2012, its members show a wide-ranging zeal that keeps its twanging guitars in a rocking comfort zone and apparently morphing into anthems at a moment's notice. Burly bass blazes through the register of “Null” as a blur of blistering guitars roll through their rounds accentuating a speed and flourish to this simultaneously smooth and brash sound with ease. A band occupied with making long and winding death metal epics really shows off the magnanimity of metal with production that accentuates the lush vibrant expanse that these numerous notes populate. Yet the album is readily accessible and as much an enjoyable casual listen as it is an immersive experience.

Gleefully shattering expectations and jubilantly bending its bows until near breaking, this album is truly an exhilarating experience as tremolos rise above the catchy rhythm guitar in “Song of the Gods” to an intoxicating apex. Rapping pedals from below and swaths of flower stretching across the top remind you that this isn't your run of the mill death metal brutalization. Instead Chapel of Disease is glory gleaned from the Schuldiner school of progressing death metal towards a nuanced result that employs its viciousness as an enhancement to its brilliant design rather than as the consequence of daring to enjoy a structure too long. The spray of resonance in “The Sound of Shallow Gray” is as imposing as it is inspiring. With strings peeling back the air as though ripping into one's psyche and performing a lobotomy, this song is universal metal health making majestic mankind's memory.

Much like its wordless cover, a billowing storm glistening with streaks of sunshine looms over Chapel of Disease's music, as though perforated by outside influence in spite of its heaving pressurization. Discontented with the singularity of simply punishing the listener but bringing the ambiguity and versatility necessary to highlight the virtuosity available to such extreme esoteric forms, this Cologne quartet shows just how fun and nuanced death metal can be as the swamps it trudges through proliferate swaths of colorful life in every nook and cranny. Throughout these forty-seven minutes, plenty of guitar power and little in the way of camp show off a band that plays well with its great variety, atmosphere, and techniques without going overboard on its creativity and losing its audience halfway through a song. Bouncing around some familiar rock formations while still managing some rapacious raging rhythms, '. . . and as We Have Seen the Storm, We Have Embraced the Eye' is a love letter to the eccentricities of metal gleaming in the eyes of the gods of rock and roll.