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You Dread of Dying but You're the Living Dead - 90%

Twisted_Psychology, May 24th, 2019

One would expect Destroyer of Light to take an even more radical step into experimental territory on their second full-length album, but 2017’s Chamber of Horrors accepts the debut’s template as their stylistic status quo. Tempos have slowed back to a crawl and the atmosphere reaches for the dank, creepy atmosphere that the album’s title implies. But while such a move would suggest regression, this album puts the style through a far more mature lens, resulting in the band’s first fully developed release.

This is perhaps best demonstrated on “The Virgin,” a revision of a song that had previously appeared five years beforehand. This version immediately sets itself apart by means of its extended introduction complete with opening sample as well as the backing vocals that give credence to the satanic sacrificial narrative. The growls may not as deep as before but the cleaner vocals are more haunting, making what were already solid riffs even more memorable.

Of course, the other songs find ways to play with the band’s horror doom formula. “Luxcrusher” lives up to that title as its riffs are packed with extra fuzz and the mid-tempo approach is especially crushing after the three-minute reprieve on the preceding “Twilight Procession.” “Buried Alive” is an astounding closer and one of the band’s strongest numbers to date as its ten-minute runtime is driven by a series of dirge riffs and distraught vocals delivering some surprisingly introspective lyrics.

Destroyer of Light has always been a solid enough doom band, but Chamber of Horrors is where they became something truly noteworthy. It would be easy to say that the album is essentially the debut’s style through the Bizarre Tales lens, but there’s also a sense of pathos that hadn’t been captured before. It also proves that Destroyer of Light is always able to provide a unique glimpse into the traditional doom sound, even if they often approach it from different angles. If you’re not checked the band out before, consider this an open invitation.

Highlights:
“The Virgin”
“Luxcrusher”
“Buried Alive”