Chapel of Disease
Echoes of Light

When it looked like Germany’s Chapel of Disease was calling it a day a few years after their 2018, third album – the very wordy,   …and As We Have Seen the Storm, We Have Embraced the Eye my buddy Graham (Deepsend Records) and I commiserated that this was not fun news.  I have followed the band since their Summoning Black Gods debut album in 2012 dropped, which I reviewed and interviewed the band as well.

Seeing this band’s metamorphosis from a death metal band to then infuse elements of progressive death metal, NWOBHM, and hard rock into their sound, well they no longer resemble the band that released that debut over a decade ago.  Their music fascinates me, and is complex, and when it was announced in 2023 they were nixing the hiatus and were back with a new album.

Laurent Teubl Vocals, Guitars (lead), Bass, Keyboards, Cedric Teub/Guitars (rhythm) David Dankert Drums are back, well kind of sort of.  Cedric was the new addition – the brother of Laurent and welp..I think this lineup, which had been crafting this album, were intent on releasing it…and that is precisely what happened.  However, I am unsure what happened after crafting the album since Laurent is the only remaining member.  Whether he gets session musicians, full time members or packs the band in, once and for all, remains to be seen.  So it would seem the fourth Chapel of Disease album – Echoes of Light, is somewhat of a miracle to have even been released.

With the varying changes in their musical direction, which began on their second album the outstanding The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art, Echoes of Light brings in those influences again and really is a continuation of the last album from 2018.  All the way down to the album cover with no band logo (I’m not a fan of this trend, over the last several years)  6 songs in 42 minutes this album is all about quality and is there ever on this.  The title track, an 8+ minute number, opens up in musical style as the last album did with the emotive guitar melodies and progressive instrumentation.  The drums build up and the jam moments are prevalent especially with the guitar riffing jamming at the 2 minute moment.  A lot of progressive atmosphere and the vocals from Laurent finally come in at the 3 minute mark with his gruff, not overly brutal, vocals, which are still death metally, his thick German accent cutting through.  The music is a progressive form of metal, which is still kind of hard to describe.  I’ve heard the band has leanings towards Sweden’s Tribulation, who for the most part I am unfamiliar with, but maybe I need to check out.  This song picks up the pace, to a gallop with excellent sounding drums and killer double bass and guitar melodies.  The song gets softer, more atmospheric until the 6.35 faster shredding moments take center stage with the guitar solos piped in much higher in the mix and the song gallops along and truly a mesmerizing opening song.

“A Death Though No Loss”, another 8+ minute number opens with an ungodly catchy guitar riff and the song picks up the pace.  Very similar to quick galloping NWOBHM, to the point of it sounding like power metal.  I am loving this beginning, then the vocals come in and the song settles down a bit, then picks up the pace again.  The guitar work, melodies, and riffing are quite extraordinary, and just like their prior 2 albums, emotive and a lot of feeling are being played with these songs.  Halfway in the song takes a hard rock approach in style, or traditional heavy metal for that matter.  We get solos, guitar slides, and monstrous-sounding drums on this song.  Another excellent song.

“Gold / Dust” starts very mellow then the electric kicks in and with very few lyrics, we get a song drenched in emotiveness and clean vocals to boot.  Which really go well with this more of a jam session song, with just fantastical and whimsical guitar melodies and riffing.  Quite catchy and even tinges toward 70’s heavy metal, with this sucker.  “An Ode to the Conqueror” closes out the album and quite honestly I wonder if the song placement was strategic on the band’s part, in the event they knew this to be their swansong.  This song is progressive and with clean and brooding, sad type of vocals.  The moments of metal do not enter, until the end of the song, which is for a very short time and as this beautifully constructed song slowly fades away, one cannot help but wonder is this the end for Chapel of Disease.

Echoes of Light is killer, from start to finish.  From a production and musical standpoint this truly is incredible.  Is this the end of Chapel of Disease?…only time will tell.  What I can tell you is this is in a four-way tie for AOTY for me with the other 3 bands being Morta Skuld, Drown in Sulphur and Exhorder.

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
April 16th, 2024

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