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Chapel Of Disease - Echoes Of Light review




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Band: Chapel Of Disease
Album: Echoes Of Light
Style: Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Progressive rock
Release date: February 2024


01. Echoes Of Light
02. A Death Though No Loss
03. Shallow Nights
04. Selenophile
05. Gold / Dust
06. An Ode To The Conqueror

When Chapel Of Disease released ...And As We Have Seen The Storm, We Have Embraced The Eye back in 2018, they caught everyone by surprise. But when a band comes up with one of the most inspired death metal albums of the decade, and, in my opinion, in the history of the genre, expectations are high. And Echoes Of Light had very, very big boots to fill.

Chapel Of Disease took a bold and unexpected turn on their third album. While their previous efforts were rooted in old school death metal, that release found them incorporating prog rock, ‘70s hard rock, and gothic rock components, creating a unique and captivating sound that defied easy categorization, and a few people even characterized it as ‘death metal played by Mark Knopfler’. Unfortunately, in February 2023 the band announced via Laurent T. (vocals, lead guitars, bass, keys) the end of its existence as we knew it, due to the departure of the other two founding members (rhythm guitarist Cedric T. and drummer David D.). What we didn’t know at the time was that this announcement came just after the recording of Echoes Of Light had been concluded.

But enough with the history, let’s talk music. And, right off the bat, I can tell you that Echoes Of Light is branching out to even more diverse sounds compared to its predecessor. Chapel Of Disease smoothly welcome the listener to the new effort with two songs that could have been featured in the previous album. Both the title track and “A Death Though No Loss” feature the soaring melodies and the hooky riffs that made such a big impact on the metal crowd back in 2018. The 3-minute intro of the title track and its whole proggy structure are just too special to be analysed in any review. And right when you think that the band could not possibly top this, they hit you with a ‘song of the year’ contender; “A Death Through No Loss” opens in a blistering guitar-hero way, it has an almost hypnotic break toward its middle, before it gradually builds up and erupts in the form of a blazing “Freebird”-like solo. Divine stuff.

“Shallow Nights”, which follows, is the first song with clean vocals, showcasing the one and only flaw of Echoes Of Light. While the cleans are not terrible, they don’t sound like the gothic, Andrew Eldritch-like ones that were heard on “1.000 Different Paths”; they have a shoegaze-y feel and, quite honestly, they sound weak and flat. Anyway, this song features yet another splendid solo that goes on for one and a half minute, and it is pure eargasm.

In case you haven’t suspected it yet from what I’ve already said, the guitar work of this album is downright phenomenal; there is no other word for it. And I am not just talking about the insane shredding, because that is something that can be found relatively often, as there is a significantly large number of gifted guitar players in metal. But the emotional impact of the lead melodies on this album is unmistakable, and the addicting groove of the guitar riffs is just too marvellous for words. Take, for example, “Selenophile”, the catchiest cut of them all, which is a stupendous dark rocker, very reminiscent of later-era Tribulation. Or the post-rocking “Gold/Dust” and the bluesy/metalgaze-y “An Ode To The Conqueror”, whose guitar-driven intros and outros accentuate the striking imbalance in quality between the guitar playing and the clean vocal delivery. These last two songs leave a lot of hope for the musical future of the band, and the route Chapel Of Disease may be taking.

Being my most anticipated release of 2024, I have now had over thirty listens of Echoes Of Light, and it has been growing on me more and more with each listen. I find it to be a diverse, progressive, and beautiful album that took the non-death metal elements of its predecessor and further expanded them to the point that Chapel Of Disease have nothing much to do with death metal any more. It transcends music genres and, just like its stunning cover art suggests, it introduces rays of light through the darkness, while rocking the hell out of this darkness. In terms of personal preference, and at this point in time, I rate ...And As We Have Seen The Storm, We Have Embraced The Eye higher, solely because the clean vocals on Echoes Of Light leave much to be desired. Nevertheless, in terms of music, song-writing quality, instrumentation, and replayability, this is an album that should make most people’s year-end lists. It will make mine, for sure.

“Dust and flame! Dust and flame!
It is better to burn than to fade away
So let us dance between the lines of what's been told
And break with the old!”





Written on 16.02.2024 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments

Comments: 9   Visited by: 164 users
16.02.2024 - 11:39
Rating: 8
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
Great review.

I was surprised too by how good "...And As We..." was and rated 8 for its worth. I still spin tracks off the record and probably, I'm attached to it because it's my first COD album for intertwining touch of prog rock with solid death metal lining.

Let me check out if it's worth enough to fill the big boots.
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16.02.2024 - 19:31
Tornado Of Souls

Very nice review. I love the album as i did the last one. I enjoy the clean vocals although they definitely can be worked on, i feel like the songs they are writing call for some vocals like this to add variety and fit the more melodic sections.
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17.02.2024 - 12:17
nikarg

Written by Tornado Of Souls on 16.02.2024 at 19:31

Very nice review. I love the album as i did the last one. I enjoy the clean vocals although they definitely can be worked on, i feel like the songs they are writing call for some vocals like this to add variety and fit the more melodic sections.

Thank you. I also think that clean vocals were needed, I just wish they were better. Since they wanted to go for a softer approach, I would have liked vocals like those on Alcest's Shelter.
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17.02.2024 - 12:41
Rating: 9
Auntie Sahar
Drone Empress
Excellent review, Nik! It’s probably shaping up as my AOTY at the moment. It’s still early, but I’d say it’s already a strong contender

Honestly, I was NOT expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. But the fact that the sound is so original, the melodies so catchy, and that the band sound so genuinely happy while they’re doing it… totally won me over. I’ve had about a dozen different riffs from this album stuck in my head over the past week

Big YES by the way to death metal bands gradually dropping the brutals and incorporating more hard rock, prog rock, Gothic, trad heavy, etc elements. Horrendous, Tribulation, and now CoD. Awesome!
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I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go.

~ II. VII
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17.02.2024 - 12:57
nikarg

Written by Auntie Sahar on 17.02.2024 at 12:41

Horrendous, Tribulation, and now CoD. Awesome!

Yeah, totally supporting this shift. May I also suggest Morbus Chron turning into Sweven (in the unlikely case you don't know it)?
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17.02.2024 - 13:16
Rating: 9
Pavel_K

I really enjoyed the review, thank you! I think that people who aren’t familiar with the album will be able to glean a pretty accurate idea of what it sounds like from your write-up.

It occurred to me lately though that, although I totally get and support all the Tribulation comparisons, the band that CoD remind me the most of on this record is none other than Elder. The melodic hard-rock-inspired flowing, jammy guitar work that you described so beautifully definitely gave me a very familiar stoner/psych vibe.
‘Echoes Of Light’ is my favorite release of the year so far, and, as you said, it’s a grower; the more I listen to it, the more I am ready to overlook the imperfect clean vocals
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18.02.2024 - 12:59
nikarg

^ Elder did not come to mind, but it is an interesting reference. It's a band whose music I enjoy, but I cannot stand the vocals.
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07.03.2024 - 03:53
Rating: 8
metalbrat

'death metal played by Mark Knopfler’ - seems to me a perfect definition of the music and I personally liked the (don't know genre)-rockish tracks played by this band. Quite new to me and yet to listen to their last one.

But I do not agree with certain comments on the positivity of the shift of DM bands from brutality to less ferocious materials. Why? They don't like metal anymore?
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In the beginning I was made of clay. Then I bit the apple and they changed me to metal 🤘
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11.03.2024 - 17:54
Rating: 9
MetalManic

No complaints of the clean vocals featured on this one. They give a bit of a late 90s dying summer vibe, which certainly paired will with the guitar tones. They didn't need to be too precious over them, and I am glad that they made an appearance in this fashion.
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