Genre: Death Metal / Progressive Rock
Label: Van Records
Every now and then there seems to be a general shift in certain genres, or in certain scenes. New ideas are tried, seemingly uncombinable elements are implemented in otherwise orthodox corpuses and reshape the strict form of a particular branch of the big tree that heavy metal is. In the last few years, a small but very strong part of the German death/black metal scene is showing signs of firm experimentation. Ketzer and The Ruins Of Beverast are for example some of those bands that are in the forefront of that movement.
Chapel Of Disease was another straight on death metal act as their previous two albums “Summoning Black Gods” (2012) and “The Mysterious Ways of Repetitive Art” (2015) were showcasing. With “And as we have seen the storm, we have embraced the eye…” they went deep into the realm of progression in its broader sense, challenging their fans and opening the gates for new ones to come. It is not a complete and radical makeover, but a very strong rearrangement of their identity adding a whole new aspect in their sound. If the inclusion of stripped down rock parts with such a clean tone that brings to mind even Dire Straits sounds like a sacrilege to your death metal, then you are not ready for this record. CoD manage to do that with grace without sounding like a patchwork of random influences. On the contrary, they made their compositions more mysterious, grandiose, melodic, epic and the stretched length of almost all of the songs in the album is justified to the last second. Neither did they leave behind their aggressive side, as they switch from beautiful solos to death metal outbrakes all throughout the record and especially in “Oblivious – Obnoxious – Defiant” and the closing “The Sound Of Shallow Grey”. There are also some obvious Fields Of The Nephilim influences in the vocals of “1.000 Different Paths” and the beautiful inlay of the record with the characteristic symbol. Also “Null” has a small passage that brings in mind Rotting Chirst of the “Triarchy…” era. These are just some associative similarities that ran through my mind about an album that despite its vast range of sounds manages to remain solid and meaningful all throughout. The music it contains is laid upon smart and catchy lyrics and is served with a mesmerizing painted cover by Sami Ketola, known for his work in extreme music from the 90s Opeth logo to the latest Dead Congregation cover.
CoD seem to be on top of their game and this album transformed them from a very good death metal act to a band that transcended genres and boundaries and actually created the path that they are marching on. “And as we have seen the storm, we have embraced the eye…”made the top of my list for 2018 for its bravery, innovation and superb delivery. Pure excellence.