Hymnals of the Lastdays
Sometimes I get sent CDs to review that I am certain must be a joke. Either it’s a joke band, or a fake cover, or maybe just a prank pulled by my bosses to send me the most god-awful cheesy-looking garbage to test my devotion to the metal and (only sometimes) goth genres.
Exhibit A: Chapelblaque. Dubious song/album title grammar, grainy CD cover design, “spooky” fonts, laughable band photos, and bad pseudonyms (the singer is “Tahmn”), it’s all here. But guess what? I LIKED IT! I enjoyed this more than the Nels Cline/Gregg Bendian record. First I warmed up to the GWAR meets Genitorturers meets Cradle of Filth imagery, and then the music settled all of my doubts. This one is all in the music baby! Chapelblaque is like Marilyn Manson if Manson wasn’t so fucking dumb and/or if M.M. could write songs. Chapelblaque explore black metal, death metal, doom goth, shock-rock, and even some Dead Can Dance medieval structures all without sounding contrived. First track, “Cypher’s Gift,” is enjoyable, Cradle-esque bombast black death. The next three tracks are excellent dirge rock that has enough of a drama metal feel to it to piss all over their peers. The biggest departure from form, “Through Seasons and Centuries,” is a subtle (!!) instrumental that could almost be a DCD cover. “In Sickness and In Hell…” attempts what I can only call a fusion between Skinny Puppy and Napalm Death. A+ for effort. The album closes with four more brutal but progressive numbers, and I am left a happy camper.
The back of the CD reads “…to be continued!” I can only hope.
Chapelblaque, 28 Fox Brier Ln, Baltimore, MD 21236-5007