"Hymnals of the Lastdays" (Bethany Records)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Chapleblaque play gothic, sometimes dreamy, mid-paced atmospheric black metal that proves that the U.S. is capable of producing compelling art in the dark side of music.

Chapelblaque's slower parts reminded me of Ancient while the fast parts have a raven-like timbre of power-metal's chugga-chugga riffing. While the songs are not particularly short, they don't drone on forever either. Each song features stellar instrumental breaks where the guitars weave an intoxicating mix amidst the keyboards.

The versatility of Chapelblaque is evidenced in the variety of riffing and moods established across the ten tracks. The heavy groove of "In Sickness And In Hell..." has sharp teeth while the gentle caress of "High Cost Of Living" will echo in the mind for weeks. "The Festival Of Grief" will minister to your dark side as the instrumental "Through Seasons And Centuries" takes the listener on a Middle Eastern influenced  journey with neat percussive twists. The somber "Mattheu" dredges up childhood nightmares in devastating fashion and "MunsterLand" crushes everything in its path with alternating elegance and quick passages. 

"Hymnals Of The Lastdays" is a very impressive release; fans of the gothic black metal genre will be pleased with this disc. 

"Hymnals Of The Lastdays" was produced by Mike Bossier (FOG). 

The Clergy of Chapelblaque are Tahmn on vocals and poetic rants and Cypher on guitar, programming, and death vocals. The Perish include contributors Teena, Jenna, and Jonathan. Other thespians include Eric Schaffer, Shannon, John Childs (FOG), and Mike. 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2000 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Dec 2018 12:03:10 -0500.