Sunday, April 06, 2014

Chapel: Satan's Rock 'n' Roll (2012)

Why is Canada so awesome?

Review by joanismylover, the third metal attorney.

"Why is Canada so awesome?" This is the question I want all three of my children to ask in their teen years so they are less disappointed when we ship them off to the frozen white north for "university." So that we can have a carefree retirement, this U.S. heavy metal citizen intends to leverage his wife's Canadian citizenship to subsidize their children's higher education. We have laid the foundation for this question to be asked by saying outrageous things like, "Kids get free ice cream in Canada." (Long pause). "Whenever they want it." (Turn head, pinky to lip). Perhaps a new way to elicit the question is to let them, in those impressionable teenage years, listen to Chapel's Satan's Rock 'n' Roll.

Chapel hail from Vancouver, eh. - the motorcycle - devil cult - beer bottle busting - black 'n' heavy metal roll - part of Vancouver. This redundantly titled release is ostensibly blackened thrash (check the cover art), but it is really just rock n' roll with much metal trappings. Satan's Rock 'n' Roll is clearly and thoroughly informed by 40 years of heavy metal history. The listener gets everything from Tom Warrior grunts to Slayer wah-wah pedal and whammy bar licks. We get songs like "Motorcult" and "Alcholhocaust" that are a lot better than their names would suggest. Even the band members have heavy metal monikers - my children will be thrilled to hear that people in Canada name their kids "Incinerator," "Devastator," and "Desolator." But mostly we get some heavy metal Motörhead. That may seem redundant but Motörhead has always been a rock 'n' roll band first, a metal band by default.

Regular readers will conclude from these last couple sentences that I will rate this release highly, and they'd be right. But it's not quite off the rails enough to earn masters of alchemy marks. But it's pretty damn good with "Satanist," the title track, and "Hellrazors" standing out. I'm guessing Chapel's put on an incineratingly devasting live show. Perhaps in aboooooout 10 years I can catch one of their shows with my eldest while visiting him at "University" of British Columbia. Then he will know the truth of the question, "Why is Canada so awesome?"

4 out of 5 stars

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