If there’s one subgenre of metal that I’m surprised has yet to really take off, it would have to be black ‘n’ roll. On the surface, this style combines the ever-popular extreme metal vocals with a punk-infused speed metal sound. Drawing its influences from Motorhead and Venom, among others, it really does astound me that few bands other than Midnight have really been well received with this sound. Another contemporary of Midnight’s is Chapel, hailing from Western Canada. Their debut album, “Satan’s Rock ‘n’ Roll”, is a great example of how brilliant this sound can be when it is done well.
As mentioned, the primary inspiration for this album is a cross between Motorhead and Venom, with the vocals of Bathory. The band generally uses a pretty rocking tempo, accompanied by a punk drumbeat (accenting the bass drums between beats, rather than on them). There is plenty of energy, and the playing is pretty loose. That’s not to say the band are poor musicians or that this album is messy, but Chapel’s general sound isn’t conducive to tight playing. Likewise, when a guitar solo erupts, it sounds both spontaneous and erratic. It truly has that Motorhead rock ‘n’ roll feel to it. In terms of the songwriting, “Satan’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” is a mixed bag. The first half of the record is much stronger than the second, and the opening four tracks are the best. Regardless, at 32 minutes, there is just enough of this sound for you not to get bored. The major highlight is “Hell Breaks Loose”, which features some very oldschool riffing that is pretty different from anything else on the album, but it mixes things up in a good way.
“Satan’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” is just one of those albums that reminded me why I like metal. It’s doesn’t take itself too seriously, is a lot of fun, and just rocks out. Even if you prefer cleaner vocal styles, Chapel should have pretty wide appeal as they don’t really play up any of the clichés of extreme metal aside from the vocals (and even those are pretty tame relative to something like Gorgoroth or Burzum).
Be sure to check out and like Chapel on Facebook!
"Rock 'n' Roll From Hell"
"Satan's Rock 'n' Roll"
"Hell Breaks Loose"
4.1/5 or 82%.
Written by Scott