Type: CD Company: Memento Mori Release: 2016 Genre: Death Reviewer: Greg Watson Published: 11/29/2016
Old school Death Metal done right
Texan death metallers Church of Disgust churn out nostalgic, old school death metal with their album "Veneration of Filth". From the outset, you can tell these guys grew up listening to Florida DM and have a great appreciation for it. Vocally, Dustin James has a delivery that melds moments of David Vincent with his own vocal style. His growls and delivery are dripping with evil intentions and malice. There are also three guest vocalists on the album with Tobi Zama of Sewercide appearing on "Ripping Decay", Jamie Stewart of Disevered on "Plague of Punishment" and ex-Morbid Angel/Incubus and Nocturnus AD vocalist David Browning appearing on "Sunken Altar of Dagon".
Musically, James and lead guitarist Joshua Bokemeyer provide some crushing riffs, ridiculous solos and some really impressive guitar playing throughout the album. Take the track "Corpses of Dead Worlds" for example. This track opens up with a riff that could have come straight out of Trey Azagthoth's brain. This then gives way to a super simplistic yet groove heavy riff that is built upon by beefy bass lines and staccato drums. So you take that formula of musical structuring and then add to that really well-crafted lyrics and you have some incredible songs that make this album a killer listen.
While I love every track on this album for one reason or another, there is one that really stuck with me, for personal bias and for the reason that it is the epitome of what makes this band so damn good. That track is "Sunken Altar of Dagon". So, it's no secret that I am a huge H.P. Lovecraft fan and this track starts off with a sound sample from the very underrated Stuart Gordon film "Dagon". While a loose interpretation of Lovecraft's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth", this movie is another notch in Gordon's belt of Lovecraft adaptations...but I digress. After the sound sample ends, this wickedly menacing doom infused riff starts off and drags you through the cosmic slime and miasma before dropping you into a nightmare of which Lovecraft would be proud.
The Morbid Angel sound reaches its maximum on this track, which is no surprise given that Mike Browning is providing the majority of vocals on this one with James coming in at times to lend his great growl. However, what really makes the track a standout is the way the band is able to take you on a musical journey with the way the song is structured. That opening doom makes you feel as though you are about to experience something totally devastating before the heavier riffs melt your idea of reality into stark nothingness. As the track progresses, you are slowly thrust into the cosmic void during the interlude with this really spacey sounding guitar before being brought back to the festering swamps with the return of that wicked doom riff.
I have been thoroughly impressed with "Veneration of Filth" and Church of Disgust from the first listen of this album. And with each subsequent listen, my respect grows into a fondness and admiration for the quality of the album and the reverence that you can tell this band has for a genre that has been one of the mainstays in my metal repertoire. I cannot wait to see what else comes from this band and this album is one of the dark horses of 2016 so far. I haven't listened to an album this consistently since I discovered Zeal and Ardor's "Devil Is Fine". This one is threatening to replace that album in my daily rotation and possibly from my top spot for albums of 2016.
So strap yourselves in my metal family and prepare to enjoy the wild and fantastic ride that is Church of Disgust's "Veneration of Filth"!
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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