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Warped Cross - Rumbling Chapel

Warped Cross
Rumbling Chapel
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 17 February 2020, 4:37 AM

WARPED CROSS is a German Doom band and “Rumbling Chapel,” is their second full length album.  In 2010, they released their debut EP. I normally don’t comment on lyrics because, ultimately, it is the vocals and music that matter.  Besides, there are a ton of good Metal bands that have terrible lyrics (CHILDREN OF BODOM, anyone?). However, some the lines delivered by vocalist Mike Mehner are so cringe worthy that I feel it would be a disservice not to mention them.

The opening track, “Heart of Stone,” has the following lyrical line: “the work is hard and no one gives a shit.” The second track, “Iron Fix,” has him belting out, “The iron fix is SIX SIX SIX!” I could go on, but you get the idea.  The lyrics might be more tolerable if a better vocalist sang them.  Mike, at times, sounds like a mix between Chuck Billy of TESTAMENT and Pepper from COC.  However, there are some weird vocal moments thrown across the album.

Heart of Stone,” at about halfway through, features some weird clean vocals that ran through some sort of filter that is, I’m assuming, supposed to make the song sound a little psychedelic.  Unfortunately, it just sounds goofy and really pulls the listener out of the song. When he tries to actually sing, such as the track “The Lawfulness of the Administration,” he sounds strained and in pain.  If he had stuck to his Chucl/Pepper style throughout the album, I think the whole album would had been a much easier listen.

It is too bad about the lyrics and vocals because, at times, the band does shine through musically.  The album as a whole is a riff fest and some of them are pretty decent.  “Cold Rain Shiver,” has a nice main riff in the beginning—just enough energy to the Doom to give the song a nice cadence.  But then at about the halfway point, the song switches atmosphere and it turns into a hard rock song that sounds bland and uninspired.  Sadly, much of the album falters just the same with the other songs.

Bite The Wire,” begins strong but towards the end the band switches gears and it just sounds…off.  “Rumbling Chapel,” doesn’t present itself as band who injects variety and change into their sound but rather the uncertainty of a band who wants to do these things but either doesn’t know how or isn’t quite sure they are ready to.

If the album was tighter with a shorter runtime it might be more tolerable.  With eleven tracks and near an hour’s length, it is just too much to take in at once.  If it was seven or eight tracks with about 35 to 40 minutes, I could listen to this a lot easier and, perhaps, see it in a different light. However, as it stands, I have to say this is just a slightly below average album.  Doom, and its myriad forms, is my favorite style of Metal and though it is only February, there are have already been several great Doom albums.  To be added to that list, a band has to really impress me, but I am not feeling it with this one.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 4
Memorability: 4
Production: 4

2 Star Rating

1. Heart of Stone
2. Iron Fix
3. Cold Rain Shiver
4. Bite the Wire
5. Terminate Hate
6. The Lawfulness of the Administration
7. Infinite Fuss
8. Thickets
9. Ride into Fall
10. Over The Sea
11. Mourn Everest
Oliver Muller – Bass
Michael Schaarschmidt – Guitars
Mike Mehner – Vocals
Lennart Hans – Guitar
Record Label: Black Sunset Records


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