"The origins of this song go back to 1992. At the time, I was singing in a band called Forgotten. The band only lasted a few months and never released anything. We mainly played covers of bands like Danzig, Celtic Frost and Massacre. We did have the intention to write original material as well, though, so I wrote some lyrics for the band.
At the time, I had several prints of works by H.R. Giger on my walls and one night I poured myself some vodka and simply sat in front of my favourite of his works, 'The Spell II' from 1974. Staring at and immersing myself in the painting, it didn't take long before lyrics came to me. I wrote them down on my typewriter and simply called the song 'The Spell'.
The original version released on 'The Book Of The Heretic'When nothing came of Forgotten, I forgot about the lyrics I had written for the band for a while until I found them again a few years later, somewhere in the summer of 1995, while I was working on material that would become 'The Book Of The Heretic'. I had a few musical ideas that I figured would fit very well with these lyrics and before long the song was written. I did change the title to something I felt was more fitting than the rather generic 'The Spell'. At first the song became 'Into The Chapel Of Doom' but I eventually shortened that to just 'Chapel Of Doom'.
The original lyrics, typewritten in 1992
When 'The Book Of The Heretic' was released in 1996, reactions to 'Chapel Of Doom' were very positive. Playing the song live was something that never came up at the time, though, since it is not really an easy song to play and also because we didn't have live keyboards at the time so it was more or lees impossible to do anyway.
We never forgot about the song, though and when we picked a few more old songs to record anew for the 'Sermons Of The Infidel' compilation in 2014, it didn't take us long to decide to include 'Chapel Of Doom'. The new version turned out pretty decently, with a slightly more compact arrangement than the original version and of course a much better sound as well as an excellent guitar solo.
The 2014 version released on 'Sermons Of The Infidel'
A few years later again, after we had played at the 'Odium Nostrum' festival in Utrecht, we were hanging out backstage and while having a few beers we were discussing possible songs to add to the live set. When 'Chapel Of Doom' was mentioned, we all quickly agreed it was worth a shot to try to play it live. So we started rehearsing it and when that went to our satisfaction, we played it live for the first time at the 'Tampere Black Mass' in October 2016. Since we were pleased with the way the song works live and the audience response to the song was great, we also played it during the 'Fires Of Destiny Over Europe' shows in 2017."
'Chapel Of Doom' live in 2017 (at 14:25)