Crypt Sermon- Out of the Garden (Dark Descent)

Doom to the naysayers.
Release Date: 
23 Feb 2015 - 11:30pm

DOOOOOOOOOM! That is the keyword you’re recommended to punch in to whatever search engine you use if you want to look up the debut album of Pennsylvania 5-piece Crypt Sermon. Yes, it’s another retro-minded collection of whippersnappers that are hell-bent on worshipping at the altar of the almighty riff. And with a set of songs that are as gnarly as something that has crawled out of the crypts by which this band takes it’s name, there is sure to be trouble. That’s Trouble with a capital T, folks.

The first thing about Crypt Sermon that you’re likely to notice, is that thankfully these guys aren’t just straight up ripping off Black Sabbath. Yes, this is familiar territory we’re treading here, but there is such a self-evident level of warmth in the material that it’s impossible to look at this album cynically (well, for this writer at least, the Internet will never be satisfied). This warmth evinces itself with all the little nuances laced throughout the record that pay tribute to the old gods. To me, this mostly equals a heavenly mix of classic Candlemass and vintage Trouble. However, there are also nods to Pentagram and more obscure acts like Solitude Aeturnus and even more modern ones like Atlantean Kodex.

Whilst the tone of the album sticks to the much more slow-paced and epic vibes of early Candlemass, there is an almost Iommi-like ability to conjure up amazing riffs like it’s nothing. For example on Will of the Ancient Call, the riffs manage to stay consistently engaging despite it’s glacial plod and at 3:20 there’s even a classic Sabbath tempo change to make sure that the class is listening before launching into a restrained and tasty solo. Elsewhere, Heavy Riders picks up the pace with an up-tempo attack that just screams Psalm 9 era Trouble. Other songs such as Byzantium incorporate Middle Eastern influences while Into the Holy of Holies has some tasteful acoustic moments.

For such a young band to have such a masterful grasp on their craft is truly inspiring. The songs on Out of the Garden are wonderfully put together, and at about 42 minutes long, the record knows just how long to stay around and leave us wanting for more. This is easily going to be one of the doom records to beat this year. A fresh breath of crypt air.