Crypt Sermon_Out of Garden2015 is still in its embryonic stages, but we may already have the doom album ov the year in our dirty, peasant hands. Little heralded Crypt Sermon‘s debut Out of the Garden is a veritable treasure trove of classic doom moments guaranteed to take the listener back to the good old days of the genre, before there were such things as “retro” or “occult” doom. Sounding like a merger of classic Candlemass with vintage Solitude Aeturnus, they certainly know what side their doom bread is buttered on and they milk their influences for all they’re worth over the course of the album’s modest runtime. Delivering seven cuts of high quality, engaging and non-tedious doom is no easy feat, especially for such a young band, but Crypt Sermon pulled it off with style and in the process, took me quite by surprise.

The surprise doesn’t come from the band’s style itself, which borrows extensively from early Candlemass albums like Nightfall and Ancient Dreams. Instead, it comes from how adroit they are at creating a foundation of heavy, Sabbath-flavored riffs that allow vocalist Brooks Wilson to lead the charge. As opener “Temple Doors” gets it’s girth moving forward like a ponderous stone golem, the meaty, epic-infused riffs pave the way for Wilson’s powerful mid-range, which sounds uncannily like Rob Lowe of Solitude Aeturnus mixed with Dio, and you certainly can’t argue with that combination. He has a commanding presence and when teamed with well-conceived, moody doom riffs, good things surely happen. The song is classy and full of little touches that make it a doom gem, like Wilson borrowing Dio’s classic “fool, fool” line from “Heaven and Hell.”

With the table well set, the band runs through a succession of powerful and memorable mid-tempo doom cuts like the burly, stomping “Heavy Riders” which conjures images of elephants marching inexorably into battle. The song succeeds by balancing traditional doom pacing with up-tempo moments verging on chunky thrash. On top of that it plies the listener with a great old school atmosphere – the kind that seems to have been lost since the classic doom records of the 80s. “Byzantium” shakes things up by mixing subtle Middle Eastern melodies with an Atlantean Kodex-esque epic vibe and a strong Solitude Aeturnus influence and the results grind and rumble with dignity and class.

Crypt Sermon_2015Also of note is the regal power of “Into the Holy of the Hollies,” where Wilson stretches his vocals for some very Dio-like moments of melodic, ear-catching awesome sauce. The standout may be the odd, somewhat morbid “The Master’s Bouquet,” which has a bit of a “Stargazer” feel, but goes darker. Wilson’s vocals feel more gripping and raw here and channel a lot of emotion along with a vague sense of malice and the effect is compelling

There are no weak songs and the pacing, along with the economical 42 minute runtime, work to ensure the album never feels overlong or dull. The production isn’t the most dynamic out there, but it isn’t the kind of mix that pushes the listener away or causes ear fatigue. The guitars are heavy and loom large, the drums sound great, and the overall presentation reminds me of  CandlemassEpicus Doomicus Metallicus, which is a real compliment.

Obviously I dig Wilson’s vocals in a major way, and he effectively plays the role of “Doom God” Rob Lowe here, which is the type of Rob Lowe you should try to be like. He has that perfect sound and delivery for old school doom and shines on every song. Steve Jansson and James Lipczynski do a rock solid job crafting classy doom riffs loaded with emotion, as well as appropriately glum but melodious solos (the one at 3:50 on “The Master’s Bouquet” is a humdinger). The whole band is on their game here, and it’s clear they have a deep love of the classic doom era and have taken great pains to recreate it on their own terms, while being faithful to the titans that walked before them.

Crypt Sermon is the real deal, folks, and Out of the Garden is a cornucopia of memorable doom metal, as fresh as doom gets (which isn’t very, but still). If you only hear one sermon this year, make it this one, you godless heathens. It’s just so damn crypt-y!


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 256 kbps mp3
Label: Dark Descent Records
Websites: cryptsermon.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/CryptSermon
Release Dates: Out Worldwide 02.24.2015

Share →
  • Grymm

    “Byzantium” is my current Song of the Year.

    Such a sold album.

  • Jón Aldará

    Sounds pretty damn rocking. Old school doom is a tough genre in which to make something that sticks out, but this sounds like one of those rare instances where there is a stir in the mire.

  • Ocajian

    Doom be massive!

  • Feytalist

    Love me some doom.

    Yeah, this is solid. Sometimes you just need to go back to the basic, no-frills music. And the vocals are just perfect, and fits the stripped-back riffs so well.

    Almost can’t believe this is a debut.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Love that guitar tone.

  • El_Cuervo

    I’ll have to give this a spin or seven, sounds right up my street.

    In other news, I had no idea Rob Lowe was so talented. Metal voice and exploiter of feeble public access cable shows.

  • Before I openened this review, I saw the album cover and thought, wow, that looks a lot like the album cover to Candlemass’s Ancient Dreams! :) I can’t wait to give this a good listen!

    • Like a cheesy van painting version.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Could be the cover for a Days of Wonder board game.

  • Kevin Dillon

    I’m so glad that more bands are starting to embrace color in their artwork, as cheesy as cover is. Now only if they can actually make merch that’s wearable without it looking like it’s for a 14 year old with “mad at my dad” angst.

  • Tentacles

    Hi! Long time listener, first time caller, here. This blog is single handedly responsible for getting me into metal at an age when I ought to know better. Thank you!

    Based on the video track I will be buying this one. Seems like 2015 is turning up some pretty awesome debuts from bands with a variety of traditional, old school styles – Visigoth, Aktor and now this.

    • Welcome aboard! As the token old dude here, let me just say it’s never too late to love metal. Just don’t lift metal after the age of 45 or you’ll kill your back.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Howdy Tentacles. The more the merrier. Tell your neighbors, tell your friends: don’t be dumb, be a smarty, come and join the AMG party!

      Don’t worry about age. Shift happens. Visigoth is one of my favourites too.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    These guys are so full of the milk of human Doomness they practically moo.

    • basenjibrian

      Can I upvote this comment? !!!

  • Norfair Legend

    Gives me that excitement back when Pallbearer released, except I think I like this a whole lot more.

  • FutureBeyondSatan

    Sound like the little brother to a Krux and Sahg collaboration. Count me in!

  • Excentric_1307

    I bought this album upon first listen via Bandcamp. It’s so good! Your review was very accurate and entertaining, as always. I’m tempted to buy the vinyl, which is a very reasonable price right now.

    • De2013

      They even have tape! (Why is completely beyond me however.)

  • Dan

    Excelent review as always but overrated from my point of view. I feel a bit disapointed as your review really made me want to listen to this. Maybe it’s because last week I went through Solitude’ s catalogue a few times and it’s hard to match that. I can understand why the band is good but It just didn’t catch me . I’ll give it a few more tries, but for the moment it’s a 2,5 for me.

  • Wilhelm

    As much as I like epic doom, I find this song only a bit above average. I think with both Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus, what really stood out was their sense of dramatic shifts, the shades of impending doom and darkness…This just sounds like somebody covering their material (anyone else hear at the gallows end in here?) The singer is also a bit overrated in the review – maybe some other songs will prove more fruitful.

    • Listen the whole album before deciding he’s overrated.

      • Wilhelm

        Will do

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      His voice has great character IMO

  • ALVUM OV THE YEAR

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      This and Desolate Shrine are my favourite releases so far this year

  • sui

    Not familiar with the referenced bands (join the party late), but this sounds awesome.

  • euthanatos

    I’d buy a shirt

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    An excellent review Senior Druhm! I agree heartily, and would add that this is an ‘excellent’ release. I really appreciated the immediate appeal of this album, songs like “Into the holly of…” get you on board and pumping your fist within the first few bars like they are old favourites. The atmospheric and ‘excellent’ cover art has me motivated to pick this up on vinyl as well.

    It could be that I’m overly generous by nature but I’d say this was closer to ‘excellent’ than ‘great’…:)

    BTW the band camp link above is to their demo not the album…which at $7 bucks is killer value…

  • De2013

    This will be on my year list.

  • Luke_22

    This sounds pretty killer. Aside from a handful of bands, including Solitude Aeturnus, I don’t listen to a lot of old school doom, but this sounds like a keeper. Cool to see the ever reliable Dark Descent delving outside their comfort zone.

  • De2013

    This is really exciting stuff!

    Somehow reminds me a bit of W.A.S.P.

  • antitayyip

    Abstract – When Men Cry

  • antitayyip

    you probably have no idea who Senmuth is….