Crypt Rot – An Ancient Summoning Review

Not all bands have lofty goals—such is the case for many in the slam zone. At the very least, though, slam bands attempt to humor their audience with band and album names that snag the eyes and knot the gut in the slow-moving sump of the “bring the riff back but slower” crowd. I myself have gawked at such names like Goresoaked Collection Of Slam Killed Craniums1 or Indomitable Worldwide Slamdemic (Invirulent) this year hoping to get a hit of that sweet, sweet slam crank. Unfortunately, great names do not always deliver. And even more unfortunately, Crypt Rot has a name generated by two death metal naming dice—don’t confuse these troglodytes with the other active Crypt Rot2 who doesn’t slam. With a name so basic, can An Ancient Summoning service better than the seasonal blumpkin spice latte?

Thankfully, despite these Brits’ failure to imbue their moniker with either pun, gore, or hyperbole, they have managed to capture the frothing groove of an early Dying Fetus sans any of the neoclassical intrusions. As such, An Ancient Summoning awakens all the pit-friendly feelings you could ask for from this lowbrow art, including hosting a snare whose clanging force continually rolls my eyes back into my head (I’ll take a dozen of the first 3 hits of “One Thousand Serpent Tongues” please and thank you). Again, while hosting some exaggeration, the song titles themselves, though not quite afterthoughts, do not inspire deeply the squirt and squirm that so frequently defines this space—drummer Justin Wallisch wasted all the good surprises on his EP The Fuckening with Severed Headshop from earlier this year. But with the way “The Work of Worms” kicks down the gate, you won’t be thinking about that misstep for long.

Where other C-tier acts may try to mask their lack of songwriting abilities in clickbait titling schemes, Crypt Rot simply allows their riff and rumble to shine in spite of these tropes. While the titular track opens with the most obvious slam drag in town—seriously, try and listen without SHOWING ME THOSE HAMMERS—after the first pass through verse and unintelligible chorus, axeman Tom Hughes rips a wild wah’d out trem to keep his future slam passes slammin’. When slam is all push an no pull, it can lose its charm, which is why Hughes also makes sure to tear ass with a couple of serrated solo efforts on “One Thousand Serpent Tonges” and  “Diabolically Reborn”3 recalling the elevated pummel of Organectomy. The air can get musty in slam town, so all Hughes’ tricks, from staccato deathgrind drills (“Pestilential Vortex”) to syncopated shuffle bumps (“A Pit of Snakes”) keep a fair enough flow of decrepit gasses.

In a strange twist of fate—the kind that only these garishly grotesque genres can provide—the dearth of slamples and schticky handles hurts the overall memorability of An Ancient Summoning. Crypt Rot tries to leave its stain on the scene by, well, roping in the scene. And what a stain the guest spot from Larry Wang (Gorepot, Lesbian Tribbing Squirt, the list is endless…) on “Diabollicaly Reborn” splatters, his gleeful guttural chirps building to a full mutilated cricket symphony by the final bars of the closing track. Floor van Kuijk (Sijjeel, Carnifloor, and… others) lends his extra tunneled squeals and scowls to help Crypt Rotߵs fresh-throated Kyle Shaun Thomas lay fresh groove grout on the chunked out “A Pit of Snakes.” And finally, Fiore Stravino of Fulci lends his mangled howl to the fittingly horror-tinged “Arcane Rites.”

In the span of 30 minutes, there’s little more you could wish of an unknown slam act. Between Crypt Rotߵs selt-titled EP and this ferocious debut, they’re ready to throw down cheap thrills at a bar or abandoned warehouse near you, if you’re in the UK anyway. You’ll probably even spend as much or more on a couple frothy pints, unless you’re classy and get the can o’ the day. In my short time with An Ancient Summoning, I’ve probably managed to lose a few extra brain cells from leaving the pong turned up a little too high while I slave away on spreadsheets and seethe at long email chains that should have been phone calls, but I can live with that. I’m just all the more ready for the next one. Get it, Crypt Rot!


Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Dry Cough Records
Website: cryptrot.bandcamp.com
Releases Worldwide: November 11th, 2022

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Fun fact, this album was supposed to come out in early March but a series of non-dramatic delays had me waiting until October to finally experience Red Mistߵs wild mediocrity. Don’t @ me.
  2. From Ohio!
  3. With help from friend, Ryan Wills (Seven Doors).
« »