Coming through as extremely compressed, the grunge metal flavored Doom Metal style of the US band Crypt Sermon nevertheless managed to get our attention! Not the best ever production of the doom kind, mind you. But as the first full length debut Out of the Garden goes, this is solid and good metal.
The band formed not so long ago from different corners of the metal universe, starting with a first demo in 2014. Their style indeed contrasts well vis-à-vis more traditional outfits like Draconian or My Silent Wake that released records that same year.
Their sound comes stripped down: Two guitars, bass, pretty heavy drum work, high reaching vocals. No evil little keyboard or other mean elements to pollute their tune.
The rough, scratchy sound without ornaments of any kind displayed in this record is really, REALLY good. And this interspersed with not nearly enough guitar solos, really makes for a unique identity that this band clearly seeks to build. All ingredients are prevalent for a potential stellar career. And I like that! We already find too much symphony in other things that like to call themselves metal.
Out of the Garden starts grungily enough at first. And continues to hover at the edge, but almost ever stays true to Doom Metal at its finest otherwise.
Also, other contributors to the genre like Candlemass or Black Sabbath’s stellar, last album 13 come to mind when listening to the tracks. Having said that, the band clearly has opportunity to work on their style some more. I detect a certain lack of crispness and clarity that render other gigs’ creations really outstanding, but are missing in that one.
Crypt Sermon start drilling you with Temple Doors, kind of grungily at first, but relatively quickly settling into the groove of Doom Metal. And this will remain prevalent throughout the 7 track record.
Out of the Garden goes full Doom by Byzantium, which really pounds you to dust with its heavy, slow beat. One of my favorites. Noteworthy of the remaining tracks are Heavy Riders and Into the Holy of Holies, whereas none of the remaining songs in this album are really bad.
Also, the record permeates an individualist notion to all of that doom metal stuff. Their tune quite closely connects to other US Doom Metal players like Pallbearer or Khemmis. Yet we do see a gap to the traditional players like Paradise Lost et al.
Also, none of the tracks hover at the uniform 3 minute duration that human attention span is apparently able to endure. Clearly the band wants their own style, not some copycat me-too bullshit approach that others try adopt. A wayward seeming lack of political correctness and contumacy towards established norms. Very good!
Out of the Garden is a refreshing breath of air in one of the most difficult genres of the metal universe. Whilst clearly outplayed still by the masters, the record deserves a lot of respect. And I am looking forward to Crypt Sermon’s next album that is surely going to come in the foreseeable future.