Crypt Sermon – Out of the Garden (Dark Descent Records)

Tuesday, 20th January 2015
Rating: 8/10

One of our early 2014 “Now You Know” bands, Philly doom merchants Crypt Sermon have found it in their good hearts to bust out a fine debut full-length in the form of Out of the Garden. It’s semi-remarkable considering how often bands stumble from the demo/EP phase to full-length status, yet the full-bodied nature of said platter should never be questioned; rather, this is top-notch American doom that would make old-timers Solitude Aeturnus (the most obvious reference point) proud. And best of all, this is trend-free stuff. High-five for that.

Let us not lob the baseless connection between these gents and Pallbearer. It’s a slightly different bit of doom, if that makes any sense of the neophytes out there. (Nothing wrong that!) While Pallbearer’s songs tend to be laborious and (mostly) purposeful, Crypt Sermon generally find a direction and stick with it, like on the hook-laden “Temple Doors” and standout “Will of the Ancient Call,” a jam that finds vocalist Brooks Wilson channel his best Robert Lowe rendition. Yet, Wilson is mostly his own man on some of these songs, such as the stirring “The Master’s Bouquet,” which is a gem prime-era Candlemass would fawn over, no doubt.

Great production and no duds to be found usually equate to a thoroughly satisfying listen, which Out of the Garden is. Lots of things in the right place here: Melodies, riff stockades, tasteful drumming (courtesy of Season of Mist Records’ Enrique Sagarnaga), and cover artwork is regal…in a non-cheesy way. But beyond that, consider Crypt Sermon a stellar doom find, clearly the type of the band who has done their homework and wisely transferred it to tape. It’s right mix of reverence and creativity. Shall be a hard debut for the band to top, that’s for sure.

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