Crypt Sermon’s 2015 debut, Out of the Garden, was a pretty solid piece of epic doom. Seeing them perform twice at U.S. festivals since then has further stoked the fires for their long-awaited sophomore album.
This 10-track, 55-minute effort gets underway with galloping horses and chanting monks on “The Ninth Templar,” before a mid-tempo power metal riff kicks in. Vocals don’t kick in until the 1:20 mark, coming in a little rawer and raspier than on their debut, and hitting a lower register on the chorus. Still a pretty solid starter. “Key of Solomon” is noticeably slower, adopting a chugging power/doom tempo a la Atlantean Kodex, while the jaunty “Our Reverend’s Grave” falls somewhere between the two, with soaring vocals akin to Candlemass.
Following a flute-driven interlude, “Christ is Dead” gets down to the doom with perhaps the most Candlemass-inspired number on here, a languid slice of epic doom complete with backing choral chants for an added haunting effect. At a shade over nine minutes, “The Snake Handler” offers up some of the slowest, saddest riffs on the record for the first 90 seconds or so, before it kicks up into a midpaced stomp, with more of those backing “Ahhhs.”
Not one, but two interludes beget the final two tracks of the album, but each only last minute or so. With its crushing intro, “Beneath the Torchfire Glare” proves to be worth the wait – another solid piece of Candlemass-style epic doom. The title track ends things on a low ‘n slow note, with a few more melodic flourishes than its predecessors, but still falling firmly within the “epic doom” camp. My initial impression is that this album is less power, more doom than their debut – which certainly works for me.