I’ve hit the point where I’ve cleared my list of things I like and only have things I haven’t liked. I’m still searching for it. I hesitate to call this a review. I don’t like giving mostly negative reviews. Instead, I’ll look at some of the things I saw out there that made me pick this up and respond to it.
I’ll take some responsibility. I listened to the first track before deciding I wanted to hear the whole thing. The first track has a pretty great sound. Crypt Sermon is a doom band with some old school power metal flourishes.
The first song is exactly what I’d want a doom album to sound like. It has a full and aggressive sound while staying downtempo. The bass riff uses a lowered second leading tone to the tonic instead of the traditional seventh which gives the feeling of descending lower and lower into some dark pit. They actually use this on many of the songs to great effect.
I tend to not agree with Angry Metal Guy, so it isn’t surprising that a high rated album there wasn’t my favorite. They make a reference to Atlantean Kodex, which I think is apt for many of the songs. Sorry to some of my readers that like that band, but I made a serious attempt and couldn’t get into them either. This was album of the month for February there.
Well, now that I look at the reviews, I see I had no real reason to trust them (Pitchfork, Sputnik, Metal Archives). Most just say how much they sound like some great doom of the past like Candlemass. This might be the problem. It all seems too familiar.
People talk about the riffs being great, but this is where I think the band falters. A lot of the solos are great. I find myself saying, yes, this, more of this. But the general chugging and riffs between the solos don’t go anywhere. I find myself zoning out. There isn’t much interesting going on for large sections of most songs.
I also tend not to pay attention to lyrics, but they are so clear on this album that they cannot be dismissed. A lot of the symbols and terminology are so blatant it makes me cringe. I can’t quite describe what rubs me the wrong way, but it does.
“The Master’s Bouquet” stands out for this. Something about the way “Master” keeps getting used sounds so cliche. It sounds more like a mockery of a doom song than a doom song. The story itself is good, it is just the specifics of the word choice (“sheep” round up souls for the “Master” because they think they will live forever but end up finding they die despite the promise).
I’ll probably end up getting their next album, because this had many truly excellent moments. But overall I didn’t like it. Here’s a sample: