Crypt Sermon – The Stygian Rose Review

Dark Descent Records

Returning after a quiet period of recorded material, nearly five years in the making, The Stygian Rose brings Crypt Sermon back from the depths with plenty of new things to be excited about. Opener “Glimmers In The Underworld” opens to the sounds of expertly played guitars giving this newest material more a metallic sheen than band is usually seen with.

Vocalist Brooks Wilson does a good job of balancing his high-flying vocal act with his delivery sounding a bit sinister at times, all while being given an air of mysteriousness by the wall of guitars; cloaking him in darkness.

“Thunder (Perfect Mind)” is a great introduction for newest band member, Tanner Anderson (Obsequiae/Majesties) who contributes on keyboards, one of the newest wrinkles in Crypt Sermon’s sound. Being more dynamic this time around, the keys add subtle layers of flair, ones that don’t need to be featured as prominently as other bands are sometimes guilty of. The band doesn’t need to recreate the wheel, they merely continue to improve and add in areas where they felt could be more than they were previously.

Crypt Sermon are able to keep some songs more traditional and straightforward with “Down In The Hollow” and “Heavy Is The Crown of Bone.” The former makes up for its lack of grandiosity by being extremely tight and the latter feels much more in line with their previous LPs: pounding drums and vocals play big and vibrant guitars help to balance things out. Matt Knox’s (Horrendous/The Silver) bass playing is downright fat at points within some of these tracks adding another wrinkle to the mix.

“Scrying Orb” opens to a haunting aura evocative of King Diamond, thanks in large part to the keys that eventually give way to the rest of this cast of characters. It is played slowly and deliberately and is properly delivered from the band as this track is a real slow burn with a myriad of different sounds and textures to revisit upon repeat listens.

This album is one that can be heard again for the first time. The track also sees the band dip their toes into anthemic choruses with the album’s title being featured prominently within it. Closing with an 11-minute epic title track feels apropos for a band that was founded with an air of grandiosity about it, but within the greater context of The Stygian Rose it feels like the culmination of a decade long journey to this point.

Crypt Sermon have delivered their greatest work to date, with their third album showcasing that this newly minted six piece has only just started. They have trimmed the fat from some of their previous albums and that addition by subtraction has allowed for the band to reach their true potential. The Stygian Rose is Crypt Sermon fully realized.

(released June 14, 2024 on Dark Descent Records)

Heavy Music HQ Rating:

Watch Crypt Sermon – “Heavy Is The Crown Of Bone” Video


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