Man, epic doom metal is too much fun, innit? Nothing like a swathe of intensely heavy music with bloodthirsty themes to make you want to strap on your chainmail, pick up a broadsword, and enter the fray. The classic bands like Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus still resonate to this day, and younger bands like DoomSword and Atlantean Kodex have flown the flag for a new generation. When Crypt Sermon released their debut full-length, Out Of The Garden, in 2015, their confidence, chops, and quality songs ushered in a new champion of the subgenre, and fans have been waiting like eager children to see what they would serve up next.
The Ruins Of Fading Light (pre-order here) is, in a word, EPIC. With a few instrumental tracks to help build the atmosphere and the interweaving of acoustic instruments tastefully sprinkled onto the thundering feast, you feel like you’re on the set of a Ridley Scott period flick. The music is dense, yet amazingly balanced and offers the listener a buffet of doom-laced wonders throughout – not an easy task over 55 minutes, but the album as a whole maintains a focus without sacrificing a second of meaty power.
Check out the behemoth that is “Key Of Solomon” here:
As is usually the case with epic doom, the vocals are the driving force, and Brooks Wilson has the chops to get the job done. Stronger and more refined than on previous recordings, his vocals have purpose throughout his chest-beating range, and the vocal melodies are earworm-fodder. To be honest, every song on here is catchy, inviting, tanked with driving riffs, and infinitely memorable, sticking in the ol’ think bank like honey at the bottom of a jar. The guitars play off each other like old mates, soaring solos and interweaving leads dancing between the opaque riffage and complementing each other with a wink and a smile.
Highlight songs like “Christ Is Dead,” “Key Of Solomon,” and the title track are packed with audio delights and monolithic, dreamy ambiance, and are seemingly written with banging of the head in mind. On top of all the well-written, incredibly-performed music is the infinitely balanced and warm production courtesy of Arthur Rizk, who has previously performed his magic on releases by Sumerlands, Eternal Champion, and the monstrous Power Trip. With music as heavy and detailed as this, he has shaped it so that you can hear every snare brush and string scrape and still revel in the thundering metalness of it all. And, if that wasn’t enough, lend your eyes towards the cover art – rough, eerie, and a foreboding of what is contained within. Bloody magic.
Feast your ears on the blinding “Christ Is Dead” here:
There are few doom metal albums that will be able to top The Ruins Of Fading Light in 2019 because the band really has given everything they have here, and all of it is essential to the final, expansive listen. For fans of all things heavy, you know what to do – now go do it.
The Ruins Of Fading Light Track Listing:
01. The Ninth Templar (Black Candle Flame)
02. Key Of Solomon
03. Our Reverend’s Grave
04. Epochal Vestiges
05. Christ Is Dead
06. The Snake Handler
07. Oath Of Exile
08. Enslave The Heathens
09. Beneath The Torchfire Glare
10. The Ruins Of Fading Light
Run Time: 55 minutes
Release Date: September 13, 2019
Record Label: Dark Descent Records