It is obvious from the get go that Crypt Sermon owes a huge debt to Candlemass but it is rather surreal to see how far they go to capture the elements of their idol's classic era. The vocals have more in common with Robert Lowe than Messiah Marcolin but the production similarly muffles the guitars and drums, slow riffs and sprawling choruses dominate throughout, speedy segments pop up on "Heavy Riders" and "Into The Holy of Holies," and even the cover painting looks like it could've been in the same series as the works that appeared on Nightfall through Tales of Creation.
The style is pulled off well but there are a few points that could be expanded with future efforts. Candlemass only had a handful of good production jobs over the course of their career and the muffled production doesn't do this band too many favors either. The vocals have a tendency of getting obscured and it's hard to tell if they need to be more operatic or just need to be brought out with a stronger mix.
Overall, Crypt Sermon's debut has an excellent eye for detail and the solid songs keep their heads above the tides of the contemporary doom scene. While some may be turned off by the production and reliance on that beloved Candlemass influence, their classy execution puts them well above most of their peers. One can hope that their future efforts will be presented in an even stronger fashion.
"The Will of the Ancient Call"
'Into the Holy of Holies"
"The Master's Bouquet"