Crypt Sermon: New LP The Stygian Rose Out June 14; Video Posted

crypt sermon (Photo by Scott Kinkade)

Crypt Sermon dance all over the border between classic doom and trad metal, and accordingly there are times where I feel like they’re more of a fit here than others, but listening to the push of melody in their new single “Heavy is the Crown of Bone” and the tonal density of the groove alongside Brooks Wilson‘s gutted-out vocals, I’m less concerned with the lines betwixt microgenres than I am the realized nature of what the Philadelphia troupe are doing in the song itself.

Their new album is called The Stygian Rose, was produced by Arthur Rizk, who also engineered and did most of the mixing for 2019’s The Ruins of Fading Light (review here), will be out June 14 through Dark Descent Records, and is being heralded alongside some bona fide landmarks in the PR wire announcement below, but if you’d see the names dropped and bristle at the hyperbole, I’ll point out that I think they’re less talking about hit records than moments where the bands in question figured out who they were and what they wanted to be. If that’s what’s unfolding in “Heavy is the Crown of Bone” — and I have no reason to think it isn’t after listening — then the arrival of their third long-player is all the more something to look forward to.

No shortage of blue text below, and here I’ll reiterate my general philosophy that learning what artists and those promoting them are saying about their own work is crucial to creating an understanding of it — it’s why I cut and paste press releases in a different color rather than try to fool you into believing those are my ideas via paraphrase — but I’ll advise you head down to the bottom first and hit play on the “Heavy Lies the Crown of Bone” video for accompaniment to your perusal, as well as motivating to dive deeper into where they’re coming from.

Off you go, then:

crypt sermon the stygian rose

Crypt Sermon Unveil Details for New Album, The Stygian Rose

Out June 14 on Dark Descent Records. // Watch the stunning music video for first single “Heavy is the Crown of Bone.”

Pre-order here:

Black Sabbath changed the world we know and love with Paranoid. Candlemass defined their career with Ancient Dreams. Pantera were four albums in before they heavily shifted paradigms on Cowboys from Hell. And Mayhem weren’t even a band when De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas slithered into metaldom’s cellar. Now, Crypt Sermon stand at their crossroads with The Stygian Rose, out June 14 on Dark Descent. It’s their time—the culmination of their journey.

Featuring guitarist Steve Jansson (Daeva, Unrest), vocalist Brooks Wilson (Unrest), drummer Enrique Sagarnaga (Daeva, The Silver), guitarist Frank Chin (Daeva), bassist Matt Knox (Horrendous, The Silver), and keyboardist Tanner Anderson (Obsequiae, Majesties), the Philadelphia-based sextet parlayed their time away into a grander, more mysterious Crypt Sermon. The interflow of doom and heavy metals underpins The Stygian Rose, but these boundaries are effortlessly transcended. “We feel unrestrained now,” Wilson says. “We thought, if the word ‘epic’ in doom metal means anything, it’s without constraint. What’s more vast than being unconstrained?” Sagarnaga continues, “There’s a lot of variety on the album, and I think that’s not just because we get bored easily—which we do, actually—but rather this is who we are.”

From the commanding rhythm of “Heavy is the Crown of Bone”— which premieres today alongside a ravishing music video by The C.O.I.N..— Crypt Sermon brandish their musical and conceptual prowess. The song thunders in on cloven hoof before giving way to Crypt Sermon’s muscular doom and stomp.

Singer Brooks Wilson shares, “This song follows our unnamed protagonist summon an entity from ‘The Ars Goetia’ as he seeks sacred consummation with the Divine Feminine. We were happy to work with The C.O.I.N. in achieving our concept, adding a visual element to our music that incorporates much of the esoteric symbolism embedded in ‘The Stygian Rose.'”

The songwriting for The Stygian Rose started in late 2022. Sagarnaga says, “This is the most prepared our band has been, especially going into the studio. It’s about respect for each other’s time. We were more patient with one another regarding how we expressed musical ideas. We committed to practicing on a regular schedule—that was important. And as we get older, we hopefully have become better musicians. ‘The Stygian Rose’ is also the longest time we’ve had with Arthur Rizk in the studio. Every little detail you hear in the final result of the record is very deliberate.”

The Stygian Rose tracklist:
1. Glimmers in the Underworld
2. Thunder (Perfect Mind)
3. Down in the Hollow
4. Heavy is the Crown of Bone
5. Scrying Orb
6. The Stygian Rose

Crypt Sermon tracked The Stygian Rose at Redwoods in Philadelphia. Arthur Rizk produced, mixed, and mastered, and Aidan Elias (Blood Incantation, Wayfarer) engineered. Since the band and Rizk had previous history, they dialed in sounds quickly and got to work. In contrast to the sporadic two-month process of their last album, The Ruins of Fading Light, Crypt Sermon had just over a week to capture their The Stygian Rose. “We knew we wanted an aggressive sound,” says Wilson. “‘The Stygian Rose’ has way more depth than anything we’ve done before.”

The Stygian Rose follows a character inspired by Paschal Beverly Randolf, an early American spiritualist and sex magician. In The Stygian Rose, the unnamed character seeks to reconnect with his now maybe dead, definitely lost (though intentionally left vague) idealized female, embodying the Sophia/Shakti/Persephone divine wisdom/feminine concept. This lost love is believed to be waiting for him, calling for him from ‘the hollow.’ Conceived by Wilson, the protagonist’s harrowing jaunt starts with album opener “Glimmers in the Underworld” and ends naturally with the title track. The story, as unfurled in the lyrics, is directly connected to the album’s artwork and booklet, painstakingly painted and illustrated by Wilson. Clearly, The Stygian Rose and its lyrical and artistic regalia were thought through from the onset.

“I didn’t want to feel burdened by heavy metal tropes,” reveals Wilson. “I wanted to be able to use them but not be bound by them.” Jansson continues, “We wanted The Stygian Rose to scratch a lot of itches that aren’t being scratched. That’s my goal when I make music. I want to make things that I don’t hear other people doing or at least don’t hear others doing all in one package. I agree, it also has to have staying power and replay value. That addictive feeling you had when you listened to records as a teenager.”

The Stygian Rose showcases Crypt Sermon’s mastery of dark and heavy metal— dive in and experience its rich rewards. Pre-order here:

Crypt Sermon, record release shows:
June 14 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
June 15 Washington, DC @ Pie Shop

Produced, mixed, and mastered by Arthur Rizk at Redwoods Studio in Philadelphia, PA
Engineered by Aidan Elias
Photos by Scott Kinkade
Art by Brooks Wilson

Brooks Wilson (Vocals)
Steve Jannson (Lead Guitar)
Frank Chin (Rhythm Guitar)
Matt Knox (Bass Guitar)
Tanner Anderson (Synths)
Enrique Sagarnaga (Drums)

Crypt Sermon, The Stygian Rose (2024)

Crypt Sermon, “Heavy is the Crown of Bone” official video

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