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Favourite Records of the Year. Selected by: Steve Jansson (Crypt Sermon)

Founded on the principles of unwavering doom metal“ has always been Crypt Sermon’s leitmotif, and their debut album follows up on this promise impressively: the untiring riff-cascade of ‚Out of the Garden‚ doesn’t try to hide that the Philadelphia five-piece went to school at the genre-greats – Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Black Sabbath or Dio – and developes their approaches over Brooks Wilson’s distinctive voice into a original direction. In the end you got a traditional doom-album in ‚Out of the Garden‚, which will sound fresh and timeless even in years to come. Guitarist Steve Jansson opens up the third door of the Heavy Pop advent calendar, and tells us about his favourite records from the past twelve months.

Tribulation – [amazon_link id=“B00U85QD5I“ target=“_blank“ ]Children of the Night[/amazon_link]

I knew that they were on to something big after the very ambitious and fantastic „Formulas of Death“ from 2013. This album used that template but trimmed the fat off and focused more on simple, albeit extremely clever and tasteful songwriting. It’s extremely fresh but one of the things that honestly struck me most about this album is something that has become a bit of a lost art in metal: Tasteful and engaging instrumental tracks! It reminded me of all of those times I got entranced and completely lost in Metallica’s Orion which has actually been an itch that I wasn’t aware needed scratched, thanks to Tribulation.

Iron Maiden – [amazon_link id=“B00ZVFYVMM“ target=“_blank“ ]Book of Souls[/amazon_link]

What’s to say, really? I think that it’s incredible that Maiden can continue to make great albums after 30+ years. I can’t say the same thing about many other bands. When I heard the intro track „If Eternity Should Fail“ for the first time I got that huge lump in my throat that I heard when hearing classic Maiden for the first time in my life. While I think the album definitely has it’s flaws, they still wipe the floor with just about anyone. Up the Irons!

Thy Darkened Shade – [amazon_link id=“B00V7GP5QK“ target=“_blank“ ]Liber Lvcifer pt.1[/amazon_link]

I’m cheating with this one because the album actually came out in 2014 but the LP just came out a month ago and to be honest, I listened to no other release nearly as much as I listened to this one this year and I feel like it hasn’t gotten nearly the attention that it deserves. I’m not even sure where to start because the album is absolutely jaw-dropping. It’s incredibly intricate and full of mind-blowing riffs/technique but doesn’t lose any of the fury and darkness which is often lost when bands start walking that line. While there is a whirlwind of unfuckwithable riffing, it doesn’t forget to lay down some parts that you can snap your neck head banging to. I can’t say enough about this album and it should be getting more attention.

Sacral Rage – [amazon_link id=“B00RZVBO0W“ target=“_blank“ ]Illusions in Infinite Void[/amazon_link]

Greece delivering the goods again! This album rules and bands are seldom able to do what Sacral Rage is doing or at least do it convincingly. It’s as if Watchtower, Voivod and Agent Steel had some bastard love child and what’s not to love about that?! The performances by the musicians are top notch and the songwriting is technical but maintains class and is totally engaging. The vocals are also totally insane! I can’t wait to hear more from these guys in the future but I’m content listening to this LP for a long while.

Dodheimsgard – [amazon_link id=“B00SKI3BNW“ target=“_blank“ ]A Omega Umbra[/amazon_link]

Fucking ridiculous! I’ve been listening to this album heavily for the last two weeks and it gets better and better with every listen. It’s known that Dodheimsgard are always doing something outside of the box and challenging but this release in particular really grabbed me and took me for a rollercoaster ride from hell. It’s as beautiful as it is demented, insane, twisted and furious. This album definitely inspires me to push and think the unthinkable when hitting creative blocks. Highly recommended for the more daring listeners.

Honorable mentions:

Deverills Nexion – [amazon_link id=“1872543812″ target=“_blank“ ]The Sinister Tarot[/amazon_link]
Obsequiae – [amazon_link id=“B00UY880I2″ target=“_blank“ ]Aria of Vernal Tombs[/amazon_link]
Trial – [amazon_link id=“B00Q9H9CVQ“ target=“_blank“ ]Vessel[/amazon_link]
Horrendous – [amazon_link id=“B014JC1DSW“ target=“_blank“ ]Anareta[/amazon_link]

Crypt Sermon Online: Facebook | Bandcamp | Dark Descent Records

Thanks to Steve Jansson and Crypt Sermon!

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