Tuesday 18 November 2014

Crypt Trip - Self Titled (Album Review)

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: Out Now
Label: Poisoned Mind Records

‘Crypt Trip’ LP track listing:

1). Mortis Venificis
2). Wraiths
3). Phantasm
4). Mrs. Absinth
5). Rose Croix
6). Spiral Eyes
7). White Lady
8). Datura

The Band:

Ryan Lee | Vocals, Guitar
Sam Bryant | Bass
Mario Rodriguez | Drums


This is technically the follow up full length to this Dallas based doom/fuzz crews EP released in October of 2013. It contains three additional tracks written especially for this vinyl release, in addition to the original EP (Rose Croix, Spiral Eyes, and White Lady). The original EP came up on many peoples radar for good reason, strong fuzz heavy and slightly evil sounding doom songs with no bullshit and no wankery, that can sometimes plague newer bands in this genre.

The record starts with “Mortis Venificis” A classical guitar sounding intro acting as a nice set up for the proto doom/heavy occult rock to come. Rolling right into track two “Wraiths”, the first thing that jumps out is the super crunchy distorted bass laying down an ultra catchy rhythm. The song plays out great with a lot of Pentagram influence but not at all derivative, simply a fitting homage.  The band nicely peppers in some psychedelic influence about halfway in and then at three quarters of the way through the wah pedal kicks in, to usher in the end of the first full song on the record.

The next two tracks sort of follow the same pattern, “Phantasm” has a  more frenetic start, with an explosive and live sound to it. Psychedelic, introspective lyrics, not at all Sabbath–y (joking), the song does remind me of Sabbath but I can’t place why, because it does not sound like them until about ¾ of the way in. The song briefly changes pace with a weird Melvins/Sabbath mix. And I’m in!!  “Mrs. Absinth” follows the same sort of formula, but this time its fuzz fuzz fuzz! I really liked the vocal approach on this one, less effects on the vocals and different flow.

“Rose Croix” is the first truly new song we get and it is straight up psychedelic heavy rock, a  dark eerie and slow intro right into an echo and fuzz laden psyche freakout guitar solo. Great change of pace and demonstration of style, the lack of vocals on this song kind of make it feel like a separate intro to the second half of the album which works well for the vinyl version of the record.  “Spiral Eyes” brings us back to meat and potatoes heavy fuzz rock with psychedelic touches, indeed this is what Crypt Trip does exceptionally well and then ¾ in, a much heavier and faster passage. I really dig this change of pace within the song especially the heavy beat to rapid fire march closing out the track.

“White Lady” is a very psychedelic doom song, haunted lyrics into pure rock and roll, finishing up with an organ driven outro (I’m an absolute sucker for well placed organ work). “Datura” is the outro of the record with sounds of rain falling and church sounding organs.  For me a better use of the track would be as an add-on to the end of “White Lady” instead of a stand alone, but it works well nonetheless.

Overall impressions of Crypt Trip’s full length debut are very positive, I love bands doing this style, but in their own way, with their own elements. I know these guys consider themselves a heavy fuzz doom band, but a lot of the songs are very psych heavy with introspective lyrics, making me not want to pigeonhole them as another run of the mill doom band.

The singer and presumably lyricist has a great knack for story telling that fits great into the body of the song and the overall output of the band making it come across as not so much doom, but heavy fuzzed out psychedelic rock, which is awesome as hell. Crypt Trip is only a little over a year old at this point and they definitely have a clear and concise idea of what they are doing and what they want. My only critique is the band tends to be somewhat formulaic with a change of pace ¾ of the way in every song. It could help the flow of future recordings by structuring the songs different. BUT overall this is a solid record making me very much look forward to the future of this trio.

The full length is out now on the bands bandcamp site and for a minimum of 6 dollars U.S., so go out and pick it up already, you will not be disappointed!

Words by:  David Heaton

You can still pick up a copy of the vinyl here

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