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Crypt Monarch – ‘The Necronaut’

Electric Valley Records
Stoned Jesus, Electric Wizard, Acid King, Conan
Release Date
July 23, 2021
Electric Valley Records
Stoner/Doom Metal

“Can riffs get any cooler?” is a question Crypt Monarch must ask every time they enter the studio, something this debut effort clearly shows. This could be titled ‘36 minutes of Stoned Jesus breakdown sections’ and no-one would bat an eyelid, as the crushing riffs have a distinctly slow and self-perpetuating nature backed up by the relentless ringing of dry crash and china tones emanating from JC Zuniga’s drumkit, and accentuated through intense fuzz, lo-fi mixing, and trippy phasing.

The mix is so deep and compressed, it almost becomes annoying in the first 30 seconds, until your ears attune to it, and faces are well and truly melted.

The musicianship here is admirable, with fantastic, surprisingly straight solos and aforementioned epic riffs backed up by super-precise bass wrapped in a deep and heavy tone, and unrelenting drumming that almost generates sympathy for those poor cymbals. 

The album follows the voyage of a dishonoured king back from the dead to defeat his warlock’s enemies. Even without knowing this, or even paying attention to the lyrics, it would be a likely story to conjure up based on the music, which seems testament to quality songwriting.

It’s almost a shame that the third and final song ‘Aglaophotis’ simply fades away, as it seems to take away from the concept a little, especially after the well-defined and sudden introduction of opener ‘Morning Star Through Skull’, although the impact of this anticlimax is fairly negligible on the enjoyment of what is a quality debut album.

Exciting debut with an interesting approach to mixing

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