Friday 16 July 2021

Crypt Monarch - The Necronaut (Album Review)

Release Date: July 23rd 2021. Record Label: Electric Valley Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Death By Design -  Tracklisting

1.Morning Star Through Skull

2.Rex Meridionalis 



Christopher De Haan: Bass / Vocals
Jose Rodriguez: Guitars
J.C. Zuñiga: Drums / Vocals


Crypt Monarch debut album The Necronaut is one that is heavily inspired by the much taken journey by Black Sabbath, CONAN and SLEEP but one that takes a left-turn and brings a more OCCULT ROCK/METAL flavour with a heavy and distorted FUZZ ROCK backdrop, The album runs for 36 minutes spread across 3 tracks with Crypt Monarch and they play  a low-and-slow amplifier breaking volume style of music with a deep OCCULT mythology being heard in the lyrics.

The record feels like it has elements of Spaced Out Doom grooves at times but the gloomy lyrics and vocals bring this theory crashing down to earth. 

You can hear that atmospheric vibe from the opening track - Morning Star Through Skull. The band have a CONAN-esque approach with their lyrics but the Tony Iommi/Matt Pike old-school approach with the heavy guitars from Jose Rodriguez. Christopher and JC provide great vocals (as well as Drums and Bass Guitar duties respectively) with a subtle raw flavour to them. This is the type of song that allows each member to impress individually and also as a superb Power-Trio in their own right.

Second song - Rex Meridionalis - is another epic track with Crypt Monarch keeping things moving quite similar to the opening track but with less time to play with. The band venture into different time-frames of the Doom/Stoner-Metal genre such as classic 70s Heavy Doom, 90s Stoner Metal and modern-day Psych Rock/Metal but with the epic down-tuned guitars and intelligent drumming leaving you guessing where things will go next. The song has a raw-stripped back and vintage appeal to it which makes it even more compelling. There is a “LESS IS MORE” approach but Crypt Monarch are in control of their own music and at times playing their own inventive blend of Doom/Stoner Metal.

The 3rd song - Aglaophotis - is the final song that Crypt Monarch truly takes centre stage and offers the standout track on the album. It may not be the heaviest but it’s the song that I had the most fun with and put on repeated listens. Crypt Monarch plays a more Drone-ish style song compared to the others held on the album. It’s quite slow-paced and does take time to fully get moving. However, I enjoyed the band’s approach to this song, Everything is played the way it’s meant to be played, even if that’s a slow cautious journey. Doom-laden guitars with a delicious level of FUZZ ROCK to make the song even more attractive to the DEVIL than perhaps the other WEEDIAN elements of the album. Fans of UFOMAMMUT will enjoy this song the most. It leaves the album on an ultra-satisfying conclusion.

The production on the album is excellent and brings Crypt Monarch apocalyptic vision to the Doom/Stoner Metal masses with absolute Psychedelic Fuzz based madness along the way that ultimately seals the deal.

Overall, The Necronaut is a thrilling spectacle of Doom/Stoner Metal with Crypt Monarch showing a great vision of their own to make themselves known with. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Qabar PR & Electric Valley Records for the promo.

Pre-Order "The Necronaut" on Vinyl via Electric Valley Records (Europe / Rest of the World):

Pre-Order "The Necronaut" in the US via The Cosmic Peddler: