Talkin ‘Bout Flex: Crypt Sermon

Since Issue #75, Decibel has brought you left-of-center b-sides, rarities, live recordings and new songs from top-tier metal bands via the outstanding Flexi Series.  Want to hear the stories behind these recordings?  Read on.

Everyone ’round these parts gets semenal about Mayhem’s seminal debut full-length album.  That’s no surprise.  We have also erected arms and other appendages for the muscular, height-scaling doom of Philly upstarts Crypt Sermon.  Their 2015 release Out of the Garden was a highlight of the slow and gritty, and we are happy to support their doomed trip through the closing opus on one of black metal’s most essential entries.  Crypt Sermon’s contribution to the Decibel Flexi Series was released with the Metal & Beer Fest issue (#151, May 2017), and can be heard below.

We asked guitarist Steve Jansson and drummer Enrique Sagarnaga about their intriguing choice, so while you bang out most unrighteously, be sure to glance at the screen a few times to read their thoughts on “De Mysteriis Doom Sathanas.”

When were you approached to contribute to the Flexi Series?

Steve Jansson: Albert has always been very supportive of us and approached us about the idea doing a flexi about a year ago. It was a busy year for all of us, so it took us a while to finally commit and lock down a recording date. We eventually pulled ourselves together and made it happen. We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity!

How did you choose “De Mysteriis”?

Jansson: This completely ridiculous idea (a doomed out interpretation of Mayhem’s “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”, which will be appropriately re-named “De Mysteriis Doom Sathanas”) came about when Enrique was talking with Thomas Tannenberger (of Abigor fame) and mentioned that we were debating on recording a cover track. Thomas made the suggestion try this out. Initially I wasn’t certain how serious he actually was about it; I sort of laughed it off at first, but then got to thinking about it and sort of took it as a challenge. Everyone else seemed keen on the idea. We all agreed that if it completely sucked (which it had so much potential to do just that) we would back out and do something else, but we gave it a shot and are extremely proud of the end result. 

Enrique Sagarnaga: With just a few exceptions in mind, I’ve always thought straightforward cover songs fall pale in comparison to the source material. With that in mind, I  will say that I have always wanted to take a recording from an album that is near and dear to me, and re-work it as something new with its own identity. Covering this Mayhem classic presented a unique opportunity to experiment with this idea.

When and where did you record the song?  How much time and work did it take?

Jansson: We recorded everything in early October and used various locations in Philadelphia. We worked with Arthur Rizk again, who recorded and mixed our full-length. Thomas jumped on board to master the track, as well as contribute some vocals/vocal arranging. It was a pretty incredible experience working with him and I think he really pushed us all to the next level, especially Brooks. Those two make a killer team. We look forward to work with him again in the future. 

Sagarnaga: Arthur has been incredibly supportive of the band since we first worked with him, so having him return to the fold was and no-brainer. Having Thomas contribute vocals exceeded all expectations and really set the bar for what’s to come with our next album. This recording also sees our vocalist Brooks experimenting with synths here and there, and proved to be a much-needed element for this recording.

Do you know yet what color your flexi is?  Any thoughts about what the color choice is or should be? (This question was asked well before the flexi disc was available.)

Jansson: I’m not sure what color it will be but if we have any say in this it should be purple and black. I think the reasons are pretty obvious. 

Have you listened to other songs in the Flexi Series?  What is your favorite Flexi so far?

Jansson: I have, but can’t think of a favorite off of the top of my head. 

Sagarnaga: In Solitude covering Samhain’s “Mother of Mercy”.

Check out all of the Decibel flexis here.