In a music world where there seems to be an abundance of lackluster efforts, few stand out with something that immediately grabs your attention. Call it overexposure, over commercialization, or just call it a product of modern culture, it feels like there are less unique bands each day. Thankfully there are those who may be just on the fray of the mainstream that are there if you just look deeper down the rabbit hole. Among those are a perhaps little-known act out of the UK calling themselves Sermon.
Come together in 2019, Sermon has a bit of a mystique surrounding them, with their core consisting of a multi-instrumentalist/vocalist going by the name Him. Joining with other collaborators, such as veteran Metal Drummer James Stewart, Him remains concealed behind a golden mask; which is just fine, because the music speaks for itself. Sermon, rather different than much of everything out there today, put out their debut album Birth of the Marvellous and with it showcased a sound that was inventive and epic. Then, after a single live performance at Prog In Park in Poland back in July of 2019, Sermon went into obscurity.
Rather fitting for the project, in January of 2023 they emerged from the shadows with a new song called “Golden.” Arguably one of their most impressive tracks to date, the highly Progressive “The Distance” followed in February, before the heaviness of “Departure” in March. Each offering something separate from the other, on March 31st saw the release of the second Sermon album in full, and it is called Of Golden Verse.
Their second release through Prosthetic Records, let us just say the American-based heavy music label found a diamond in the rough when signing up Sermon. What this means is that Sermon is something special, something that is bound to reach new heights once the word of their music spreads further and deeper amidst the Heavy Metal community. That in mind, it would be a disservice to offer comparison to other bands, because Sermon really is genuine themselves. However, it should be said if you are a fan of acts like Katatonia, Green Carnation, or even Tool, you will probably immediately devour what Sermon is doing. Yet again, it cannot be emphasized enough that Sermon still remains incomparable.
All this build up created, some may truly wonder – what does this band sound like? Well, imagine elements of Black Metal, Progressive Metal, Hard Rock, and even Gothic Metal all mixed into one. With this they create music soundscapes that are bold, diverse, and near cinematic without being overly theatrical. With Of Golden Verse they accomplish this over the course of 10 tracks that, to be honest, all stand out. There are heavier moments like “Light the Witch,” more tension building ones like “The Great Marsh,” but also the completely flawless, finely tuned “Senescence” and “Golden.”
Overall putting what Sermon is into words is extremely difficult… as so is describing Of Golden Verse. Summing it up, if you are a fan of something dark, thoughtful, yet melodic, emotional, and daring to be different, Sermon’s Of Golden Verse is your golden ticket. That is why Cryptic Rock urges you to check out Sermon and gives Of Golden Verse 5 out of 5 stars.