Generally speaking, “leave the people wanting more” is a sound philosophy for artists across the board. For Sermon, these words must have echoed in the halls of founder/masked/anonymous front-man known simply as Him’s mind until they reverberated into a cacophony of verses, phrases, and notes. Their debut album Birth of the Marvellous garnered well earned love and respect but, after only one marvelous show played in Prog In Park in Poland, newfound fans met with a marvelous silence. “How could we be gifted with such grace and beauty and artistry, such profound and meaningful content to enrich our lives, to then be left with a terrible thirst and an empty cup?” they may have asked. Well, my beloved readers and dear friends, the answer takes us back to that old adage, leave the people wanting more. And want we did.
Out March 31st, Of Golden Verse is an album well worth the wait. With more attention placed into the dynamics of structure and melody, listeners are presented with myriad ranges to explore, themselves ranging from solid sheer cliff faces of anger, unrelenting and immovable, to oceans of despair and fury aimed at a world that Him feels deserves it (see: Wake the “Silent”, track 7, and just wait for that massive gazing into the abyss about 3:15 in, you’re welcome). Anger, in fact, was in the driver’s seat for much of the inspiration behind the album, Him stating, “This is something I’ve always done. I’m always making music. But this one is a bit angrier, and that’s because I felt angrier. The first one was sad because I felt that way, and it’s really as simple as that. This time I upped the aggression, without really meaning to. When you put James (Stewart, Sermon drummer) on the kit, that becomes quite easy! Hopefully in an unpretentious way, it’s more riffy and more guitar-orientated. It’s a lot more technical on the drums. Maybe it’s a bit more primal.” Primal, indeed says I.
The album was produced by Scott Atkins in Grindstone Studios, whom you may know for working with the likes of Behemoth, Amon Amarth, Cradle of Filth, and more. To say the man has an understanding of the rather large and immense walls of sound and metal we all know and love is an understatement. Whereas the intro track leads the listener into a land of introspection, track two titled “Royal” unleashes a barrage of guitars and drums fans of bands such as Katatonia, Meshuggah, and/or Gojira will feel completely at home, perhaps in a robe with a hot toddy or an irish coffee to close out the day.
Look, as a writer I can’t make you do anything. But, it is my firm belief that if you are a fan of blistering and primal heavy music, rich and full voices, and all the anger necessary but with the foresight to sprinkle in a scream where it will be felt rather than simply heard, Of Golden Verse is an album you don’t want to miss. Having released three singles for it, “Golden” begins with a dark, nostalgic synth only to venture forth into a new and different realm with each change into the next section of the song. It is truly unpredictable, melancholic, and even at times hinting at a blurred line between rage and apathy. “The Distance,” however, kicks off with a groovy prog n roll drum pattern that rolls on like a freight train for over a minute and a half before letting the listener catch their breath, if only for a moment, and continues on its way, a river cutting its way through the terrain of our brains. Cunning were they with the choices of singles, as “Departure” is equal parts shredtastic double gnar gnar and beautiful blast beat nastiness. Do yourself a favor, just click play, right down there, right now. Yup. You’re welcome. I trust you, O Wise Reader, to make the right decision (right now!) and prepare yourself for a wonderful journey through the epic and seemingly boundless world that is Of Golden Verse.
Rain the gold down upon us, O Great Him! (<sounds weird, I know, listen to “Departure and you’ll get it, though!) Again, do not miss this March 31st release. And for the love! Spam this band to play another show!
Brush up on your Sermon knowledge before official release here!