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Sermon: Birth of the Marvellous

2019 is already shaping up to be quite a strong year for metal. While veteran bands prepare to forge onward, new blood necessary for the growth of the scene infuses the world stage. Appearing from nowhere, Sermon releases their debut album Birth of the Marvellous on March 22nd, 2019 via Prosthetic Records. The London, England based unit have crafted an album capable of immediately grabbing the listener, which even after repeated listens defies categorization.

Sermon offer up a palette of sonic elements which should be familiar to us all. For example, the regal clean vocals suffusing the record are reminiscent of those of Katatonia, while some the off-time arrangements bring to mind acts like Tool or even Meshuggah. “The Preacher” builds over tumbling bass lines and tension-inducing keys and emerges with triumph and force and does not let go over its 7:28 playing time. A very hummable melody line peppers the chorus, offering a smooth listen between the massive drumming and repeating riffs.

Opener “The Descend” brings the listener rapidly into the universe of Sermon, as this high-concept theological album first pounds and then caresses the ear. “Festival” has a memorable vocal arrangement, while the hard as nails “Contrition” ramps up the off-time worship. Sermon achieve some gorgeous highs on “The Drift,” the smooth vocals underpinned by dreamy undertones while the rhythm section keeps it quite heavy. Certainly an album highlight, the song superbly entrenches its story within a framework of rising tension and a very worthy payoff.

Album closer “The Rise of Desiderata” brings to mind the shoegazy styling of a band like Alcest, which adds further elements of avant-garde mystery to the repertoire of Sermon. This atmospheric approach rears its dreamy head on “Chasm” as well, whose first few minutes dig into the listener’s skull before rising to a crescendo at 1:40 that can only be described as beautiful.

Sermon has laid down a mighty debut album with Birth of the Marvellous, aptly titled and handily undertaken. The year is early but this album is such a strong and demonstrative force, it probably isn’t going away any time soon. For fans of eclectic heavy metal, that’s a good thing.

Track listing:
1) The Descend
2) Festival
3) The Drift
4) Contrition
5) Chasm
6) The Preacher
7) The Rise of Desiderata

Added: March 18th 2019
Reviewer: Nicholas Franco
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 1895
Language: english

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