A beacon of iridescent musical light amid the torpid fog of modern life, Sermon blazed brightly but briefly when they released their debut album back in 2019. Led by the shadowy figurehead known only as Him, they blurred boundaries between forward-thinking progressive metal and something deeper, darker and more emotionally demanding. Aptly titled Birth Of The Marvellous, Sermon’s first foray garnered widespread acclaim and the effusive support of listeners around the world. But then, after a single live show at Prog In Park in Poland, there was only silence.
In the years between then and now, the world has become a darker, nastier place. Summoned from their slumbers for a second time, Him and his collaborators are back with an album that accurately encapsulates the mood of the moment. An intense, dynamic and often startlingly heavy trawl down corridors of corruption and stairways of compromise, Of Golden Verse is an even more devastating artistic statement than its predecessor. As Him explains, the new material’s spiky spirit was an entirely natural development.
If the first Sermon album was weighed down by grief and introspection, Of Golden Verse looks outward and recoils back in horror at mankind’s twisted morality. Even within the lush textures and hypnotic bombast of epics like Royal, Senescence and Departure, a tangible sense of furious dismay pervades.