London, UK duo SERMON have today shared a new single, titled Departure, along with an accompanying visualizer. The track serves as the closing song to SERMON’s forthcoming second album, Of Golden Verse, and sees chief songwriter Him and drummer James Stewart (Vader and Decapitated) ramp up the intensity of their progressive metal sound.
Of Golden Verse is set for release via Prosthetic Records on March 31.
Stream Departure via Apple Music | TIDAL | Deezer | Bandcamp and Spotify
Speaking on Departure‘s release SERMON‘s Him comments: “Departure is the curtain call of the album. The final climax. It’s a tense topic that describes the horrifying moment between a victim and attacker, within a war crime.
“To match the subject, musically this is the most intense song on the album, and it could only live at the end. I had always had it in my head that I wanted to create a song where I could potentially make a blast beat listenable to an average listener. I had the melody for the vocal and guitar lead infecting my head for months. Always a good basis for a song, and I think if you take the blast away, it could almost be a pop song (in minor, of course). I’m sure this intent alone would make some metal fans recoil in horror, and that’s fine by me.
“James Stewart claims this might be his longest (and favourite) blast beat, which is quite something considering he was in Vader for 3 years. It was honestly magical to watch the take, for something that sounds like a hyper-speed flailing of limbs, the amount of control and precision that’s actually there is astounding and makes it all the more musical.
“So far, this song seems to be getting the most questions from people. For a band that get’s frequently compared to Tool or Katatonia, I think this breaks us away from it and into a different musical space.”
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 with the aptly titled Birth Of The Marvellous – which earned 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. Recorded at Grindstone Studios under the legendary supervision of producer Scott Atkins, Of Golden Verse was entirely written by Him, but the new songs reached their final, immaculate state through a team effort.
The resulting 10 tracks that make up Of Golden Verse are musically intense, dynamic – and often a startlingly heavy trawl down corridors of corruption and stairways of compromise. First single Golden is a stunning entry point to SERMON‘s reconfigured world; dense with melody and melancholy, it showcases the band’s expanded sonic vision, with lyrics that detail a slow, steady chipping away at the human spirit. There’s no question: Sermon has returned in 2023 with an imperious flourish.
Of Golden Verse tracklist:
1. The Great Marsh
3. Light the Witch
4. In Black
5. The Distance
7. Wake the Silent