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Exclusive Track Stream: Dark Sermon, “Rat King”


Dark SermonA funny thing has happened to Dark Sermon since their ear-grabbing debut In Tongues came out in 2013: they done changed up their sound. Like, a lot.

Bands change it up all the time, so on its own that’s not wholly surprising. What’s surprising is this: the modern/technical/progressive death metal blend they pedaled on In Tongues was pretty damn good. Not especially remarkable in its originality, but promising enough to land them “promising young death metal band” praise amongst the ranks of Allegaeon, Rivers of Nihil, Black Crown Initiate, etc. Surely if they’d continued down that path and refined it they’d have come into their own soon enough and made a modern death metal record that could stand up against the genre’s best.

But what we’ve got on The Oracle, the band’s sophomore release, is a wholly different beast. Dark Sermon’s sound is still rooted in death metal, but it’s as if the dudes got REALLY into DM’s gnarliest subset — Nails, Black Breath, Enabler, and all the other crunchier DM bands that worship Entombed — and just said, “Fuck all this modern metal stuff, we’re gonna sound like THIS now,” with a dirtier, more organic production style to match. In itself this might be troubling, since aping one style is no better than aping another, even if one is supposedly more “cool.” Thankfully the lads in Dark Sermon had the wherewithal to make it their own by sprinkling in elements of black metal and doom, making what we’ve got on The Oracle as engaging a listen as anything we’ve heard all year.

Stream a new track called “Rat King” below and you’ll see exactly what we mean. The Oracle comes out on August 21st via eOne and can be pre-ordered here.

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