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Heavy Rotation: Sermon Frontman Him Shares His Recent Listening


Progressive metal outfit Sermon are gearing up to release their second album, Of Golden Verse at the end of the month and they’ve given us another taste of what to expect via new single “Departure.” If you’ve never heard Sermon before, you’re in for a treat; the band’s sophomore album is carefully written to stick with you, explains frontman Him:

“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.”

There are obvious comparisons to Tool and Katatonia in Sermon’s music but we wanted to delve deeper so MetalSucks spoke to Him about the music he’s been listening to lately. You can check out “Departure” below and pre-order Of Golden Verse.

Decapitated – “Hello Death

A truly mind blowing band, and I’ve been a fan ever since I heard Winds of Creation in a McDonalds car park when I was 13. Also, James Stewart is the drummer, and James Stewart is also my drummer. 

Ulver – “EOS”

I find myself in different Ulver eras quite regularly. Bergtatt will always be one of my most spun records but Shadows of the Sun, for me, is maybe their best album. It’s a gorgeous wash of sound from start to finish. Go for a night time walk with this in your ears, you won’t regret it.

Comus – “The Herald

This is a record so bizarre sounding that you’d be a fool not to at least try it once. While the whole album is properly stunning, this song has a beautiful mid-section of acoustic guitar solo-ing that has never left my mind. Credit to Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth for single handedly bringing Comus into the public eye again. 

Emperor – “The Loss and Curse of Reverence

Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk is an epic odyssey from start to finish. I’d argue that if you can get beyond the ‘noise’ of the record, the melodies could carry anyone away, and this song is a shining example of that.

Behemoth – “Ben Sahar

Nergal seems to get stick for pushing black metal through a Disney filter, but I think what they’ve achieved in and out of their genre is magnificent. I regularly spin this song because at 1:30 you’re going to get bludgeoned with one of the most rockin’ riffs ever made. 

Dissection – “Retribution – Storm of the Lights Bane”

Maybe the best metal song ever written in my eyes. It truly has everything. It’s not an immaculate, tight production, but it sounds like a real band, playing a real song with real fury and that’s not something you can hear often these days. Is it really possible to have true anger on take number 20? 

Fontaines D.C – “In ár gCroíthe go deo

OK, hear me out. It’s clearly not metal. But the song is a dark, sad story with beautiful spoken word vocals. The whole song is a building, constant crescendo. There’s a lot for a metal fan to love here, unless you can only digest music made by a seven-string in 17/8.

Ghost – “Spirit”

I couldn’t grasp Ghost for years. The super evil look combined with the Scooby Doo sound just never worked for me. HOWEVER. This was the turning point. It finally clicked. It’s like Toni Iommi made a baby with Abba and I’ve been a diehard fan ever since. 

Akercocke – “Verdelet”

I burned this album out when I was wide-eyed 17 year old, so I haven’t listened to it much since. But it was every day. Three, maybe four times a day. For a year at least. Recently though, it’s crept back in. I love Akercocke, and I wish they put out more as they are one of the most unique metal bands to exist, they’ve never once tried to ride a wave of current musical style. 

Judas Priest – “The Sentinel”

I think we all wish we could sing like Halford. Priest is pretty much the only thing I was listening to during the recording of Of Golden Verse and my (admittedly poor-man’s-version) attempt at trying to get my voice higher on some of the songs was clearly due my love of Rob Halford at the time. If you can’t enjoy this song, I’m not sure I can enjoy you. 

King Crimson – “Frame by Frame”

Just listen to King Crimson, guys. I don’t need to tell you twice. I’d like to see any of these new-age YouTube guitarists even try to touch the prodigious skill of Robert Fripp. Sweep picking is all well and good, but have you ever tried to learn “Fracture”? Fripp is as close to God as we might have. 

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