(In this post TheMadIsraeli reviews the new album by Tampa’s Dark Sermon.)
Metalcore is a pretty dead venue for the most part at this point. When the majority of a genre has resorted to knocking off elements from djent in order to maintain any credibility, you know your style is knee-deep in irrelevancy. That’s why I’m surprised by the debut of Dark Sermon, called In Tongues.
Dark Sermon are a sinister, ravaging band. Heavy influence taken from The Black Dahlia Murder, Bleeding Through, and At the Gates manifests itself in a sound that definitely comes off more early/mid 2000’s. The riffs are technical, dark, and draped in an old-school Swedish overcoat, drawing strength from the darker melodic bands of that scene, such as the aforementioned At the Gates, old Arch Enemy, and even Carcass. The vocals of frontman Johnny Crowder fall between a John Pettibone (of Himsa fame) bark and Trevor Strnad-styled high-pitched shrieks.
“The Shepard’s Staff” wastes no time in establishing the modus operandi of these guys: pedal-point riffing in the Gothenburg tradition accompanied by artillery fire in the form of blast beats and over-saturations of double bass.
This album is nothing but high-speed melodic butchery, unrelenting and steadfast. The general intensity with which the music is conveyed is ludicrously intense, combined to good effect with the rough-as-nails, unpolished mix courtesy of Eyal Levi of Daath fame. This album is chock full of riffs, in spades, and packed with dual-guitar harmonies, elegant solos, and skyscraper-splitting breakdowns that, to reference my earlier comparison, really channel Bleeding Through.
This is essential listening for this year; it’ll remind you of the glory days of the more brutal side of metalcore. A very impressive debut by these guys, and I think if they keep going this way, they’ll turn out to be something very special.
[In Tongues is out now in the U.S. via eOne/Good Fight and will be released in Europe by Nuclear Blast on April 12. The killer album cover is by NCS favorite Eliran Kantor.]
This sounds like melodic death metal to me, but they remind me mostly of Through the Eyes of the Dead (who are labeled as a deathcore band)… Maybe I really don’t understand sub-genres.
However, if you think metalcore is a “dead avenue”, then you just aren’t listening.
Show me some good metalcore than that’s recent.
Harlots, this album “Betrayer” is from 2007. I included this because it’s a good halfway point between the melodic death-ish metalcore and the more old-school metalcore sound.
Seizures, this split is from 2012 (I think).
Salt Lake City’s own Starvist.
Bird Eater, also from SLC (members of Gaza).
There are new and recent releases from Ringworm, Vision of Disorder, Antagonist, Gaza, the Banner, Trap Them, Creatures, Ion Dissonance, Terror, Integrity, Shai Hulud, Hatebreed, Early Graves, Crowbar, even Killswitch Engage… even if I can’t personally recommend all of these bands, they all have something to do with metalcore. Hopefully you find something you like.
Will check these out…
I only liked Reaping Asmodeia. The rest sound very dime-a-dozen.
Actually I kind of figured that would be your response. Reaping Asmodeia shares some connection with the now-defunct With Dead Hands Rising, who are also worth checking out.
Reaping Asmoedeia is most definitely amazing. I’m lucky enough to let you know that I’ve played on a few legs of their tours and have partied quite hard with those motherfuckers. My band also puts out metalcore that I hope doesnt suck too much.
Check us out.
Thanks I will check out your band!
Cool. Thanks for sharing Dark Sermon. They’re quite rad.
Johnny Crowder; metal singer, low level opiate dealer and pimp for a family run criminal organization, Kentuckian, Patriot.