Analysis | SERMON Preaches Extinction Through Till Birth Do Us Part

            Colossal forces have been heralded in the return of SERMON, who’ve awakened like the Ancient Ones from a slumber dating back to 2004, and these Turkish doom-purveyors seek to reclaim the prestige of their early demos with a vengeful resurgence. This 2021 revival was followed by three new tracks unveiled last year, and now they’ve become within a complete opus titled Till Birth Do Us Part. The grand and gloomy essence of those initiatory pieces is elevated by this full context, and it traverses various epic settings, where melodic and atmospheric dynamics cast layers of enchantment among the heavier elements. SERMON’s official debut is no longer lost to the ages, with Till Birth Do Us Part seizing a newfound lifeforce that makes up for lost time, and its mass delivers the compelling exploration to command acclaim.

            An odyssey commences symphonically on “Posthumous,” and that aura is soon crushed in the onset of chords and drumbeats, with an aftermath of desolate notes persisting among a thick distorted wall. These progress in time with a steady funereal procession, and while slower paces are prevalent across each track, any lost vitality expected from a lack of speed is countered by intricate percussive maneuvers. They unfold alongside a psychedelic lead component, which rises concurrently with the evolving atmospheric grandeur, and this culmination is paralleled vocally when guttural and clean-sung dynamics converge. Melodies are integral to the atmospheres conjured throughout, and elevated variants mark the opening of “Sliver / Splinter,” where rhythmic distinctions also occur in shifts from double bass to a heavy advance, and its stride accommodates the soaring of leadwork before a drop back toward dreariness. Violins transfer this mournful tone over to “Flawless Entropy,” a track highlighting the layered interaction between dense and detailed fret designs, and their multi-leveled menace compounds the ambient haunts within other areas until “Requitement” casts further shades of dread. Its organs reinforce an expansive instrumental arsenal, and a sinister combination proceeds as those keys loom in disharmony with the heavier and noted arrangements. A transition exercises the aural influence of melody amid courses with varying speeds and tones, but crushing depths are likewise pronounced beneath the solo at its zenith.

            Deep riff structures conspire with organs for a bleak dive into “Cerulean,” and its somber beats are complicated by pianos and other dismal notes rising within their progression. The calculated integration of these elements keeps the course active and engaging, with lead melodies bringing further intensity to the burden until euphoria is achieved in soloing, and “Destined to Decline” expands on this quality while representing an atmospheric peak. Desolation howls past its violin prelude, and a symphonic emphasis heightens the impact of different noted shapes, which often proceed toward a decay reflected in the song title. Versatility also continues vocally as rasped and spoken sections deviate from the lower torments, and a poetic character is particularly captured during the end passage, after melancholic developments reach an epic point through leadwork. This area strikes with the immensity of a closing piece, but another dimension is soon encountered on “Gnostic Dissensus,” where industrial synth traces contribute to the journey’s vast elemental array. A comparatively upbeat and vital pace breaks the anguished focus of preceding tracks, and it suits various drum fills unleashed among the heavy and melodic currents. Bells toll for the final devastating act on “The Jupiterian Effect,” and doom is confirmed by its imposing forms before a lead draws the presence of wolves. Aural and distorted shadows then linger in concentrations to engulf the material in a ruinous fate.

            The massive soundscapes are matched by lyrical content exploring multiple realms and eras, which begins by unearthing ancient ruins on “Posthumous,” and seeking the “Solemnity of the splendor void” raises an inherent metaphysical awareness “From the depths of a distant age.” Excerpts of Baudelaire poems appear throughout, and their lost desire for life on “Sliver / Splinter” enhances its perspective on decay and death, with the “Hoar upon the leaves” observed before “A wayfare to stars” expires with “Splinters deep within.” Harsh terrains and elements often detail these scenes, and one illustration on “Flawless Entropy” includes an “Inanimate landscape, so pale and grim,” where turbulence is apparent during a “Natural oscillation of the cycle itself.” Ideas of stability falter in “Delusive inertia” when “Unveiling the codes of a glacial epoch,” and “Requitement” continues exhuming “Remnants of the past” as natural forces are personified mythologically. The Greek god of the north wind is called forth in “Relentless Boreas, carry the tidal waves,” and the “Bane of Pleiades, raging with flares” is also witnessed, along with the fury of another god who shares his name with the river Achelous. The presence of such figures complements the other atmospheric points, including oceanic and celestial counterparts that strike alongside this earthly assault.

            The seas carry struggles for survival on “Cerulean,” with “Futility of toil, drowning within” capturing the banished souls swept away by their tides, and the underlying metaphysics of this turmoil are then directed to “Elutriate the quintessence” of our being. Allusions to death or some altered state appears in “Depart farther from shores and sink into oblivion tonight,” along with the “Reveries unknown” that drift into a dismal outcome on “Destined to Decline,” and here the outer void appears with a fate comparable to our sphere’s in “Deserted cosmos, forsaken terra.” This realm is aptly described as “A galaxy cold and lurid,” and extinction is imminent from its impact on a “Decrepit planet designed to fail,” which then shifts to a heightened esoteric focus on “Gnostic Dissensus.” There are many key points among these lines, including a transformation achieved by venturing beyond the “Constant dichotomy,” and the “Arcane cognizance” involved is concealed from most of humanity, whose mindless overpopulating nature is addressed in the “Incessant breeding in myriads” of “Unreasoned masses.” Harsh elements are entwined with life’s deteriorating cycle on “The Jupiterian Effect,” and they pave an “Unending litany of suffering” for one progressing from “Callow, the apprentice of life” to the “Extinctive and wroth” end. These verses ultimately surpass what can be covered here, and the orchestral journey is thoroughly enhanced by their substance.

            Elements of brutality and elegance are adeptly gathered to conceive Till Birth Do Us Part, and a notable presence among realms of doom is raised by its immense structures. The riffing imposes massive forces while melodic and lead currents induce a parallel euphoria over their abyss, and those layers harmonize to create different auras of haunting and anguished intensity. Their spirits are matched by the trudging pulses sustained percussively, and versatility is demonstrated with the multitude of detailed fills embedded throughout. This quality also applies to the vocal delivery, which includes spoken passages to enhance an inherent poeticism in the arrangements, and these all combine with other diverse instrumental features to forge a highly immersive venture. The gothic splendor of Till Birth Do Us Part leaves a formidable mark upon our current year, with its effects inspiring curiosity toward the territories SERMON might engage during a follow-up effort, and hopefully that next quest will become a reality in the nearby future.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s