Dark Sermon: In Tongues

Florida’s young death metalheads preach to the perverted

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Although many of their peers continue a blank-eyed pursuit of glory while displaying scant regard for metal’s intrinsic values, Dark Sermon make it abundantly clear where their allegiances lie. In Tongues is a startling debut that revels in brutal metal’s myriad possibilities while avoiding any of the gimmicks and clichés that engender commercial success among the less devout.

At heart this is a death metal record, with all the malevolence, controlled aggression and sinister themes that such focus demands, but there are also lethal hooks by the score and subtle invention lurking between the sonic lines.

Fans of The Black Dahlia Murder and Job For A Cowboy will recognise the fire and fury on display during The Shepherd’s Staff and Hounds, but with bursts of esoteric percussion on Imperfect Contrition, ominous sludge on Cursed and warped tribal grooves on Forfeit II: Worn Thin, this is one of the more adventurous and exciting first forays thrown up by metal’s fresh-faced contingent in recent years.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.