Leon : An anonymous band, that is a new one for me. The members of the band Sermon do not want to be in the spotlight but want to let the music speak for them. Oh well, it does not really matter what they are called because in the end it is all about the music and whether it is good or not. The only thing I know about the band is that The Birth Of The Marvelous is the debut album and that they are based in London. So let us jump into the music, because that is what it is all about.
When I heard the first tones of The Birth Of The Marvelous I was confused for a moment, did I get a wrong promo with the new Katatonia album? This is, of course, not the case but it is striking how similar the vocals sound to Jonas Renkse his vocals. Actually, also musically it sounds a lot like the music that Katatonia makes, even though they gave their own twist to the music. The band mainly revolves around rhythmic drum parts with melodic guitar and vocals, the keyboards are mainly supportive and are responsible for the atmosphere on the album. Musically there is not much to critique, the musicians clearly know what they are doing. Even though the quality over the entire album is high, I still miss the outliers, the only songs that resemble outliers are Contrition and The Preacher, because there are some strong moments in there. All songs are good, but none pass the line to absolutely amazing. In addition, I would have liked to hear a bit more diversity in music, after a few songs it all starts to sound a bit too similar, I think this is mainly because of the vocals. I sometimes have the same problem with Katatonia, although I think their music is a little more varied.
That said I can certainly say that Sermon has made an album that is well above the average, especially since Birth Of The Marvelous is their debut album! I think that many debuting bands should be jealous of this work. Maybe, when the band has some mileage, they can improve some more in their songwriting. Then things would get very interesting, and I will definitively keep a close eye on them. A must for people who love atmospheric progressive rock that is comparable to Katatonia!