Dark Sermon – In Tongues (eOne/Good Fight)Tuesday, 16th April 2013
They’ll probably be the first to tell you this, but The Black Dahlia Murder looked like a bunch of scene-hopping, “un-true” death metallers upon their arrival to the scene in 2003. Their promotional pictures suggested as such: cyclops haircuts, underground metal shirts that seemed a little too contrived, etc., etc. They were operating out of the metalcore presentation playbook, which made a lot of folks initially scoff at them, which in metal is a given, for image is nearly everything. Ten years later, and TBDM is a viable, respected, and top-rung death metal band, so it was only natural that someone would try to piggyback off their sound (which as they’ll tell you, is piggyback’ed from Carcass), which is exactly what Tampa’s Dark Sermon have done on their In Tongues debut.
Now, we can understand a young band not having the same musical vocabulary and depth as bands who came up through the 00’s, but Dark Sermon have rather limited themselves here by honing in on their copies of Miasma and Nocturnal. You can swap out the solos here for any of those albums, while singer Johnny Crowder falls prey to the same trappings most young vocalists do: he doesn’t know when to pipe down (see: “Hounds”). Their attempt at a two-part song (“Forfeit I: The Crooked Quill” and “Forfeit II: Worn Thin”) is halfway commendable, but their regular veering toward the Black Dahlia sound negates any sort of creative thinking.
Young bands don’t have it very easy these days. Dark Sermon don’t have the proverbial snow-ball’s chance in you-know-what.