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Sermon Of Flames - I Have Seen The Light, And It Was Repulsive review

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Band: Sermon Of Flames
Album: I Have Seen The Light, And It Was Repulsive
Release date: September 2021

01. To Behead One's Desire
02. Cauldrons Of Boiling Piss
03. Chords Wrung From The Ribs Of The Earth
04. I//H//D//O//D//E//S//I//W//A//C
05. G.O.D.
06. Vacuous & Disjointed
07. Seething Radiance
08. Mephitic Seraph
09. Vehemence
10. Jahr Null
11. Hymn Of Apotheosis
12. Dancer Of The 6 Agonies

I have heard the album, and it was fantastic.

The maximalist nature of metal is something that comes up one in a while. The NWOBHM was heavier than 70s hard rock, thrash metal was heavier than that, and henceforth all facets of extreme metal tried to outdo one another in some way. What Sermon Of Flames are up to, is trying to figure out exactly where this abrasiveness leads to. Initially starting out as something closer to raw black metal, think more Novae Militiae rather than Lamp Of Murmuur, but with a clear penchant for noisiness. Mixing metal with noise is not really a novelty anymore, but especially on I Have Seen The Light, And It Was Repulsive, it's more than just adding a layer of noise, but about interweaving death industrial noise into a maximalist cauldron that spews extremity.

And this kind of extreme metal noise has some similarities to Anaal Nathrakh, Knelt Rote, and Vessel Of Iniquity, while also merging the dissonances of Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, Hissing, and Portal into a swarm of maddening riffs. The album sits pretty equally at the Venn intersection of death metal, noise, black metal, and industrial, not really letting any of those four elements take too much precedence over the rest, but the order in which I enumerated them is my best guess at the ranking of each genre's slice of the pie. But the fact that it's this hard to really tell them apart is a testament to how great of a job Sermon Of Flames did at tangling them into the sound here.

And even if I did all that talk of maximalism, I don't feel like I Have Seen The Light, And It Was Repulsive is to just create an album as extreme as possible, otherwise it would just be a fun experiment and an endurance test, but the sonic architecture at play enhances a somewhat apocalyptic soundscape out of it. The band know when to pull back just a little to let a more atmospheric riff do the work, or when to leave the metal out of it altogether, and even some of the ambient sections don't necessarily favor abrasiveness over anything else. There are plenty of brutal death metal riffs and low underworldly vocals, but also pummeling industrial black metal, swirls where everything mixes together into a whirlwind of nihilistic anger.

Rarely do metal bands have such a mastery of noise beyond a mere fascination with it. Sermon Of Flames could've made a great brutal death metal record, a great death industrial record, a great dissonant black metal record, but they chose to make all of those in one.

Written on 21.09.2021 by Doesn't matter that much to me if you agree with me, as long as you checked the album out.


Comments: 7   Visited by: 95 users
21.09.2021 - 19:08

Was not aware of this release, need to listen ASAP. Great review!
"Nullum unquam exstitit magnum igenium sine aliqua dementia [there was never great genius without some madness]."

Best of Metal A-Z:
21.09.2021 - 19:14
Written by Uxküll on 21.09.2021 at 19:08

Was not aware of this release, need to listen ASAP. Great review!

High up in my favorites of the year already
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?

2021 goodies
21.09.2021 - 19:37
Must you name-drop so many good bands, I'll have to... oh, this sounds neatly deranged alright. What was it, brutal dissonant industry-blackdeath? Sounds about right
21.09.2021 - 20:19

One of those albums that's too extreme to say that I actually enjoy it, but as you say, they've merged multiple different styles of unpleasantness into something that takes extremity to another level without just being an exercise of trying to be as intense as possible
21.09.2021 - 22:41

Great review, Radu. And I'm glad you're shining a bit of a light on this. I was worried it was going to end up overlooked.
25.10.2021 - 23:21
always right
After all the praise this got from the review and the comments, I expected a hell of a lot. It was fine. I liked a few songs, but after a few spins it still didn't fully grip me
You are the hammer, I am the nail
building a house in the fire on the hill
21.11.2021 - 21:27
X-Ray Rod
There is just so much fucking brilliant music that I can't keep up anymore. I will need to revisit this soon but I really loved how well all the genres mix but I'm actually glad that this feels a bit more of a death metal album than a black metal one. Death metal needs more forward-thinking stuff anyway.

Vacuous & Disjointed was particularly messed upw ith those female choirs. Maddening shit.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.

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