Sermon are a gothic metal band from the UK helmed by the enigmatic frontman and main creator Him. Their wide-ranging sound includes much more than the typical heavy elements, and their last record The Birth of Marvellous was well-received: a refreshing take on the sounds of Katatonia, Tool, and Opeth, subsequently thrown in the blender for dramatic effect.

2023 brings us to their next release: Of Golden Verse, a record that helps expand upon the sonic palette that was established back in 2019 with wider mass appeal. Him reached out to Invisible Oranges in an effort to educate the metal masses about some albums that piqued his interest. These might be far less heavy than the music we all know and love, but for diversity’s sake he boiled down some of his favorites into a ten-piece for all to take in and enjoy. Be sure to pick up Of Golden Verse, out at the end of March via Prosthetic Records.

Him comments:

Metal is one of those genres where I feel like you could pour just about any other genre into it and it would still come out the other side metal. For the discerning listener, I think it’s one of the most diverse music types we have on offer.

For me though, I enjoy my metal more on the darker, fantastical kind of side of things. Anything from dreamy melodies, to discordant evil riffing and double kick stomping around at various paces.

Quite a few of these variables pop up in other music that I draw inspiration from, so this playlist is about non-metal for those who love metal.

P.S I can’t guarantee you will like or agree with any of this, but if you tried, you have my love and admiration.



Scott Walker - The Seventh Seal

Scott Walker is one the late geniuses of our time and you may have seen his name crop up every now and then. This song is about a knight’s game of chess against death. The surging choirs, the macabre lyrics crooned across the top, all adds up to something just a tiny bit metal.

Sermon has actually put together a cover song of this, but reworked.


Xenia Kriisin - Not Enough

This has everything I love in music; imperious vocals, unusual instruments and layers of clever percussion. It’s a shame (and surprise) she’s not bigger honestly. The whole album is a melancholic dream.


King Crimson - 21st Century Schizoid Man

One of the best debut albums ever made from the might of King Crimson. This song is particularly rockin’ in comparison to the prog soundscapes of the rest of the record but it’s got such a rigid hook combined with a mental digression in the middle that eventually comes back full circle into the original hook. A timeless stunner.


Interpol - Tidal Wave

I love the dreary simplicity of Interpol. The grating, soaring tenor of Paul Banks, the ethereal leads and driving rhythm section. I think this song would make a good cover song for Sermon actually, it’s got a chord progression I quite frequently use and my love for big primal tom action.


The Maccabees - Given to the Wild

Some will recognise The Maccabees name right away and expectedly (but wrongly) lump them into the Brit lad party band scene of the 00’s etc. This album though is almost a post-rock odyssey. Huge delay guitars and hypnotic rhythms, with gentle, sombre vocals. This song in particular has a marvellous build I’ve always wanted to recreate.


Comus - First Utterance

There aren’t many songs that sound more evil than the middle section of “Diana”. If you’ve not heard Comus before, imagine the local band in the Summerisle from the Wicker Man. Sinister. Folky. Terrifying.


Wovenhand - Ten Stones

I wondered if including Wovenhand was cheating seeing as they often play at fringe metal fests like Roadburn. However, they’re definitely not metal, but they are definitely dark. David Eugene Edwards is maybe one of my biggest vocal influences especially on “Kingdom of Ice”. His voice is commanding, his performance transfixing, and certainly a man channeling the fury of God with unwavering conviction.


Camel - Moonmadness

If you’ve not heard Camel, but you’ve heard Opeth, you’re in for a taste of where it all came from. Andy Latimer never quite reached the notoriety of Jimmy Page or David Gilmour, but his guitar playing on “Song Within A Song” sings just as distinctly. Full of epic melancholy.


Bon Iver - Bon Iver

In a fantasy land, I would love Justin Vernon to produce a Sermon record, and the reason largely is “Perth”. The brass section, the rumbling double kick at the end and layer upon layer of octaved vocal. On the next to nothing chance you’re reading this Justin, give me a bell.


Woodkid - The Golden Age

Orchestral, almost spoken word vocals and visually stunning. Woodkid is a huge inspiration for me; the grandeur level of sound, with a foundation of beat that almost becomes melody, it’s nothing less than cinematic. I’ll give a tenner to anyone that can tell me what Sermon song “Run Boy Run” directly inspired.


Bohren Und Der Club of Gore - Black City Skyline

Imagine jazz slowed down to a crawl. That’s Bohren. They are somewhat revered by the metal crowd and you can hear why. Every album sounds like a modern, gothic noir soundtrack and they have not released a single bad album either. Get on it.

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