The latest from the heavy synth project Sermons By The Devil comes at us in a subtle way. There’s a subdued quality in Below The Surface, a five-song mini-album that explores the juxtaposition between that 9 to 5 face we share in our everyday work life, and what happens when the front door closes and we are allowed to be ourselves.
Once again utilizing a bevy of analog electronics and then building them in Ableton 11, Sermon’s Tom Hall creates a darkly-lit sound world where our true selves are allowed to run free. Locking into Pentagram Home Video, Slasher Film Festival Strategy, and early 80s horror synth scores, Sermons By The Devil serves up another sleek and dark slab of heavy synth goodness.
“During the day, we project our work-day personalities and smile with community facades. It is the night, however, where we can take a peek under the surface and live as our authentic selves…“
Below The Surface is all about what we hold back in order to fit into society. It’s the painted smile, forced laugh, and cringe-y handshake we offer up in order to hide the contempt and awkwardness we feel in a world that doesn’t get, or doesn’t want to get, who we truly are. That’s not to say that we’re all secretly some Patrick Bateman-like psychopath with a house of horrors hiding in our basement. But even sometimes the kind of music we love, the films we adore, and the books we lose ourselves in separate us from that coffee nook talk. These songs lock into a secret world where we can be who we are without apology or regret.
Tracks like “Nocturnal Economics”, “Strange Relations”, and “Falling In Love at 3am” are these electronic portals to the shaded parts of our true selves. Subtle melodies, low key beats, and otherworldly drones build darkened places for our “other” selves to feel free and mingle amongst the freaks.
This is yet another solid collection of low key electronic that locks into the nostalgia of late night movie rentals, Gothic undertones, and the music that made those classic VHS horror experiences classic. Sermons By The Devil’s Below The Surface is the late night listen you’ve been waiting for.