Have Tampa, FL blackened death metallers Dark Sermon essentially called it quits, or are they just taking a break? Despite recent activity on their Facebook page, including a Q&A a few days prior, it looks like they’ve decided to put things “to rest.” We aren’t exactly sure what this means, whether it’s a break-up, hiatus, or jsut the band searching for a new frontman. However, one thing is certain – vocalist Johnny Crowder is no longer with the group.

He shared the following emotional post:

Hey all, J here. My eyes are flooding as I type this, but you deserve to hear it.

Dark Sermon has been my life’s work for nearly a decade – an unforgettable whirlwind of sweat, flat tires, and insane tours. In my head, DS would live on forever, but life rarely follows the imaginary paths we paint for it.

At this point, we have fulfilled our contracts with eOne and Nuclear Blast. This, coupled with a rather unforgiving season of rotten luck, led several members to retire from touring altogether. While I was stubbornly determined to press on, the remaining members decided that now would be a good time to let DS rest.

Initially, I couldn’t accept it, but now I understand. Since high school, we’ve barely had a moment to tend to anything outside of the band. Looking back, I see how undying dedication to one solitary thing can lead to imbalance.

Is Dark Sermon done? Unfortunately, that is not up to me. However, I can’t just stop writing music and sharing it with the world. This is why I created my new band, Prison. You can watch our new music video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRd5npZccM8) or preorder our new record (https://prisonfl.bandcamp.com/) if you’d like to support us.

Although I am still trying to make peace with this situation, Dark Sermon brought immeasurable healing to me and countless others. And for that, I will never, ever forget it – or you.

To everyone who has followed my personal journey with mental illness, faith, and sobriety, thank you. Whether you decide to accompany me in this new chapter or not, you’ve already given me more than I could ask for. You saved my life.

I love each and every one of you. Deeply.

Goodbye for now.

Yours forever,

J [Johnny Crowder]”

During Dark Sermon’s run, they released one EP 2012’s Aimless, and two albums 2013’s In Tongues and 2015’s The Oracle. Hopefully, we will hear an update from the rest of the band.

In the meantime, check out Crowder’s newer project Prison.