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Sabbath Assembly - Quaternity Award winner

Sabbath Assembly
by Tom Colyer at 19 July 2014, 10:19 AM

Every so often I find a band that blow my expectations out of the water and leave them rapidly drying in the sun, gibbering madness and gasping for air as the black veil closes in on them.

Sabbath Assembly have achieved exactly that.

Having never even heard of them I went in blind, half expecting some variation on the current metal formula, more than likely with vocals that are simply a let down, I could not have been further from the truth.  This will teach me for not reading up on a band before listening.  It turns out that Sabbath Assembly are a religious group that sing hymns based on the teachings and beliefs of the Process Church Of Final Judgement (quite a mouthful).  This church, as it turns out is based around the joining of God and Satan and all the Heavenly and Earthly delights this can bring.

Their third album since 2010 “Quaternity” starts things of with some of the most enchanting vocal work I have heard in a long time.  It sounds like Gregorian Plainchant sung by the congregation of Anton LaVey and written by the hand of Alastair Crowley.  The addition of organs and church bells begins to give the song the ambience of the graveyard and the impending meeting with the reaper to  whisk your soul away into oblivion.

Essentially, what I'm trying to say is that it sounds fucking incredible.

The album progresses in much the same vein, with each song getting a little darker as you feel what shred of light may reside within your soul darken and recede gently into the blackness of the night.  The transformation is reaching full circle by the time “I, Satan” comes around and beats that final lingering angel into a bloody pulp with distorted guitars and the kind of dread that can only be described as ominous.  By the end of this song, I realised that for the last two minutes I had been gently sharpening my sacrificial blade and making eyes at the neighbours pet rabbit.  This song has become one of my all time favourites instantly, never before have I heard something with so much raw beauty and darkness behind it.

Just as I felt like the darkness was about to swallow me up and spit out a deranged lunatic baying for rabbit blood and the tears of innocence, everything changed.  “Lucifer” lives up to its nom-de-guerre perfectly and becomes the light bringer, ushering peace and tranquility back into my obsidian heart.  The vocals usher in a new dawn and before I know it, I am calm and the frantic blood-lust that was burning through my veins just three minutes ago has dissipated and been released.  It is exactly this kind of emotional journey that makes music so special.  It has been a long time since I experienced an album like this and sweet Lucifer, I am thirsty for more.

Of course, nothing is perfect and the final song, although epic in its concept and execution, falls a little short of the expectations set out by the rest of the album.  The off-time echo of the scripture readings gets a little muddy and generally detracts from the strong and deep content that it is trying to get across.

So maybe it's not exactly Metal.  Does that really matter when you have Satan at your heels and Lucifer behind your wings?  I think not.

5 Star Rating

1. Let Us Who Mythically Represent
2. The Burning Cross Of Christ
3. Jehovah On Death
4. I, Satan
5. Lucifer
6. The Four Horsemen
Jamie Myers
Dave Nuss

No Instruments Listed
Record Label: Svart Records


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