There is more to this than mere music oh brethren, thee process is thee product and to get to the sound itself first we must embrace the ideology. So, Sabbath Assembly were formed in 2009 (and regrettably this scribe missed their first scripture) to deliver the teachings of the Process Church of the Final Judgment. This was in very simple terms a cult that existed in the 60’s and 70’s in London and branched out from the already established Scientology of L Ron Hubbard. The main belief (and I cannot sum this up any better than Wiki so please excuse the copy and paste) was “that Satan will become reconciled to Christ, and they will come together at the end of the world to judge humanity, Christ to judge and Satan to execute judgment.” Of course this is just the tip of what it is about and if you are looking for more knowledge check the mine of information available on the net. How you perceive this is your own choice but to many this drew parallels with Satanism and was of alleged interest to many movers and shakers of the times from William S Burroughs to Charles Manson and there is no denying that it is fascinating reading and also easy to see how it tempted so many to follow its doctrines.
This is exactly what Jamie Myers (Hammers Of Misfortune) and Dave Nuss (Wolves In The Throne Room) of NYC cult Sabbath Assembly have done here but they have gone way beyond the scope of just interpreting things in musical form but have with this second album taken the original hymns of the Church and reinvented and reawakened them in their own rePROCESS for the current generation. Prepare to be brainwashed.
They have taken on some help along the way too and found a minister in the form of Genesis P-Orridge and I admit it is due to the role of the Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV innovator that I first grabbed this sight unheard. Genesis takes on the part of High Priest(ess), aka “Sacrifist and his/her voice is instantly recognisable, calming and beatific. Having followed it on well over 50 albums it is one I would possibly follow to judgement day itself, so I was well versed and instantly transfixed by these parts. There are also original Church members involved here and these apocalyptic texts are unveiled for the very first time apparently.
So what of the music how does it all sound you ask? Very good question and it is one that does not have a particularly easy answer. Obviously there are spoken word parts as the scriptures are foretold. There are moments of devotional chorals too and as we arrive at ‘The Love Of The Gods’ the sort of syrupy pop ballad that a valium fixated housewife would have done the housework too and buffered the psychedelic carpet in her lounge in the era of peace and love. Smile along as you will at this Joyless etched singalong, the lyrics are not quite so sugar coated but more designed as cult brainwashing which probably will not even be realised until they have been sung along to and are ingrained on the brain. It’s to coin another prophet, “a beautiful song for the end of the world.” There is even a sassy gospel twist before it is done with us. The music is on the whole very calming. Soothing folk etched female vocals, and Genesis combine with acoustic tinkling on ‘We Come From The One’ and it is all designed to have you in an almost trance like state. This is dangerous stuff, perhaps as acidic and corrosive to the mind as any devilish opus from the likes of Watain? There are moments of storm as on the sudden up tempo charge invading ‘Bless Our Lord And Master’ which really jolts you back out your trance.
It’s kind of like delving into sacrosanct and ritualistic liturgy and gaining forbidden knowledge as you listen to ‘We Give Our Lives.’ The hymnal focus is somewhat bewitching and when the following piece ‘Exit’ adds a soft drum beat you again realise you have been in a complete daze.
I guess you can just approach this as music and it is, simple music and easily accessible. Not only that, it is probably one of the most commercially sounding discs that you will ever see featured here, the music itself is completely non confrontational it is only when you scrape beneath the surface that more comes out. Listening to music and actually hearing it are after all two different things and this is best approached as a whole concept to get the most out of it.
Ye Are Gods is fascinating and enlightening stuff and I have rather fallen in love with it. A new age, a new way of life approaches? Is this really endtymes, it certainly feels more and more like it. This is perhaps the perfect soundtrack to anoint yourself in as it approaches.
(8.5/10 Pete Woods)