Sabbath Assembly

Restored To One

Written by: EW on 10/06/2010 23:44:48

Having been enormously impressed by the self-titled debut album of Jex Thoth in 2008 (I graded significantly too low at the time) there was no way I could turn down "Restored To One" by the new act Sabbath Assembly, featuring the godly vocals of Jessica Thoth herself. While the aforementioned act perform a wonderful retrospectively-influenced and -performed melting pot of rock and doom, Sabbath Assembly are a vastly different creation: combining rock, psychedelic and gospel into something I can personally attest to never having heard before. But before we get onto the music, the inspiration behind this entity requires some explaining...

Stated in the press blurb, "Restored to One" is a modern response to the musical activities of a cult known as The Process Church of the Final Judgment, who used music to spread their visions of Gnostic reconciliation in a time of cataclysmic change, re-charging the original hymns of The Process Church working them into moving renditions into one triumphant re-awakening". Further explanation...The Process Church were accused of being part of a Satanic underground conspiracy in the late 60s/early 70s, being linked to the infamous Charles Manson murders. Promoting a controversial, quasi-Gnostic theology reconciling Christ, Satan and Lucifer through deep love and awareness, the Church evolved into different forms before slowly losing it's initial potency, until now at least, with this deeply humble and respectful re-processing of original music used in the Church's message. As inspirations go it's incredibly fascinating, going to prove the theory that the most interesting music comes from the most unusual of situations.

Approaching the 9 tracks within feels a rather more daunting challenge than most other promos after digesting all this, but the challenge doesn't end there. The mixture of rock, psychedelic and gospel is a highly accurate descriptor of the music on this 60's sounding, deeply religious album; at times upbeat in the most gospel track, "Glory Hallelujah", in others the feel of ritual music ("In The Time Of Abaddon") and others passionately psychedelic ("Glory To The Gods In The Highest" and "The Saints Shall Inherit The Earth"). However within lies greatness - one needs not be knowledgeable in these genres nor the music's message to appreciate the warm, humanistic overtones in the jazzy deployment of organ, brass and 60's pop guitar, lest of all forgetting Thoth's outstanding vocal contribution. Sounding even better than on "Jex Thoth" and enhanced through the variety of nuances between gospel and pure psychedelia her performance is spine-tingly brilliant, a perfect compliment to a music layered deep in message and context.

Separating the 'music' and the 'message' on "Restored To One" is akin to the chicken or the egg debate as one could simply not exist without the other. Taking on the challenge to re-process (as the band define it) a set of songs as meaningful as this required immaculate modesty and expertise in honouring it’s creators original motivations, a task Sabbath Assembly have arguably met. "Restored To One" will never be for everyone but given the opportunity to sink in and deploy it's message you too will soon find yourself under it's spell, perhaps decades later helping earn The Church a different form of recognition to that which they were initially interested.

9

Download: Glory To The Gods In The Highest, The Saints Shall Inherit The Earth, We Give Our Lives, Hymn Of Consecration
For the fans of: Challenging, open-minded music
Listen: Myspace

Release date 21.06.2010
:AJNA: (in conjunction with Feral House)

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