Friday, August 13, 2010

sabbath assembly - restored to one (2010)

This is a case of an album being perhaps more interesting conceptually than musically, and for that reason I've sort of been sitting on writing this review for a couple of weeks.  But it is a fairly interesting concept: a culty new-age albums of spooky religious hymns, by a band composed of some reasonably-well know indie musicians.  I only recently heard of The Process Church of the Final Judgement, in this article, which is well worth reading.  For those without the patience to check that out, The Process is a small, alternative religious movement that has historically had connections to Mick Jagger, Genesis P-Orridge, and more recently, Jex Thoth, Robert Lowe (Lichens) and Dave Nuss (No Neck Blues Band).  The later three are featured on this album.  The music is sparse, dark folk music, and depending on how you feel about religion, its an eerie listen- the band alternately appeals to God(s), Jesus Christ and Satan.  I don't really have a deep enough knowledge of acid-folk to describe what groups of that genre this sounds like, but it reminded me of a mellow Black Mountain, and at times of the Velvet Underground.  It's not a particularly dynamic record, and it is more solemn than energized- by the end of the record, I'm definitely impatient to put something else on.  But it is interesting in its own way, and certainly more appealing than most modern religious music I've heard.