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Sabbath Assembly - Quarternity [Svart Records - 2014]

Quaternity is the latest release from Sabbath Assembly.  Formed in 2009, the project is dedicated to the quest set forth by the Process Church of the Final Judgment; offering their hymns and theology for the current generation.  Sabbath Assembly also performs its own material in the spirit of the message of the Church.   So what is, or was the Process Church?  The Process Church was founded in the mid 60’s and lasted until the late 70’s, starting as a splinter sect from Scientology.  Look up The Process Church of the Final Judgment online and you will find a plethora of information, some factual some a bit sketchy but interesting none the least.  Lyrics are culled from The Process texts and the Bible (Deuteronomy, Revelations and Psalms.)

The tag line that was supplied by their press release concerning Quarternity states this: “What is missing from the Christian concept of “trinity”? Carl Jung suggests that the fourth element is what many reject – the evil in our nature; or by another view, the feminine, which throughout Church history has been equated with evil and duly suppressed. To restore this element to the trinity creates Quaternity, which in William Blake’s Proverbs of Hell represents “the fourfold nature of man and his relationship to the divine.”
So within Quaternity we have pieces regarding Jehovah, Lucifer, Satan and Christ. 

Jamie Myers (ex Hammers of Misfortune and guest vocals with Wolves and the Throne Room) is on vocals and Dave Nuss (formerly of Angkor Wat) on percussion.  They are joined by Kevin Hufnagel (Gorguts), Colin Marston (Gorguts, Krallice), Daron Beck (Pinkish Black), Jessika Kinney (Sunn O))), Kyle Forester, Xue Yang Lieu, Sam Kelder and Igor Kogan.

“Let Us Who Mystically Represent” starts off Quaternity with crystal clear, stunning female vocals; a stirring way to start things the overall mood is reverent and ominous at the same time.  Lyrics initiate us into their ideals:

Let Us Who Mystically Represent…

The Burning Cross of Christ
Jehovah on Death
Lucifer
I, Satan

The Four Horsemen

Let us who mystically represent Satan, Lucifer, and Jehovah
And sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life-giving Creator
Praise Christ Hail Satan
As it is So be it

“The Burning Cross of Christ” brings a far more psychedelic is somewhat folkish tinge, guitars and viola unite to create a lyrical and forlorn feel.  “Jehovah on Death” joins male and female vocals into a duet of rich tones.  Guitars, viola, cello and bells weave a sweet melody.  Where “The Burning Cross of Christ” had a forlorn feeling, this seems to lean toward a mystical, shadowy aura.  It all ends with a flourish of layered vocals.  “I, Satan” is quite a change, with intense drums, doom-inspired churning guitars and bass lines that bounce along with the female vocals, producing a fantastic din of heaviness.  Female and distorted male vocals intertwine with a fiery guitar solo creating an effect that is heavy, mind altering and mesmerizing slab of metal.  “Lucifer” starts with (what sounds like) a fuzzy recoding of acoustic guitars and vocals.  This transforms into crisp vocals of Daron Beck.  After “I, Satan” and its crushing doom-like heaviness, “Lucifer” ventures back to the hypnotic, folk territory of earlier songs.  “The Four Horsemen” proceeds with a spoken word piece and swiftly we hear tolling bells and female voices.  There is something so sacred to every song on Quaternity but it is here that is shines through the most.  Twin guitars harmonize and acoustic strumming (sorry to interrupt but it has a definite Mercyful Fate inspiration to it) blends in brilliantly.  This is interspersed with readings from The Process Church texts and verses from the Book of Revelations Chapter 12.  Voices unite to sing:

Bow your head and shield your eyes:
Bow your head and shield your eyes
The Fourth Seal is opened, a Pale Horse
Most dread creation is bursting forth, is bursting forth
Through the Blackness of the Heavens
And on his back, a faceless Specter
with Death beside Him
And power unknown is riding forth, is riding forth
Through all Eternity, to starve and tear asunder

Viola, guitars and voices that were joined then dissolve into thunder, lightning and pealing bells. 
As reverently as Quaternity began, so does it end.

Although whether or not someone is interested, or will be interested, in the Process and their teachings is debatable, yet the music here cannot be denied.  Utterly bursting with perfection and reflection, each song pays tribute to their beliefs. This is felt through all of Quaternity. The vocals of Jamie Myers, Jessika Kinney and Daron Beck are simply exhilarating.  Making music to honor religious beliefs may not be anything new but Sabbath Assembly does this in a way that is majestic, solemn and sincere.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

Viktorya Kaufholz
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