Sabbath Assembly_Sabbath AssemblySabbath Assembly have always been odd, especially since they used their music to proselytize about the obscure religious splinter group known as the Process Church of the Final Judgment. This resulted in albums like Ye Are Gods and Quaternity playing like Manson-esque hippie cult indoctrination music and they were definitely an acquired taste with limited replay value. On their eponymous fourth album, the band saw fit to excommunicate themselves from said church and do their own thing, and the music is all the better for the decision. This is quite a different beast from previous outings – still trippy occult rock, but sounding more like a berserker Jex Thoth mixed with Ghost and something much darker and far heavier. It works amazingly well, as does the absence of those freaky liturgy pieces from the past. Changes aside, it’s still a very odd, off-kilter album and often sounds like someone having a psychotic break during a satanic mass, and that’s exactly why you need to hear it.

The new direction is immediately apparent on twitchy opener “Risen From Below” with its weird Killing Joke meets Helmet meets Led Zeppelin vibe. It’s a jangled, disjointed mess, but it works and feels like walking into a cult ritual whilst chowing a burrito – you don’t know what to do so you listen, chew and await developments. And developments impress again and again as Jamie Meyers hypnotized and terrorizes with her strange vocals. The guitar work by Kevin Hufnagel (Goreguts) is discombobulated but fascinating and the band is only just getting started.

Tracks like “Confessing a Murder” are edgy and enthralling and when “Only You” hits with its Black Sabbath groove and rocked out machismo, you’ll be dragged along, despite the freaky Satanic stalker lyrics. “Sharp Edge of the Earth” pairs acoustic guitar with sweet viola as Jamie sings like someone bathing in wine and infant blood as the creepy factor ratchets up to 12. Closer ” Shadows of Emptiness” leverages a 60s-70s vibe with tiny hints of “Hotel California” and Jamie is at her seductive but scary best.

Sabbath Assembly_2015

This is the quintessential Jamie Meyers show from start to finish and if you ever wondered what a witch would sound like as she called you to certain doom, listen here. Seductive, beautiful and terrifying, she embodies darkness and light effortlessly in a way she hasn’t before and her vocals are nothing short of breathtaking. Kevin Hufnagel does his best work here too, giving each song a bevy of strange riffs, harmonies and solos. Even if this was an instrumental album, his offbeat noodling would command major attention.

Jamie’s possessed vocals and Hufnagel’s unusual riffing create a kind of disturbing intimacy and each song feels both lovely and hateful, like the music a dysfunctional but inseparable couple would create before devolving into murder and suicide. As the album unwinds Hufnagel borrows from vintage doom, psychedelic rock and Mercyful Fate to keep things interesting and Jamie sounds exactly like you’d imagine a Satanic high priestess would as she poised a dagger over your bare chest.

Sabbath-Assembly-Jamie-1Sound-wise this is a brilliant recording – the kind of album that almost screams for a vinyl edition with its weird quirks and diverse musical foundation. If there are sonic flaws I’m not hearing them on my promotion copy and I’m nothing but impressed with the depth and richness of the mix.

This is a big surprise and an enormous step up for a band that has remained under the radar. That will end immediately when people hear this album. Sabbath Assembly is now the band Ghost would be if they actually worshipped the Horned Beast of the Apocalypse and weren’t just funning around. This coven means deadly serious business and unveils a huge revelation from quarters unexpected. Don’t miss it.


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 9  | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Svart Records
Websites: sabbathassembly.bandcamp | sabbathassembly.com
Releases Worldwide: September 11th 2015

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  • Luke_22

    Although I’m still not completely sold on Ghost, I generally like this sort of stuff, but for whatever reason I’ve never got around to checking these guys out. Digging the preview track though, so this sounds like a good place to start.

  • Alexandre Barata

    I despise Ghost, too much cheese on that vanilla ice cream. But I will surely check this one out!!!

    • Alexandre Barata

      Ok, this is beautiful!!! Gotta say, I have a strange satanic boner right now :D Awesome song, awesome clip, and, listening now to the whole album, awesome awesomeness!!!

      • Satanic Boner will be the name of my yacht if this website ever makes me any money.

  • El_Cuervo

    Jamie’s vocals really remind me of Luciferian Light Orchestra – similar 70s occult rock-type stuff from earlier this year.

  • Innit Bartender

    Great review!

  • groverXIII

    I’m skeptical, because I haven’t liked a Sabbath Assembly album after their first one, mostly because Jex Thoth’s vocals were perfect for the band and Jamie Meyers just never really cut it for me. Still, like their last couple of albums, I’m willing to give it a try anyway.

  • madhare

    Thanks for the review. Never heard of these guys before. The progginess of the music makes them interesting.

    But I just can’t get over the cheesiness of the whole satan thing. The same problem is with Ghost, but there at least it’s more a deliberately ironic pop-culture reference-a-rama, a kind of “hey let’s have a wicked party while making shitloads of money” -thing.

  • basenjibrian

    I’ve been much more of a fan that you are (I find some of the songs so mesmerizingly beautiful that they definitely warrant replay!) but this sounds pretty cool.
    They are not really “Devil Worshippers” per se. More of a Gnostic/Dualist conception of Jehovah, Satan, Lucifer, and Jesus, with all of the spiritual forces reconciling at the end of time.
    Great review.
    Have you heard MANSION from Finland? The real creepy factor in Mansion is that the current Prime Minister of Finland is from a Lutheran sect that is not all that far off from the fervid ascetism of said sect. If the sect is real and not a creation of Mansion, which as I cannot read Finnish I am not sure of.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    You had me at “berserker Jex Thoth”

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Never heard of these guys but the prospect of Ghost+Black Sabbath+Killing Joke+Led Zep+Gorguts+Mercyful Fate sounds right up my alley. The embedded track is pure evil satanic fun for the whole family.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Jamie’s delivery is certainly full of passion and conviction. On the first listen, though, no track really stands out. Repeat listens are likely in order. I bet they’d be a killer band to see live, which, if I’m not mistaken, you’ll have the chance to see for yourself, SD, at St. Vitus bar on Nov. 20th. : )

    • Stop stalking me!

      • Monsterth Goatom

        Noted.

        • Hulksteraus

          A Moose Stalker… almost but not a Deer Stalker, and then it would take the cartoon from merely great to a brilliant Holmesian reference… and then again… maybe not.

  • Dr. Scorpion

    Hail Satan!!!!No.Wrong blog.Hail grymm.Fantastic song. Fantastic review by Dr.Druhm.

  • Pimpolho

    Mr. Dhrum is such a doomster! Great review!

  • Excentric_1307

    You can tell the one guy’s evil because he wears eye shadow.

  • Wilhelm

    They should acoustically cover Black Sabbath songs and go on tour with Maiden United.

  • Worldeater

    Druhmphomet! I am hostage to your presence, captive to your words!

    • I complete you.

      • Worldeater

        “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” Luke 11:28

  • You wot m8?

    “It’s a jangled, disjointed mess, but it works and feels like walking into a cult ritual whilst chowing a burrito – you don’t know what to do so you listen, chew and await developments.”
    I’m not too fond of the music, but this ^ was the best line out of any review I’ve ever read. 10/10 for making milk come out of my nose.

    • André Snyde Lopes

      Believe it or not, it’s only the second time Druhm mentions burritos in his articles. This site could use more burritos, maybe as a substitute for the unicorn band promo pictures.

      • You wot m8?

        Burrito shaming? I like it!

        • That gives me a brilliant idea!

          • Monsterth Goatom

            Enquiring minds want to know. Food porn? Gaze into the center of this brownie! Dark as sin, soft as a Jorn high note.

        • Hulksteraus

          Actually, I agree with HKK Hell… Burritos are not worthy KVLT food, surely Tacos are the only TROO KVLT food!

          • Good, good. When the new regime comes, you’ll be spared.

  • manimal

    Ah, the embedded video reminds me of that one time at a local nudist bingo meeting that both my lawyer and publicist prohibited me from commenting on until after the trial.

  • dduuurrrr dddduuuurrrr

    I’m pretty sure that’s the same Process Church from the Skinny Puppy album (The Process).

    Cults with extremely complicated metaphysical theology are so adorable. It’s like a 15 year old who was way too into Lord of the Rings made a religion.

    • You wot m8?

      “Yet sworn word may strengthen quaking heart” – Fellowship 3:7:4

    • basenjibrian

      The amusing (perhaps even positive) thing is that the cult evolved over the decades into a completely anodine animal rescue organization.
      While the original source for the church (Scientology) still lurches on.

  • Burritos are false. Only tacos can be the real cvlt satanic food. Specially if they are cochinita tacos with sliced and pickled habanero and red onion. Bovv dovvn to yovr tr00 master f00d:

    • Monsterth Goatom

      I love me some Enchiladas con Mole, but not too spicy! Too spicy and my taste buds die.

      • Your taste buds need to harden up. Non spicy mole is only for children. FOR CHILDREN I SAY!

        But srsly avoid the habanero slices then.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Ah, years of preparing non-spicy food for my offspring have made wimps out of me buds.

          • Dr. A.N. Grier

            The key is to prepare their meal first and then bury the rest in habaneros and jalapeños for yourself. That’s what I do. My Lucky Charms were amazing last night.

    • [not a Dr]

      What if you were to stuff tacos with burritos? Wouldn’t you deserve hell?

      • A-bo-mi-na-tion

        • Monsterth Goatom

          I use chocolate chips in my mole. That’s OK, right?

          • Yeah that’s OK. Traditionally only mole poblano has chocolate but also can have another 50 ingredients and I’m not actually a food snob. If it tastes good then it’s good. Same with *gasp* burritos.

      • basenjibrian

        What if you were to stuff tacos with “long pig” meat? That would be REALLY KULT.

        • Only at AMG does a review for a creepy cult album lead to an in-depth discussion on culinary treats.

          • [not a Dr]

            I was under the impression that we were exchanging culinary threats.

          • A treat to some, a threat to others!

        • If you’re ever in Mexico we have tacos de machitos and tacos de tripas. They are respectively ram and pig intestines. You’ll never feel so kvlt.

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Great review Druhm,
    “if you ever wondered what a witch would sound like as she called you to certain doom” god dammit yes I have!

    I started following these guys after your review of Quarternity and totally agree with your assessment there was something there but not quite.
    Can’t wait to dig into this.

  • bushkov

    It’s a strange time when you can attract attention to your creativity only by connecting it with murders, perversities and other black satanic BS. Too old for that. Ignoring it. And yes, it would be better an instrumental album.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      What an absurd comment. This time is no different to any other time, people will always be drawn to tales and parables of darkness and mystery.
      You may want to go back to Homer who predating the bloodthirsty bible told tales that would make cannibal corpse blush. Her vocals are excellent and compelling I listened to this a couple of times today along with Tribulations, and Fleetwood Mac it sat very comfortably in esteemed company.

    • basenjibrian

      I hear Taylor Swift has very positive lyrics full of youthful love and joy. Maybe Angry Metal Guy (read the title?) is just not your thing?

      • bushkov

        Maybe you’re right. Though I don’t feel limited by particular music styles and I like heavy sound. Actually I like some reviews here be it metal or non-metal. ‘Pale communion’ and Blackfinger’s one are among the most favorable albums to me. I’m just not a fan of ‘Ave satanas’ – kind of music for youngsters.

        • basenjibrian

          Well, fair enough.
          I think claiming that this band is all about “Ave Satanas” is somewhat simplistic. Wikipedia is a good starting point for The Process Church, but to say that this weird cult was “satanic” in the conventional understanding/stereotype is not doing them justice-or this band’s take on the theology, either. They posit a triilogy of “gods” which represent different aspects of reality
          While an Atheist/Misotheist (and I am not a kid), I think as an intellectual it makes more sense than Orthodox Abrahamic religions, which are utterly incoherent as to the nature of the universe (a bad, bad place hostile to life and happyness), the guilt of the creator (being omni-everything, who is to blame for the mess in the world?), etc. etc. Note I am not a follower or anything (it was a silly cult), but to dismiss it so blithely misses several important points.
          Furtehr, Not all Satanic bands, although they buy into the Orthodox paradigm, are “childish” in any way, either. Can you really claim that Deathspell Omega’s lyrics are juvenile, especially given the tripe common in modern pop music?

          What is more childish, a band that adopts images and concepts from a weird but fascinating cult….or standard mainstream “I wuv you, you so sexy, let’s dance” trivia?

          • bushkov

            Being an atheist too I wouldn’t like to plunge into the depths of religious studies. For me satanism is all about death, suicide, denial of life and so on. There are even people who say “Viva Morte!”. I think its a most stupid thing a living creature can pronounce or think of. I’d rather be a heretic here and say to them “Viva Vitae!”, glory to life and love not to death.

          • basenjibrian

            Fair enough again. I would venture that most “serious” Satanists would disagree with your characterization, but….
            There are people in all scenes who take things silly.

  • dblbass23

    The cover to this album is VERY similar to the new Shinedown album. Anyone???