Artist: Sabbath Assembly
Label: Svart Records
Release Date: March 28th 2014
Sabbath Assembly will release their 3rd album Quaternity later this Spring (March 28th). As their 2nd album Ye Are Godsmade it very high on my list of best albums of 2012, I was very eager to review Quaternity.
Unlike the previous 2 albums, in which the liturgy of the Process Church of the Final Judgement was recorded, in this album Sabbath Assembly explore the spirituality of the Process Church by composing new tracks. One exception is the completely unpublished “Lucifer,” shared with the band over the telephone via former Processian Anthony D’Andrea, who had contacted the band complaining that they were not “getting the hymns right.” D’Andrea can be heard in part at the top of the track.
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.”
The first 4 tracks of Quaternity look at the four deities worshiped in the theology of the Process Church of the Final Judgment -- Christ, Jehovah, Lucifer, and Satan –each tune providing the deity with its own voice, unmediated by Christian prejudice. Lucifer is again the light bearer, Satan the source of primal strength, Jehovah the vengeful destroyer, and Christ the master of death. The different between these tracks could not be larger, and it makes Quaternity a very diverse album. One of the lesser tracks on the album is “The Burning Cross of Christ”, which turned out to be overly repetitive. The album rounds of with “The Four Horsemen”, referring to the horsemen of the apocalypse.
Among the many special guest that contributed to Quaternity, there is the guest appearance of Mat McNerney and Marja Konttinen of Hexvessel (a band that ended up very high on my top 10 of albums from 2013, also signed by Svart Records) reciting sacred texts.
Is Quaternity as good as Ye Are Gods? It feels like a deeper exploration of the spirituality of the Process Church. Because of their inherent mysticism, Quaternity feels more trippy (as in, meditating yourself out of our body-kinda-trippy) than the previous release. The reference to psychedelic folk rock is less, and the music sounds more liturgical.
Overall, Quaternity is again a top-notch release by a band that has become one of my favorites, Sabbath Assembly. Dig deeper into your soul and spirituality without the shackles of our world's main religions, and let the music of Sabbath Assembly wash over you.
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