Sabbath Assembly – “Quaternity” (2014)

Label: Svart Records/Ajna Offensive

Review by Alessandra Cognetta

“Quaternity” is Sabbath Assembly‘s answer on the matter of the Christian concept of Trinity. The band’s third album once again explores the theology of the Process Church of the Final Judgment, that acknowledges four deities: Lucifer, the light bearer; Satan, the source of primal strength; Jehovah, the vengeful destroyer and Christ, the master of death. Dave “Xtian” Nuss and Jamie Myers bring us a mainly acoustic work, but with new and improved elements.

The most important innovation from “Ye Are Gods” is that this time the lyrics are original and not direct adaptations of the Processian hymns, except for “Lucifer”, which features a contribution from a former Processian, whose voice can be heard right at the beginning of the song as foundation for the rest of the piece. The whole album is rich in contributions from other artists, such as Jessika Kinney‘s (Sunn O)))) liturgical chanting on the atmospheric opening “Let Us Who Mystically Represent…”. Her performance provides an eerie setting for the rest of the album, and this track also introduces one of the first new elements of Sabbath Assembly‘s sound: the organ. Jamie Myers and Daron Beck (Pinkish Black) deliver vocals for the rest of the album, starting from “Jehovah on Death”. Their voices combine perfectly together and provide a really good interpretation, for an album where lyrics are undoubtedly the main focus. Acoustic and light electric guitars take us to the third track, “The Burning Cross of Christ”, where cello and viola help Sabbath Assembly enrich their already immersive acoustic sound. “I, Satan” follows, and we switch from the spiritual and quiet tone we heard so far, to pretty much doom metal. With heavier guitars and a few interesting cacophonic accents, this is probably the most daring song out of “Quaternity”. The aforementioned “Lucifer” concludes with its dark but faint tones the “Side A” of the album.

Side B is comprised of a single, massive track, the almost 20 minutes long piece “The Four Horsemen”. It’s a different type of “Quaternity” and it brings together all the best we’ve heard so far. There is more liturgical chanting, stressed by the ominous sound of a bell, entwining male and female vocals and the reciting of sacred texts by Hexvessel members Marja Konttinen and Mat McNerney, enhanced by an interesting echo effect.

“Quaternity” is definitely a great step ahead for Sabbath Assembly, a work that once again proves the band’s skills and deep knowledge of the source material. It is surely not an easy album, as it takes a few listens for those unfamiliar with the genre to properly assimilate and understand it. But I believe that it’s very much worth it. Those who are more accustomed with this kind of music will surely find it a great work and a valuable addition to their collection, but most importantly an occasion for spiritual and musical introspection.

Rating – 88/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Let Us Who Mystically Represent….
  2. Jehovah on Death
  3. The Burning Cross of Christ
  4. I, Satan
  5. Lucifer
  6. The Four Horsemen

 

Line Up

  • Jamie Myers – Vocals
  • Dave Nuss – Guitars

 

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