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How Could They Not Worship You, O Lord? - 90%

QuestioningSilence, August 14th, 2010

Watch out, this is some of the deepest music you will ever hear. Sure, anyone would expect something very “out-there” when listening to a one-man American Hindu/Christian funeral doom metal project. And this latest release from Job more than lives up to expectations. I have been a fan of Job/Cyrus Fisher’s music for a while now, so I was excited to see for the first time a physical release on an actual label. Like his past releases, “A Psalm for the First Cause and Last Refuge” features a single long (20 min) track, at a very slow tempo. I happen to very much appreciate this form, as it gives plenty of time to develop and gradually change without stopping anything completely. The key word is gradual. That idea is performed with great skill here.

The quality of the record is excellent. It was recorded with just enough clarity to hear every part individually, while still retaining a fair amount of the atmosphere that Mr. Fisher is so talented at creating. Compared to the last release, “Coram Deo”, “A Psalm” may seem rather “dry”. There is definitely less of the sweeping atmosphere and effects here than were used on “Deo”. Instead there is more of a feel of emptiness, maybe not the “vacuum of space” type of emptiness but the silent meditation type of emptiness. This is fitting for what he is trying to communicate, it seems.

The track starts off with a simple slow, heavy guitar riff. Typical. Continuing, it repeats and slowly builds, adding first some very soft keyboards, then drums and some excellent and eerie high vocals. My personal favorite layer he adds is the feedback. It gives you goose bumps. Cyrus Fisher’s deep growls come in and fit perfectly with the guitars, mixed to give a very monolithic feel. I believe the vocals are double or triple tracked, to give the roar of sound he creates. But its not overdone, so they remain rather low in the mix. Next up, enter the grand sounds of church organ to back it all up. (Some things haven’t changed since Coram Deo.) It’s all very, very, well put together.

About six minutes in it all cuts back to just guitar and feedback, before going back to a full but excruciatingly slow blast. This happens twice, and then the second section of the song beings at about 12 minutes. At this point, we hear some sort of prayer being spoken in an Indian accent, with lots of delay so that you can’t really make out what is being said. I could really live without this voice, but the background is excellent, with a soft ambient drone, plus some very minimal drum beats every so often. After 3 minutes of this, the final section begins, which features only some electronic noises with a definite eastern flavor, and again a heavy amount of delay. Maybe not the best way to end this epic, but it is interesting nonetheless. My main complaint is that is goes on for longer than is really necessary. Still, it has a rather chilling effect.

This record takes a few listens to really get the most out of it, but all in all it’s a fascinating work. I will be eagerly watching to see where Job takes us next.