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d o o o m - 86%

caspian, April 25th, 2011

The last worship album I heard (that would be last mp3 before doomsday) was a real beast of a funeral doom album, just lots of really huge riffs and even a really awesome nod to Godflesh, along with some great clean bits. It was original and really entertaining, and yet it still delivered on the thing that every funeral doom band is so keen on, the desolate atmosphere. Just a great album all round. Unfortunately, as is the case with many great bands, the original line up didn't hang around for too long, what with suicides and all that. However, Worship have returned stronger then ever, bringing together funeral doom and drone (funeral drone?) in what is a massive beast of an album.

For those who have heard other Worship albums, there's not much you wouldn't have already heard, but it's still really excellent. Basically Worship got their original formula and made it really, really slow- this is definitely the slowest funeral doom album I've ever heard, which is no mean feat. However, while making funeral doom even slower then usual may seem like a recipe for disaster, Worship still nail their sound and leave you begging for more.

Perhaps it's just the way that everything has been meticulously arranged, I dunno. It's a riveting listen nonetheless. 'Endzeit Elegies' is really, really slow, but the way the chords are arranged (never quite resolving, always maintaining tension) makes the song a really interesting and intensely dark beast. Imagine Thergothon being played at quarter speed and you're kinda there. 'Graveyard Horizon' has a slow and very graceful clean intro, with some terrific, solemn baritone vocals, and just when you're totally sedated by the epic, droning riffs that follow, a monk choir from hell comes in and takes the whole thing to a different place. There's no mid paced breaks here, unfortunately, but whether it's with a classy, despairing lead or a well placed clean part there's plenty of variation to keep you interested. Of course, the slow, crumbling riffs are also in a class of their own- not really funeral doom, as they're too slow and deconstructed for that, instead, sounding closer to some sort really depressing drone riffage, all recorded in a huge, lava flow guitar tone.

One thing that I've got to return to, though, is the slowness. It's so good. I think it was Muddy Waters (blues guy) who said something like "I'd like to play slow blues all the time, as the slower you get, the deeper the blues", or something along those lines anyway. Various people have echoed similar sentiments, and this album is a prime example. Everything is just so much more depressing, so much more bleak, so much more pure at these kind of tempos. A rough guess of the tempos would be somewhere around 35 bpm, which as any drone or funeral doom fan knows, can only be a very awesome thing. So slow. So pure. So hypnotic.

It's kind of hard to write about this album, admittedly. I really, really like it, and I'm not at my most eloquent when I really love an album. But, put simply, this is a devastating beast of an album. Definitely not recommended for beginners to the slo 'n' lo (get 'Last Tape Before Doomsday' for an intro to this band) but a must have for any big fans of funeral doom or drone. Excellent stuff.

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