Review: Sabbath Assembly – Eno Ot Derotser Ltd edition cassette tape

Sabbath Assembly Eno Ot Derotser

Photo © 2014 Svart Records

I stumbled upon this limited edition cassette while looking at vinyl on the Svart Records website – I was there to order a copy of their Witch Mountain – South of Salem LP reissue, which I will post a review of soon.

I don’t normally go for cassettes, but when I saw the link to this recording, I knew I had to have it. Limited to only 300 copies, this cassette features the original Sabbath Assembly recordings from 2009, with Jex Thoth on vocals. I can imagine this selling quite well and becoming hard to find in no time at all. With this in mind, I made a digital copy of mine the day I got it so my original will stay in pretty much mint condition.

The songs are all Process Church hymns, later versions of which appeared on the band’s debut album Restored to One. Here, they are presented in a raw, experimental form, with sparse bongo percussion (by the band’s founder Dave Nuss, credited here as Xtian) as opposed to the full drum kit used on the bands full albums and live shows. The arrangements are a little different, too, showing some of the early psychedelic influences and ideas that were later molded into the form long time fans will know.

While Jex handles the lead vocals, as on the band’s debut, the secondary vocals on this recording are done by a male singer. This didn’t really work for me and represents the weakest point of the whole cassette. He approaches the higher pitched vocals on these songs by switching to a falsetto style in an attempt to reach the higher notes. Tellingly, the album versions of these parts ended up being sung by a female singer. Maybe the band thought the same as I do and decided to improve things a little before heading into the studio proper.

Minor imperfections aside, Eno Ot Derotser stands as an interesting record of Sabbath Assembly’s development and I recommend it to curious fans. Just hurry up if you fancy buying a copy as the 300 copies are sure to sell out fast. They will no doubt show up on eBay for vast sums of money in the near future and it would be better to get one for a reasonable price right now.

If you have all three Sabbath Assembly albums, then you need this cassette in your collection. In my opinion, it would be incomplete without it.

 

Edit: the title is Restored to One spelled backwards 😉

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