Sabbath Assembly is a dark rock band based in Texas and NYC. A true artist collective, Sabbath Assembly features vocalist Jamie Myers (ex-Hammers of Misfortune, Wolves in the Throne Room), guitarist Kevin Hufnagel (Gorguts, Dysrhythmia), guitarist Ron Verod (Kayo Dot), bassist Johnny DeBlase, and drummer / founding member David Nuss. Sabbath Assembly will release its new album, ‘A Letter of Red’, on April 26 via Svart Records. The group’s seventh studio album, and follow-up to 2017’s ‘Rites of Passage’, ‘A Letter of Red’ was recorded at Figure 8 Studio in Brooklyn with Producer Randall Dunn (Black Mountain, SunnO))), Earth). ‘A Letter of Red’ marks a return to the shortened song form and tight production of Sabbath Assembly’s debut (2010’s ‘Restored to One’), while demonstrating ten years of both songwriting prowess and lyrical advancement. On the LP, Myers performs with the stripped down clarity of Peter Murphy and Siouxsie in the 80’s, bringing a true Gothic tinge to the metal riffs for a totally unique combination, while Hufnagel and Varod reference Heart and Judas Priest on the album’s hard rockers, and acoustic moments bring to mind Current 93 and Jethro Tull.
‘A Letter of Red’ takes on lofty lyrical themes juxtaposed with this more specific musical direction. The track “Hymn of the Pearl” elucidates the album’s title in its recounting of a lost traveler who finds his way home upon receipt of “the letter of red” sent by his familial tribe. The letter reminds the traveler of his true self, and is metaphorical for the gnostic path of individuation. The song is based on a 2nd century Syrian text of the same name discovered with other New Testament apocryphal writings forbidden from the Biblical canon. The Apostle Thomas is thought to have sung this hymn to his fellow prisoners while in Roman captivity, with “the letter of red” offering true release.
The album continues with these themes of imprisonment and freedom in the song “Worthless”, which recounts the prison of adolescence, the isolation of defining one’s identity as a teen. “A Welcome Below” metaphorically addresses the prison of addiction, a reflection on Nuss’ daughter’s struggles with opiates. Multiple music videos for the album as well as a short film inspired by “Worthless” will each debut in the coming weeks.