Review Summary: Funeral doom legends Worship forget that they play funeral doom.
With their 2007 released album Dooom
, Worship paid respect to the late Max Varnier, who was an integral part of the sound and image of the band. Although being released 6 years after his death, it contained music he had written and recorded, and was in part his creation. Nevertheless, with Dooom
out of the way, Worship have moved on, and their latest offering on this split with the US based funeral doom project Persistence in Mourning is a very different Worship than one would have expected. Newer member Satachrist was the main writer of the Worship track on Elemental Doom Trilogy I - Wood
, a song that he wrote over a decade ago when he was part of another band. In all honesty, it's very different from what one would expect as a Worship track, and in respect to the hardcore fans of the band, was perhaps not an incredibly wise input for the split.
The track itself is not even funeral doom, driven at a relatively fast pace by a chugging riff. The gutturals are somewhat reminiscent of Varnier’s raw and throaty sound, but are overshadowed by Pharos' deep, chant-like singing. What originally made Worship so appealing was the combination of feedback and mournful leads, and this is noticeably absent on ‘Baumvater’, in favour of odd distorted squeals over a plethora of chug. Admittedly, as a rabid Worship fan, hearing ‘Baumvater’ was largely disappointing. It’s not that the track itself is bad, simply a leap in a very different direction. It probably isn’t terribly wise to speculate, but here’s hoping ‘Baumvater’ was merely an experiment and not an indicator of the future Worship.
Persistence in Mourning is a one man funeral doom project from the USA, and this split coincides with the release of his debut album, The Undead Shall Rise
. Unlike the first half of the split, Persistence in Mourning’s track ‘Of Once Living Stone’ is actually a funeral doom track. Relatively short in terms of funeral doom, the track displays slow riffing over a brooding clean guitar line, lessened by a strained vocal performance. The track is not spectacular, but manages to retain a sense of despondency and does not overstay its welcome. Hearing an entire album of songs like this one however, is not entirely appealing, but having not heard The Undead Shall Rise
, that is merely an assumption.
Ultimately, Elemental Doom Trilogy I - Wood
does the job of expanding Worship’s catalogue of splits, and casts a flicker of light over Persistence in Mourning, who perhaps will need it after limiting his debut album to only 200 copies. As a Worship fan though, the split isn’t terribly impressive, and instills a sense of doubt in regards to Worship’s future.