Review Summary: Kill yourself and worship.Last CD Before Doomsday
is, in every sense of the word, an album of extremes; it pushes the sentiments of anguish, torment and grief to the very boundaries of the listener’s mind, to such extremities that one can’t help but feel exactly how the album dictates. Being the collaboration of two men, one with an affinity for depressive music and another passionately embroiled in his own self destructive nihilism, Worship truly represent the ultimate meaninglessness and self defeating nature of life. Although Worship’s second full-length, Dooom
, was in a way more complete and refined, the culmination of the band’s original foundations, Last CD Before Doomsday
has a greater sense of rawness about it, both musically and emotionally. The style employed by Worship on this album is very minimalist; unlike the majority of funeral doom around them, Worship have opted not to clutter the album with needless texturing and intricacy. Nevertheless, the sheer weight of the atmosphere and the album’s crushing, suffocating tone renders any other musical devices as pointless; they’re simply not needed. Last CD Before Doomsday
is just a pure and unprocessed conveyance of raw emotion; Varnier’s tortured vocals and Daniel ‘The Doommonger’ Pharos’ guitar lines are the fundamental elements of this conveyance, and nothing more. This, in itself, is the beauty of this album. The band creates such an atmosphere that sometimes not even a note need be played, the silence and its given suspense speaking volumes. Last CD Before Doomsday
is, for this reviewer, the epitome of depressive music; not only is it distinct from the genre of funeral doom in a musical regard, it is the best the genre has to offer. Worship’s uniqueness goes without saying, and the impact that Last CD Before Doomsday
has on the individual is exceptional.
Originally released as a tape in 1999, Last CD Before Doomsday
is Varnier’s last work under the Worship moniker; his suicide in 2001 leaves this album as his imprint on the world he hated. Unlike Pharos’ streamlined and somewhat steady gutturals which can be heard on Dooom
, Varnier’s vocals are as poignant as they are disturbing, literally sounding like Varnier is doing some amateur surgery on his vocal chords. The best thing about it is that even through such brutal delivery, there remains a sigh of defeat and a touch of helplessness in every growl. Although being exemplary throughout the entire album, ‘Solicide and the Dawning of the Moonkult’ contains a passage in which one can really examine every breath Varnier lets out; growling over naught but a sparse melody played on clean guitars, the absolute agony in his voice is exemplified tenfold. Furthermore, what Varnier actually spews forth from his black depths fits in perfectly with the image the band creates for themselves; dark, apocalyptic lyrics to the finest degree. The lyrics of Last CD Before Doomsday
are very potent, from the ending of ‘Eclipse of Sorrow’ (destroy your pleasure
), to the chaotic conclusion of ‘Worship’ (now we have to pay with our lives / kill yourself and worship
), their brutish and straightforward nature is sublimely complemented by Varnier’s delivery. The constant rotation between English, German and French, even within songs, also adds a further touch of intrigue to the album, one that keeps it infinitely appealing.
The bleak outlook of Last CD Before Doomsday
is very much reflected in the way Pharos shapes the music. Heart tugging, meandering guitar leads are played over drawn out, sludgy riffs for the most part, but varied in such ways as to not become repetitive or monotonous. The album begins exactly with this formula, a slow guitar line soaring overhead while the heavily distorted riffs flood any gaps left in the music. The sludge influence on Worship comes to life on ‘Eclipse of Sorrow’; the song contains a rare instance of a faster tempo, the song slowly building up towards it before letting loose. The song eventually descends back to a snail’s pace, but not before delivering a solo that is as creepy as it is laughably awesome. It almost, almost
, sounds joyful and is perhaps the only moment on the album to do so; nevertheless, it ends quickly. Pharos’s aptitude at writing gloomy guitar lines is superb; the lead break towards the end ‘Whispering Gloom’ being a prime example, one which beautifully tops off an exemplary track.
As mentioned before, the normal layering and texturing techniques more commonly associated with funeral doom are notably absent on Last CD Before Doomsday
. However, piano melodies are used throughout the album, such as the softer middle of ‘Whispering Gloom’ or the introduction to ‘Eclipse of Sorrow’. These make up one half of the melancholic sections; the other is made up by Pharos’ clean guitar. ‘Solicide and the Dawning of the Moonkult’ and ‘Worship’ both containing good examples of this. As stated in the introduction, Worship has no need for the aforementioned texturing that one would normally find in funeral doom. It is purely the balance between the softer moments and the heavier moments, the melding together of complete misery and utter misanthropy, that makes Last CD Before Doomsday
such an exquisite listen. The band’s eponymous track holds all the elements that make the album so vigorous; wallowing in desolation for the first half, the song has a soft interlude which builds up to one of the strongest climaxes on the album. The clean guitar leads the way before soon being supplemented by the feedback saturated riffing, as well as both whispered and growled vocals. After the final line of ‘kill yourself and worship’ has been delivered (in the most spectacular fashion), the song falls into chaos, leaving you a minute of mindless feedback to brood over how fu
cking amazing an album Last CD Before Doomsday
is. The reissue of the album onto CD (as it was originally on tape) contains the bonus track of ‘Selling Cocaine to Angels’. It is not necessarily a bad track, but it definitely does not fit in with the other four, both in terms of sound and quality; nevertheless, it has not influenced the final rating, as it is not a track specifically made for the album.
Worship’s discography, although containing numerous splits and the like, is made up of only two albums, both of which Varnier influenced in different ways. With Dooom
, his influence was physically small, but the album itself can be seen as a tribute to his death. On the other hand, we have Last CD Before Doomsday
, an album that unerringly reflects Varnier’s contempt and misanthropic perspective of the world. It is due to this that the album is so profound; funeral doom aims to achieve such feelings as desolation, despair and sorrow, but in most cases is very obviously forced. Worship do not need to force it. The simple fundamentals behind the music, although being fantastically cohesive and well played, are brought to life by a genuine and authentic performance. It’s already been said that this is the best the genre has to offer, but a reiteration would not be inappropriate. Last CD Before Doomsday
represents the pinnacle of this often dubious and mediocre genre, and anyone with an interest in this type of music should not go without hearing it.