Review Summary: Maybe not the last CD before Doomsday, but quite possibly the most important one.
Worship's Last CD Before Doomsday
is an almost impossible album to describe. Predecessor to their monster second album Dooom
, it is the CD rerelease of their first album, original issued on cassette, and is their only album recorded entirely before Drummer/Vocalist ***ed-Up Mad Max killed himself by jumping off a bridge in 2001. It is also, quite possibly, one of the greatest funeral doom albums of all times.
While much has been made of Mad Max's suicide and the album it yielded (Dooom
), Worship's first record is possibly even more important than their latter release. It is one of the only albums in existence to truly communicate utter hopelessness in every sense. It's the kind of album that makes Mad Max's suicide obvious in retrospect. It is absolutely crushing, from the opening notes of 'Whispering Gloom' to the final cries of "Kill yourself and worship!" It is the kind of album that pervades the mood of the room. This is a horrifyingly sad album, but it is not one where it really hits you when it's rainy out and you're depressed--this record will MAKE it start to rain. But the one thing that it has on its successor is the little moments where something really different happens--the gorgeous clean guitar and spoken word passage in the opening track, or the gut wrenching growls over soft guitars in 'Solicide and the Dawning of the Moonkult'--that really set this album apart.
But make no mistake, despite these short breaks, this is a funeral doom album all the way through, and it is plodding, trudging, 20bpm music. It has a final destination, but one which is nowhere in sight until the very end, as it is weighed down to the extreme on its way there. The music moves slowly but surely, slowed by a brutal despair which threatens to crush the music and listener at any moment, but it finally manages to pull through in the end. But don't expect there to be a triumphant revelation in the finale--oh no, the realization at the end of this album is simply: This is
the end. There is nothing left. Kill yourself and worship. As Max's growls trail off, the only thing left is simply a feeling of tragic awe that two men could possibly communicate emotions this intense.
But this is a record that must be gone into with an open mind. Do not expect a second of this record to be an easy listen. Despite the powerful and brilliantly-communicated emotion, this is no For Emma, Forever Ago
. This is forty-six and a half minutes of relentless, crushing sadness, communicated in slow dirges of heavy guitars and brutal growls. The few times when the heaviness of the music does let up, the depression is replaced with despair, and there are no musical conventions here--no chord progressions, no choruses, three of the four songs are over ten minutes long, and it cannot really be emphasized enough how impossibly slooooow
this music is.
But what I can say is that, if you manage to get through the entire album intact, it just might change your life. It is an unparalleled experience, and one of the most rewarding albums of all time.