The first three seconds of this release don’t sound anything like the last three seconds, but it’s entirely cohesive. With Flesh Of A Saint, Dark Worship have tapped into the id of what an uncut ’90s industrial album could sound like with a refreshing take on the subgenre as a whole. It’s an amazing release that takes its turns in the dark, and you have no idea which way it’s going, but it always makes sense, always surprises, and just kind of leaves you satisfyingly dumbfounded. This is the type of album that well-known artists would mention to earn street cred.
My initial notes I took upon first listening were in regards to the production. Popping in my earbuds and pressing play on “We’ve Always Been Here” opened up a gritty world of harsh but tranquil freeform. The track comes off as if it’s a mechanical monstrosity being built in some maniac’s garage, only to abruptly and awkwardly stop in the middle, pause for an odd time signature before the vocals smash in, it starts up again, then pulls the same trick again, but with the percussion as the focus. The lyrics teeter between audible/inaudible, and I hope to get my hands on them soon, but that’s hardly an issue considering the utter exhilaration of the vibe they pull off with this track.
The entire amalgam of experimentation pays off exceedingly well with it’s mixture of freeform improvisation in the spirit of The Knife’s Shaking The Habitual and the various releases between Sleep, High on Fire, and Om, along the harsh tonality of Author & Punisher. But, while the latter’s latest release has an eerie yet paranoid comfort to it, Dark Worship take you on a ride that’s comparable to tripping in a haunted house.
Listening to the layers of textuality left me impressed with the same question time and time again: ‘How did they do that?‘ Nothing sounds planned on these tracks, and the jolt in “Culling Song” provides a decent example of what I’m getting at. Starting with a sawmill guitar riff, the track then melts into black hole warmth synths, veers into a glitched sample of some more guitar work before washing away into an X-Files esque synth retrofuturist western, and concludes with tribal percussion. Sounds confusing? It is, it really is, but they make it work.
“Hollow Body” positions itself in more modern glitch/noise stylings, but doesn’t lose sight of its 2-minute runtime. It’s a decent palate cleanser following the previous track, and also acts as the connective tissue between “Culling Song” and “Destroy Forever (Death of Ra)”, which exchanges the blackened vocals for somber industrial post-punk stylings instead. “Well of Light” quells the entire project to a simmer that prevents any unnecessary boil-over. In saying that, what I mean is where some bands taking swings at lofty ideas tend to run out of steam, direction, or ideas, Dark Worship keep it short, and conclude it with an frosty finality that’s akin to taking your final breaths as the release of DMT starts to fade off. It’s a cold, but embracing finish to an overwhelmingly exhilarating 22-minute ride.
I have no fucking idea how these folks did what they did. I’m left baffled at how intoxicating this entire project is, but also in awe at how they pulled it off. There’s a semblance of core creativity that continues to shine through that keeps this release fresh, and exciting. I could go on for hours about how unique and creative this release is, and how many boxes it checks for my experimental noise-loving ass, but I’d really rather just highly encourage everyone who appreciates experimental noise to just listen to it. It’s an amazing album that deserves as much attention as it can get. And if Dark Worship read this, please come find me so I can buy you all a fucking beer; after this release, I owe you all a round.