Sabbath Assembly – Restored in One

January 01, 1970



The story of the Process
Church of the Final
Judgment is an interesting one, encompassing heresy (with its beginnings as a
splinter group of Scientology and excommunication by L. Ron Hubbard), scandal
(a nebulous connection to mass murderer Charles Manson), a complex theology
(the group worshipped Jehovah, Lucifer, Christ and Satan in equal measure) and
eventual evolution into a completely different form (specifically into animal
rescue group Best Friends Animal Society). The tale is far too intricate to go
into here, but a pair of books by former members – William S. Bainbridge’s Satan’s Power: A Deviant Psychotherapy Cult and Timothy Wylie’s Love, Sex, Fear,
Death: The Inside Story of the Process Church of the Final Judgment
– line
the shelves for the curious.


For our purposes, the most significant thing about the Process Church is that it had its own original
hymns, now revived and reinterpreted by heavy psych singer Jex Thoth, No Neck
Blues Band drummer Dave Nuss and experimental metal producer Randall Dunn as
Sabbath Assembly. It’s easy to hear why the witchy Thoth was attracted to the
material featured on Restored in One – the predominance of minor chords and keys and the prominent mentions of Satan
as much as God and Christ give the tunes a dark, mysterious atmosphere, perfect
for her sonorous voice. While performed by rock instrumentation, the music
supposedly follows the original arrangements and melodies closely, though one
suspects the jazzy tone of “Glory Hallelujah” and the folk rock spirit of “We
Give Our Lives” come more from the musicians than the music. The lyrics almost
always exhort the virtues of love and devotion to a higher power, though “Judge
of Mankind” shifts to a more ominous message – the Process Church
believed in spiritual transcendence, even if it had its own distinctive twist.


But adherence to this particular (and peculiar) faith isn’t
required for appreciation of Restored in
. Despite the Process
Church’s dark reputation,
there’s an almost shocking degree of beauty to these songs. Minus the
reverential references to Satan, it would be easy to mistake this for any
sincere, well-crafted rock gospel record from the 60s and 70s.


Standout Tracks: “Hymn
of Consecration,” “We Give Our Lives,” “Glory Hallelujah” MICHAEL TOLAND


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