April 26th will see dark rock veterans, artist collective SABBATH ASSEMBLY, release their seventh studio album, the hotly anticipated A Letter Of Red. The band’s follow-up to the 2017’s Rites of Passage was recorded at Figure 8 Studio in Brooklyn with Producer Randall Dunn (Black Mountain, SunnO))), Earth). The new album marks a return to the shortened song form and tight production of their debut, while demonstrating ten years of songwriting prowess and lyrical advancement. The music and lyrics on A Letter of Red tell eight haunting stories, and owe more to the galloping hard rock of the 70’s: Guitarists Kevin Hufnagel (Gorguts) and Ron Varod (Kayo Dot) reference Heart and Judas Priest on the album’s hard rockers, while acoustic moments bring to mind Current 93 and Jethro Tull. Vocalist Jamie Myers (ex-Hammers of Misfortune and Wolves in the Throne Room) performs with the stripped down clarity of Peter Murphy and Siouxsie in the 80’s, bringing a true Gothic tinge to the metal riffs for a totally unique combination!
Today SABBATH ASSEMBLY are presenting us a brand new video with a very special and personal background: “A Welcome Below” is inspired by the personal tale of drummer David Nuss’ daughter, Marika Thunder, now age 20, and her five years of struggle with meth and heroine. “A Welcome Below” provides a window into the her journey from isolation and confusion into connection and passion, with a pivotal point occurring with her encounter with a plant medicine shaman who appears in the video to lead her back to… herself.
For Sabbath Assembly, who are ten-year veterans in the “occult rock” scene, “A Welcome Below” is an opportunity to hang up the sword they typically use to battle the tyranny of religion as a social and political weapon – a common theme of the band – and address a more personal issue: the battle of a parent to save his child from an inner demon of sorts, and a clever plot by the US pharmaceutical companies and addiction treatment centers to keep people sick. While an unusual statement for a rock band, the plague of addiction spares no one. And in a genre known for romanticizing and demystifying death, the story of “A Welcome Below” brings home the reality of what it feels like to actually confront the death of a child.
Marika’s tale of healing is an unusual one: after years of traditional 12-step programs and an ever-changing array of psychiatric meds, she was introduced to psychedelic plant medicine treatments in a foreign country, and was sober within one month. She continues these treatments on a monthly basis and finds them more conducive to relapse prevention because they help her find acceptance of herself in all aspects, rather than experiencing the shame and stigma of being labeled an “addict” for life. She is currently a college student and has a job at the YMCA working with small children.
The intention of the video is to tell her tale and thereby connect with others suffering from similar symptoms in order to provide a path over the bridge of addiction to embodiment, connection, and community. Sadly, psychedelic treatments are still illegal in the US despite the growing problem of opiate addiction in this country and the inability of current recovery programs to hold it at bay. Marika and her father David from Sabbath Assembly would like to refer interested parties to www.maps.org and Michael Pollan’s book How to Change Your Mind for further information about these types of treatments and how they help addiction.
Letter Of Red coming out April 26th in CD, LP and Digital formats on Svart Records, the album pre-order is available at THIS LOCATION!
SABBATH ASSEMBLY LIVE DATES
“Blood and Water” Tour 2019:
1-May-2019 FR – Le Grillen / Colmar
2-May-2019 FR – 7er Club / Mannheim *
3-May-2019 DE – Dude Fest / Karlsruhe *
4-May-2019 FR – Glazart / Paris *
5-May-2019 UK – Desertfest / London *
6-May-2019 BE – Music City / Antwerp *
7-May-2019 DE – Ilses Erika / Leipzig *
8-May-2019 AT – Kapu / Linz *
9-May-2019 PL – Alchemia / Cracow *
10-May-2019 PL – Hydrozagadka / Warsaw *
11-May-2019 PL – Into the Abyss / Wroclaw *
12-May-2019 DE – Berghain Kantine / Berlin *
13-May-2019 DE – Hafenklang / Hamburg
14-May-2019 NO – Revolver / Oslo
15-May-2019 SE – Undergangen / Stockholm
16-May-2019 FI – TVO / Turku
17-May-2019 FI – Bar Loose / Helsinki
18-May-2019 FI – Torvi / Lahti
* with MESSA
SABBATH ASSEMBLY is:
Jamie Myers – vocals
David Nuss – drums
Kevin Hufnagel – guitar
Johnny DeBlase – bass
Ron Varod – guitar