The dream of the ’90s is not only alive in Portland, it lives in the contemporary industrial metal stylings of bands like Cleveland’s Dark Worship. Those of you too young to remember that era, let us enlighten you. The rock world was being assured circa the mid-’90s that its time was done and that music no longer lay in the hands of musicians, it was the providence of programmers and fucking DJs. Remember Rob Halford’s Two? Rob Halford hopes that you don’t.
Anyway, the prognosticators were clearly wrong—big surprise!—but we did nonetheless discover that harsh, brutal music can be made without the use of analog instruments. Dark Worship definitely follow that aesthetic on their latest full-length release, Flesh of a Saint, where the only analog inputs augmenting Axioma’s J. Meyers’ programmed destruction are the voices of Aaron Dallison (Axioma, Keelhaul, Brain Tentacles, Perdition Sect), Nathan Opposition (Ancient VVisdom, Integrity), and J. Reed (Exorcisme, To Dust). The collective combine to create a bleak landscape of digital distortion, dark ambience and a range of dark moods.
Here’s what the band had to say about their latest effort:
“Flesh of a Saint is an outgrowth of harsh electronic instrumentation, dark atmosphere and a lineup of three unique vocalists who bring their own interpretation to each of the songs on the album. The project’s original goal was to create a sound that constantly morphs and isolates the listener—sorry [there’s] nothing ‘easy listening’ about this album, or the last two years. All the initial ideas for Flesh of a Saint were created during the first few months of the pandemic. With an uncertain future, especially for live musicians, we started building a new way for us to communicate and make music together. Nothing about Dark Worship is formulated beforehand. Rather we create a soundscape in which a narrative can emerge, [so] that each member creates their own iteration.”