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Cathedral: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights

Coventry England's revered Doom Metal masters Cathedral have returned after a few years absence from recording with a solid sampling of Sabbath/Trouble inspired Metal. Every time I listen to a band that labels themselves as Doom Metal I am brought back to the early seventies it seems because it reminds me of the influences that Sabbath first laid down for the genre that became Heavy Metal. I believe if Sabbath formed today they would be classified as Doom. While the group was formed about 15 years ago, I would not be someone who followed them but I am able to tell you of the quality material presented on this recording. If you are a fan of the trudging heaviness created by Sabbath and carried on by Trouble then there are some things on this release that show the next logical step in this form of Metal. The group makes a smart move by not having every song plod along like some peers might and instead offer you some interesting changes across the album. "North Berwick Witch Trials" is a great Doomy track while "Corpsecycle" is a tad more catchy and accessible citing potential as a Metal radio single. A tasty acoustic number "Fields Of Zagara" is followed by the blistering almost Motorhead inspired "Oro The Manslayer". During this one I grabbed the air guitar and stopped only to head bang a little during the verses. Cathedral also chose to challenge Dream Theater with the song "The Garden" which according to my CD player caps off at over 28 minutes in length. There is a lot of heavy Sabbath feel to this track and despite the long running time I did not find myself bored at all since there were many changes to enjoy. A hidden track closes the recording and features guest female vocalist Lo Polidaro. All in all it was a very satisfying album for me as a new listener.

Cathedral is definitely a band to take a look into if you enjoy this type of sound and from this album I am convinced of how good they do it. Between them and Witchcraft I am going to waiver between Power and Progressive for a new preferred genre. The members of the group are long time vocalist Lee Dorrian, Garry Jennings (guitars), Leo Smee (bass) and Brian Dixon (drums). This album has already been released in Europe and is meeting with strong critical acclaim so now it is the US listeners chance to "feel the Doom!!!".


Track Listing
1) Dearth AD 2005
2) Tree Of Life And Death
3) North Berwick Witch Trials
4) Upon Azrael's Wings
5) Corpsecycle
6) Fields Of Zagara
7) Oro The Manslayer
8) Beneath A Funeral Sun
9) The Garden
10) Proga-Europa

Added: February 7th 2006
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Score:
Related Link: Cathedral Website
Hits: 2700
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Cathedral: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-02-07 18:51:25
My Score:

Wow, it's been 15 years already since 1991's Forest of Equilibrium. That debut signaled the beginning of a long and storied doom metal career for England's Cathedral, a career that is still going strong today with the release of The Garden of Unearthly Delights. If you like the band's earlier material, then there will be no real surprises here. Aggressive, Celtic Frost meets Black Sabbath sludge pummels the listener on "Tree of Life and Death", while the band grooves to some toe tappin' stoner rock on "North Berwick Witch Trials", a tune that easily sits alongside any of the recent Corrosion of Conformity recordings. Lead singer Lee Dorrian sounds like a pissed off Tom G. Warrior circa Celtic Frost's Into Mega Therion album on the raging "Upon Azruel's Wings", a beefy doom/death metal piece littered with plenty of crushing guitar riffs and plodding rhythms.

Don't be fooled by the meditative acoustic intrumental "Fields of Zagara", as it proves to be a segue (much like the brief instrumental bits worked on Sabbath's Masters of Reality) to the bombastic behemoth that is "Oro the Manslayer". However, the centerpiece of the album is the near 30-minute progressive doom number "The Garden", a highly adventurous piece featuring many layers of instrumentation, and some lovely female vocals which really adds a nice touch to the acoustic moments. Let me say, when this tune gets heavy, it gets heavy. It's a real triumph for the band to have put together a long song like this that doesn't meander or get boring. It grooves, it bashes, and it soothes, all within its epic time span.

There's no slowing this powerhouse band down it seems. If Cathedral keeps releasing albums like this, I can see another 15 years in their crystal ball...easily.


» Reader Comments:

Cathedral: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
Posted by Hugh Dark on 2006-12-08 06:17:17
My Score:

This is one of the most overrated cds! There is nothing progressive about this thing and it is certainly not blazing a new genre. This is Melvin-Metal and that's it! A little doom+some grunge=a rusty sludge-bucket of shit. Lee Dorian is a pussy!




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