An eleventh hour decision to make the journey down to London for what was billed as Cathedral's 'Last Ever Performance' was one I can say I did not regret for a single second.
Getting to the venue a little late (due to mood altering beverages) the first two support bands were missed. However Grand Magus more than made up for it. JB and the guys are on fire this year, with regular appearances in the U.K (apart from a full much needed headline tour) the English metal public are truly embracing them. Hammer Of The North, I,The Jury, Wolf's Return and an emphatic climax with Iron Will brought the Forum closer to Valhalla, with the masses chanting like deceased Vikings. This awesome three piece are getting better every time I witness them, with a new album in the works and more U.K shows penned for 2012, Grand Magus are the silent assassins of the metal world.
However this night belonged to Cathedral and you knew that the dulcet tones of the Hammond organ signified an evening of doom tinged 70's infused metal. I've always felt Cathedral are best experienced live than on record, this is where the dark message really comes alive. With the Forum packed, Lee Dorrian was on top form, together with co-conspirator Gaz Jennings with his signature down tuned SG. Melancholy, moody and satisfyingly heavy this was most certainly a celebration as opposed to a wake. Cosmic Funeral, The Carnival Bizarre, all while The Witch Finder General was projected onto screens either side of the stage. Playing a tight almost two hour set there was plenty of variation, the crowd was really up for a celebration and every song greeted with deafening applause. These guys will be missed, as Lee Dorrian said I'm sure gonna miss you, but not as much as your gonna miss me…Because I'm Matthew Hopkins Witch finder!!! And with those last words that thundering riff chugged its way around the Forum. A sterling performance from one of the U.K's best loved bands, with two red cloaked hooded figures dragging the body of Dorrian off stage an era came to its sad end.
Stained Glass Horizon
North Berwick Witch Trials
Funeral of Dreams
The Carnival Bizarre
Hopkins (Witchfinder General)
Words & Pictures Mark Davies.