Cathedral
Anniversary


4.0
excellent

Review

by John Marinakis USER (26 Reviews)
June 26th, 2012 | 23 replies | 1,470 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cathedral’s first and final live album.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

As I sit here writing these lines, my mind obligingly travels back in time to that day when I saw Cathedral live for the first and eventually the last time in my life. I remember myself going to the concert unfortunately unprepared, as I wasn’t very familiar with most of their musical material, having listened only to their stunning debut and the compilation album The Serpents Gold. During the concert I caught myself wondering and questioning the band’s identity. Being labeled as Doom Metal, I expected to see a band performing their slowest, heaviest and most unbearable material they could possibly offer. On the contrary, when the concert was over, I had the impression that what I saw was a typical Heavy Metal band. Of course, I witnessed some remarkable moments of undeniable, ultimate Doom but it wasn’t enough. Nonetheless, the show was great but I went home feeling half emptied, knowing I would never get the chance to see them again on stage. It was less than one month after the concert, when I had listened to their whole discography, that I realized how much the Metal community will miss this band. So far, for over two decades, they have been on the forefront of the Doom Metal scene and they have brought to the listeners some of the heaviest, most pleasurable Doom ever conceived.

Anniversary is Cathedral’s first live album and was recorded during their performance at London’s Islington Academy on December 10th 2010. A double live album, Anniversary captures the band performing two sets. In the first set (1st cd) Cathedral performs their debut album in it’s entirety with the original line-up and in the second set (2nd cd) they play a best of selection of their latter day material with the line-up that consisted the band until recently. Forest Of Equilibrium is undoubtedly on of the finest Doom Metal albums ever written (if not one of the finest Metal albums in general), a testament to the genre that Sabbath spawned some forty years ago and a statement of pure hatred and misery. The first cd can be considered as a gift to the older dedicated fans who followed the band from their very first days. Needless to say, it was the first cd’s offer, which urged me to spend 35 euros. I had an invincible desire to hear a live version of this remarkable debut. But I was also consumed by curiosity, about the band’s overall performance and mostly about the first line-up. After all, they haven’t played together for so many years, so the offer was indeed interesting. Another question bumping in my head was Dorrian’s vocal style. Everyone who has heard the first album knows that he used a semi-growling singing style which he abandon as the years went by.

Every single question I had, was answered just as I returned home and inserted the cd into my computer. The concert begins with the introduction called Picture of Beauty and Innocence which is taken straight from the original album. Then, Cathedral enters the stage and as soon as the guitarist duo Jennings and Lehan increase their guitar volumes and strike the first notes of Comiserating the Celebration you find yourself lost in the miserable paradise of Doom. If you thought the compositions founded in their debut are slow then be prepared. The first thing I noticed was that, when compared to the original recordings, the band performes the songs at even slower speeds giving you the feeling of an unstoppable vehicle travelling at 25 mph. The band’s performance is fluid and it feels like they never broke up. However, Adam Lehan’s individual performance, whose second guitar plays a major role to the overall heaviness and adds a lot more than just some solos, unfortunately isn’t flawless. I don’t know if he was an active musician during his time out of Cathedral, but at some points he sounds sloppy. Some of his solos are not well executed and the magnificent outro solo in the 7th track Equilibrium isn’t played at all. Nevertheless Cathedral’s sound and musical approach is quite different with two guitars and it makes you wonder how different would have sounded if they had stayed that way. Dorrian’s approach disappointed me a little. I was expecting him to use his old trademark style used in the first album for old time’s sake, but he sings throughout the entire live using his “clean” vocals. On the other hand, I always wondered how Forest would have sounded with a different style, so the concept is somehow intriguing. As the concert evolves with a funeral pace, the music sounds so dense that when the band plays their final song Reaching Happiness you can feel a cathartic sense of accomplishment waving above the venue.

When the second part of the concert begins, the second line-up brings a wind of change and marks the departure from the slow sludgy hell for the sake of a more up-beat catalogue of songs taken from all the phases of Cathedral’s illustrious career. The songs are faster (save for the tracks Cosmic Funeral and Night of The Seagulls, the latter of which is totally different compared to the original recording) and more progressive. Despite the length of the concert, the crowd sounds always enthusiastic and cheerful, always demanding something more, but the band’s two members Dorrian and Jennings begin to sound somewhat tired towards the end, which I think is normal. The last Spire, an instrumental which serves as an introduction to the encore, has a characteristic 70’s melody and it might remind you of Jon Lord’s work with Purple. Otherwise it is a boring skippable track.

All in all, Anniversary seems to me, aside from being a live album, as their ultimate compilation. An album which reflects and showcases Cathedral’s two different sides perfectly. The first being much slower and doomy and the second being more progressive and influenced by the 70’s vintage Rock. Is it worthy of noticing ? Definitely. Is it worthy of purchasing ? Well that’s debatable. If Cathedral is an unknown band to you, or if you aren’t familiar with their work, this double live album can work pretty well as an introduction to their music.



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user ratings (3)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
rockandmetaljunkie
June 26th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wish I could be there to attend that concert.
Damn...

rockandmetaljunkie
June 26th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Any constructive criticism is appreciated.

TheNotrap
June 26th 2012



7982 Comments


Damn long review man.
I read it tomorrow, have a pos.

rockandmetaljunkie
June 26th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah sorry for that....:-P

YUJOS
June 26th 2012



915 Comments


Poli kari kritiki. 2 paratiriseis. Stin Defteri paragrafo "At least that’s how I felt while I was on my way to the store to purchase the album" Svisto an thes. Gia mena den xreiazotan na to grapseis.
Triti Paragrafo "the first notes of “Comiserating the Celebration” you found yourself lost in the miserable paradise of Doom" vale find anti gia found.

Digging: Misery Index - The Killing Gods

TheNotrap
June 26th 2012



7982 Comments


m/


YUJOS
June 26th 2012



915 Comments


Episis sto teleftaio live tous den trelathika kai ego na sou po tin alitheia.

YUJOS
June 26th 2012



915 Comments


Also doom/!!!!

rockandmetaljunkie
June 26th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ Το μονο που με χαλασε ηταν η λιγη ωρα που παιξανε. Κατα τα αλλα η εμφανιση τους ηταν ακρως επαγγελματικη.

BirthRite
June 26th 2012



1318 Comments


www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9Qdj7pt7Iw
www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9Qdj7pt7Iw
www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9Qdj7pt7Iw
www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9Qdj7pt7Iw


best cathedral song and look at that black chicks ass, doesn't get better than that

rockandmetaljunkie
June 26th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ugh, i hate videoclips

BirthRite
June 26th 2012



1318 Comments


that's not a video clip, it's an actual catherdral music video you fool

stop assuming and watch you quack

YUJOS
June 26th 2012



915 Comments


The videoclip for Hopkins is like what we say "Metal Up Your Ass"!!!!

rockandmetaljunkie
June 26th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Whatever....
Whether it is a video clip or a music video i still hate it.

And i have already seen it you fool...

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2012



4381 Comments


Great review, RandM. I havent heard this but I will certainly check them out.
POS'd

RunOfTheMill
June 27th 2012



1428 Comments


This looks pretty cool, but I'm wondering if this album or one of their studio albums would be a better first step. Guess it wouldn't hurt to start here...

Pos'd.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
June 27th 2012



5921 Comments


@ RunOfTheMill

As a first step, check The Ethereal Mirror and Endtyme.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

rockandmetaljunkie
June 27th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Paper
Thanks, it's not a necessity to start from here, try their first 3 albums.

@RunOfTheMill
Every album they wrote has interesting moments to say the least. Their first 3 records are awesome and "Endtyme" is one one of the heaviest albums they've ever made. Listen to Voivod's proposal, but also add their debut in your catalogue. It is almost as heavy as "Endtyme", but very different.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
June 27th 2012



19999 Comments


Great review dude.

Haven't heard this album, I might check it out.

rockandmetaljunkie
June 27th 2012



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Jamie, ignore this and go for their earlier releases instead.



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