Cathedral is an underground doom metal/stoner metal band. They hail from England and they were founded by Lee Dorrian (of Napalm Death fame, ironic ainít it?) In the early days, it was slow doom metal but they changed their overall sound to a stoner metal sound. They are only two remaining members from the start of Cathedral, Lee Dorrian and Gaz Jennings (guitarist). This album is a scratch and sniff CD, when you rub the CD; it gives you a smell of apples!!!
When I had bought this album, I thought I knew what I was expecting. I thought it would be slow groove riffs and the occasional guitar solo or two. I had put it on and what did I hear? It was heavier than I thought. It was like a heavy world war instead of slow grooving Black Sabbath-esque songs. I dig it, it isnít boring at all, and it also isnít that slow for a doom metal band. All throughout the songs, my attention never drops. The riffs can be repetitive sometimes but the vocals save all that.
The guitars arenít that technical but they do provide up some good parts to go along with the vocals and the overall vibe of the songs. The guitar solos are short but they do add some sweetness to the songs. The drums are solid and do provide simple beats but they never become boring. The vocals are an acquired taste I think, the vocals arenít melodic and they are usually quite rough but not in a thrash metal or death metal sense. Again, they are an acquired taste but you get used to them. I didnít like them first time I listened to them but they grew on me. The bass can think up good lines and I can hear it loud and clear so thatís a good sign for a metal band.
The main problem with the album is that a lot of the songs are less consistent. Sometimes it is hard to go through the whole song as they do put boring parts in that can make it hard to listen. ďThe Garden" is 26:58 and it is a giant snooze-fest for me. Sometimes the songs donít flow, they can have this cool verse and they go into a chorus that doesnít suit the song. Despite this minor annoyance, I can really get into a lot of tracks on show here.
My favourite track is ďOro the Manslayer" which starts off like itís live or something with a small crowd cheering, the intro is fast and the vocals seem a bit out of place but it doesnít take away from the music. The riff contained in the song is a bit hard to describe except one word, evil
. The chorus is pulled off well, though it is simply a few chords and such, the vocals could never fit the music more than as it does at that part. There is a crazy part with just fast drums and bass and then the guitar solo comes in, itís a bit on the simple side but adds to itís rocking vibe. The song is 7:29 yet it never slows down for one second. The middle part of the song only has the instruments and no vocals until the chorus right at the end. ďBeneath a Funeral Sun" starts no differently with no crap at the start. The song just starts with this slow chugging riff. The only downside to the song is the little children singing during the song. It kind of freaks me out. The song kind of sounds the same as ďOro the Manslayer" but when itís this good who cares? Another part that freaks me out is when something like a prisoner is screaming for mercy which can give you strange imagery. The song does slow down though with this strange happy part during the song. There is a sort of bass solo which is amazing for a metal band.
Cathedralís good points are that they can play their instruments with every member knowing a thing or two about their stuff. Leeís vocals can be pulled off well depending on the vibe of the song. For example, when the song is fast, his voice is a bit redundant but if the song is slow then he fits in perfectly. If you knew me or even talk to me through IM, you would know I hate filler, especially when they arenít a lot of tracks. Well, there are 10 tracks on this album and two songs which are about 1 minute and that equals bad to me.
While there is a 26 minute track on the record, they should have cut that down to about 10 minutes and made something out of the filler. That would make the album more consistent and I could listen to it all in one go if that happened. Cathedral have made a good album but it is definitely flawed. I could rant about how awesome the riffs are or I could rant about the poor shortage of tracks but it is mixed up. The songs on the album are good, donít get me wrong but the albums tracks and length could have got tweaked to make it great.