Cathedral
Soul Sacrifice


3.0
good

Review

by John Marinakis USER (29 Reviews)
October 28th, 2014 | 9 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cathedral’s transformation begins with this album.

Line up:

Lee Dorrian - Vocals
Mark Ramsay Wharton - Drums & Hammond
Mark Griffiths – Bass
Adam Lehan – Guitar
Gaz Jennings – Rhythm, Lead Guitars & Tambourine

I first wanted us to stay doom and slow. To me the real turning point was the song Autumn Twilight that Griff came up with for the Soul Sacrifice EP. I kind of liked it but also remember thinking it was too much of a departure for us. I knew that by recording that, there would be no turning back. It’s only when we were in the studio recording it and when Gaz came up with all those extra riffs to it that I realized that it sounded great. And by the time we were done with that EP, which was recorded so fast anyway, we even surprised ourselves with the result. – Lee Dorrian

A lot of people today believe that Cathedral’s transition towards their distinctive style of bouncy, groove-laden Doom Metal came with their second album The Ethereal Mirror. However, the truth is that Cathedral’s evolution started when they recorded Soul Sacrifice. This EP brought Mark Wharton to the scenery who took his place behind the drum kit as the new drummer, replacing Mike Smail. Being the third drummer in less than two years, Wharton brought an aura of change with his groovy playing and according to Lee Dorrian his style was one of the main reasons behind Cathedral’s stylistic difference between Forest and Soul Sacrifice:

Wharton came down and fitted perfectly with the rest of us. As you can hear on the Soul Sacrifice EP, he added a lot more groove to the band.

Furthermore, Dorrian cited the level of the competition between the band’s guitar players as an important reason. According to his beliefs, the short distance separating the guitarists was another catalyst, since the two of them had plenty of time to practice and work together:

By the time we recorded the EP, Gaz and Adam had jammed a lot more together since they were living pretty close to each other and their guitar styles started to complete each other much better.

So, according to Dorrian, the natural evolution and partnership of the guitar duo as well as the addition of a new drummer gave Cathedral a newly found direction. For me though, as a listener and an examiner, these reasons are simply not enough to explain what went through the band’s collective mind at that point of their career because the musical differences between Forest and Soul Sacrifice are huge. This EP sounds as if it was written by an entirely new band. The suffocative and hazy atmosphere of the debut has given its place to a much more colorful musical environment and the clarity of the instruments brings a completely different feel to the songs. Production wise, this EP is also very different as the work that has been done is on an entirely different level. Cathedral seems to have completely abandoned their old tendencies and upon doing so, they find a way to break their addiction for slow music with the only available cure, that of groove. Every song in this catalogue, save from the last track Golden Blood, is very groovy and with every track, Cathedral tries to do something different. They try to be more progressive, more melodic, more varied. For Dorrian, this EP marks his permanent departure from the guttural style he employed in his days with Napalm Death, as he adopts his signature singing which is quite unique really. As a result, the music is more up-beat, more up-tempo and more diversified but stays within the boundaries of doom and never becomes too cheerful. But ultimately, a lot of the atmospheric mood and darkness of the debut is sacrificed and unfortunately this sacrifice is almost in vain. That’s because Cathedral appear to be a bit lost and disoriented in this record and while they have some interesting ideas, they seem not to know how to use them appropriately. Of course that’s not surprising since it’s their first effort trying to do something new and apart from that, they did it in a very short time.

Cathedral’s Soul Sacrifice is the lost link between two albums different in nature and nurture. It connects the band’s two sides perfectly. It is a bizarre EP, but it is also a statement of ambition. Here you have a group ready to take risks and stay off the beaten track. It would have been easy and predictable for them to enter the studio and just rehearse Forest of Equilibrium again and again. That would certainly please the doom-purists, but for a band as ambitious as Cathedral that wasn’t the case. They had arrived in a scene where the dominant philosophy was faster-faster-faster, quite the opposite really from what they had in their minds. And that’s what Cathedral did in Forest; they used their hardcore and punk influences to record an extremely slow album. But it was time to move on. And with this EP, Cathedral proved they were ready to take the first big step on-wards.

Recommended tracks:
Autumn Twilight
Golden Blood (Flooding)



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
October 28th 2014


19644 Comments


Love the informed review dude. I'm kinda new to Cathedral and I'm slowly (doom slowly) going through their catalogue.

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

rockandmetaljunkie
October 28th 2014


3870 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm pretty stoked with the writing of the next album-it's one of my favorites.

Wizard
October 28th 2014


19644 Comments


I've heard all of their highly-praised albums including their swansong and I can't say I've heard a moment I didn't enjoy.

Keep up the good work!

rockandmetaljunkie
October 28th 2014


3870 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lol wizard, you read it already, or you just ghost-posed me ?

thanks ;)

Wizard
October 28th 2014


19644 Comments


Ghost posted!

rockandmetaljunkie
October 28th 2014


3870 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"I can't say I've heard a moment I didn't enjoy"

that's great man, Cathedral's music is truly enjoyable

rockandmetaljunkie
October 28th 2014


3870 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36zZrsUOiA8

if anyone wants to check out this EP...

ksoflas
October 28th 2014


459 Comments


Auto pos man.
Never heard this EP, i will now.

facupm
October 28th 2014


8625 Comments


good one man pos'd!



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