CATHEDRAL - The Garden Of Unearthly Delights

January 20, 2006, 14 years ago

(Nuclear Blast)

Martin Popoff

Rating: 8.5

cathedral review

CATHEDRAL - The Garden Of Unearthly Delights

Peaks, valleys, dimension… that’s what you get with Lee Dorrian’s latest Cathedral, Lee always cognizant of sounding too commercial, always willing to throw in an arcane bit of sweet and sour melody to wrinkle the face up. One of those is the curious ‘Corpsecycle’, which sounds like yobbo melodic punk holler-along fodder. Elsewhere there’s a hapless acoustic dirge, a crap spook intro waste, but also a capable speed-style rocker (speed is a relative term with these smothering mothers) amusingly deemed ‘Oro The Manslayer’ and a boogie butt-shaker of a highlight called ‘North Berwick Witch Trials’. On this nice revisitation of arch theme, Cathedral’s chemistry shimmers like a trout off to spawn, the band’s wind tunnel riffing fusing metal-vain-glorious with Dorrian’s mountain man caw o’er a crashing cymbal-ravaged drum beat for fist-shaking miles. Ride cymbal never got hit so pocket-proud. Two numbers could be classed as subtly grind dissonant and arty, but back to those original three words of premise, the album ends with a 27 minuter called ‘The Garden’ (didn’t GN’R do this?) where the rule book is tossed. Female voices o’er acoustic tinkling give way to jagged mega-doomed riffs with extra-crispy distortion and then, as one could imagine, all manner of faux prog silliness. Frankly, it’s easy to call this the grand genius song on the album, but it’s close to the worst, so you end up with a ‘Loch Ness’-type slog at the end I’ll likely skip, which, on a 71 minute record, still fortunately leaves much snorting well-wished doom to feast upon.


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