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3.84 | 29 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1993

Filed under Stoner Metal


1. Violet Vortex (Intro) (1:55)
2. Ride (4:47)
3. Enter the Worms (6:05)
4. Midnight Mountain (4:55)
5. Fountain of Innocence (7:13)
6. Grim Luxuria (4:46)
7. Jaded Entity (7:53)
8. Ashes You Leave (6:22)
9. Phantasmagoria (8:44)
10. Imprisoned in Flesh (1:46)

Total Time: 54:30


- Lee Dorrian / vocals
- Garry Jennings / guitars, bass
- Adam Lehan / guitars
- Mark Wharton / drums

About this release

Columbia/Earache Records, February 1st, 1993

track 1 by Jennings
track by Dorrian & Jennings
track 3.7. by Dorrian , Lehan & Bianco
track 6 by Dorrian & Lehan
track 8 by Dorrian , Lehan & Jennings
track 9 by Dorrian , Lehan , Jennings & Bianco

Recorded at Manor Studios, Oxford.
produced by David Bianco, engineered by Shaun DeFeo.
Front Cover Artwork: Dave Patchett

European release: 1993, April 13th

Bonus tracks for Japan (and the Earache Records re-release):
11. Sky Lifter (Instrumental Version)
12. A Funeral Request (1993 Version)
Japan edition cat. # TKCK-88620 (Toy's Factory)

Re-released as a Dualdisc in May 2009 with "Statik Majik" EP as a bonus disc. The DVD side of the Dualdisc contains a 40 min brand new documentary with key original band members, filmed in Coventry in 2009, and also featuring interviews with infamous cover artist Dave Patchett. An in depth exploration of the formation of Cathedral, the recording of ‘The Ethereal Mirror’ and the growth of the band from humble beginnings to a major label deal.

Chapters of the documentary:
01. Musical Progression
02. A Major Deal
03. Manor Studio
04. The Artwork
05. Tension Rising
06. Fashion Sense
07. Disco Doom
08. Exit Adam
09. Where Are You Now?
10. Reflections

Thanks to Time Signature, UMUR, Unitron for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

This album completely changed my definitions of what doom metal could be (to the point of not even knowing if this is doom at all, but who cares). Doom metal is usually all about sounding dark, lethargic, and/or depressed right? Cathedral said 'fuck it', here's a bit of ominousness, but lets have some fuckin' fun.

Never have I heard another band come from the genre with this much exuberance, energy, personality, infectious hooks up the ass, grooves, and a special goofy charm that only Lee Dorian can pull off. Listening to the singles of Ride and Midnight Mountain make me wonder how the hell these guys didn't make it big. The riffs are massive, and the songwriting is honed to create the perfect metallic bop. Even songs like Enter the Worms, Fountain of Innocence, and Grim Luxuria balance out lumbering doom with huge grooves that bring a party.

Frontman Lee Dorian really commands the stage, he sounds like a party animal who doesn't know when to quit. His vocal style is so unique, with this weird and charismatic tone that brings light to every song no matter how dark the guitar riffs sound. Even when he's not 'OH YEEEAAAAH' and 'GROOVIN' ALL NIGHT', he's singing the chorus of Grim Luxuria the same way. It's absolutely fantastic.

Rather than filing this with Candlemass and Saint Vitus, this is probably better thrown together with grunge and groove metal (At least that's what I typically pair it with).
Although over time I have come to appreciate the early doom sound that Cathedral had on their debut - a style of comparatively purist doom metal flavoured and given a little extra edge by the band members' past experience in various extreme metal subgenres - the style wouldn't last long. Already, on their second album, you could hear the gear shift, with the band already moving away from traditional doom to the sort of good-natured stoner metal that would be their calling card for much of their subsequent career. This unfortunately puts more of a spotlight on Lee Dorrian's vocal performance, which frankly I find to be a turn-off, and the catchier, simpler, more accessible sound feels kind of vapid and empty to me if I'm being brutally honest.
After their debut, this was a very gutsy move.

After making a landmark doom album, Cathedral decided to have a bit of a dramatic change, and take that disco doom element found in moments of their earlier material, and kind of put a spotlight on it. And it's pulled off magnificiently, with kick ass riffs and moments that will groove you to the bone. Now some people may think it's a bit of a joke at times, but it really isn't, it just works so well.

This album also seems to have a more Prog influence, with the longer tracks, being slightly shorter than their debut, being more diverse and compacted...and to be honest, kind of suprises you that all this was packed into an 7 to 8 minute song...and you kind of want more after it, but are still feeling fullfilled. The shorter songs on the other hand are more to the point and highly enjoyable.

I would say this is my 2nd favourite Cathedral album...and I wouldn't say it's a masterpiece, but these songs are highly enjoyable and this album is too. The video's from this album are also worth checking out, expecially one in particular.

1. Vioet Vortex - Great intro. Very melodic and kick ass. 9/10

2. Ride - Kick ass song with some great lyrics. Chorus isn't too bad, although I've heard better Cathedral chorus'. 9/10

3. Enter The Worms - I love the chorus. It's such a diverse song with a load of interesting twists and turns. 10/10

4. Midnight Mountain - Please watch the video for this song, it's hilarious, and really highlights the disco doom element. Incredibly cheesy but it's so good. Killer kick ass grooves and riffs. 10/10

5. Fountain Of Innocene - One of Cathedral's most diverse songs. I thought this was going to be the generic Planet Caravan ripp off found on most upbeat doom bands albums, but it really transformed into something else. Full of exicitng twists and turns, and Lee's vocals really are very diverse. The instrumental sections are also amazing. 10/10

6. Grim Luxuria - A bit like a doomy rollercoaster. Very crazy at times with some killer riffs and moments. 9/10

7. Jaded Enitity - Love the intro. A very exciting song. Greatt riffs in the instrumental section. 10/10

8. Ashes You Leave - Great riffs and killer vocals. Not as diverse and exciting though. 8/10

9. Phantasmagoira - Evil intro. Very reminiscent of the 1st album with riffs like a trompling behemoth. 8/10

10. Imprisoned In Flesh = Very beautiful. Lee's vocals really are beautiful and be honest, this song shocked me a bit. 10/10

CONCLUSION: My 2nd favourite Cathedral album...and I love Cathedral...and you will too!
Time Signature

Genre: doom metal / stoner metal

It's got doom. It's got gloom. It's got groove. It's got melody. "The Ethereal Mirror" is my favorite Cathedral album. Although they have adopted a more uptempo and less doomy stoner metal style (I don't think stoner metal is really doom metal, so to me, the genre term "stoner doom" is a void [and kinda stupid] one), there are a lot of heavy, doom-ladden riff on this album, such as the mighty opening riff of "Enter the Worms", the intros to "Grim Luxuria", "Jaded Entity", and "Phantasmogoria". All of these tracks succesfully combine doom and groove, and all of the tracks on the album are groovy to some extent. As it happens, my favorite track is the intro track "Violet Vortex" - probably because it combines traditional doomy riff with catchy melodies.

While not the greatest singer in the world, I think Lee Dorrian does a great job on this album. His raw and weird vocal style just fits this sort of groovy and heavy music very well... as do the otherworldly imagery of his lyrics.

Most fans of "real" doom metal will probably prefer Cathedral's debut album to this one, but, if you're into groovy music as well, do yourself a favor and check out this gem.

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