CATHEDRAL
Stoner Metal / Doom Metal / Traditional heavy metal • United Kingdom

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Doom metal band from Coventry, England. The group was formed in 1989 by Lee Dorrian (formerly vocalist of Napalm Death), Mark 'Griff' Griffiths (a Carcass roadie) and Gary 'Gaz' Jennings (previously a member of UK thrashers Acid Reign. The band forged a link between early doom metal and a 1990s extreme metal aesthetic, making doom slower and heavier. Their debut album, Forest of Equilibrium , is considered a classic of the genre, though the band would later evolve their doom style, adding psychedelic and progressive rock influences and playing in a more uptempo and groove-oriented fashion.

The band was founded in 1989 by Lee Dorrian (former singer of grindcore pioneers Napalm Death), Mark 'Griff' Griffiths (a Carcass roadie) and Garry 'Gaz' Jennings (formerly of thrash metal upstarts Acid Reign).[1] At first they played very heavy and slow doom metal that was first released through Rise Above Records, vocalist Lee Dorrian's
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CATHEDRAL Discography

CATHEDRAL albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 4.24 | 31 ratings
Forest of Equilibrium
Doom Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 4.21 | 25 ratings
The Ethereal Mirror
Stoner Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 3.75 | 22 ratings
The Carnival Bizarre
Stoner Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.69 | 10 ratings
Supernatural Birth Machine
Stoner Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 3.69 | 11 ratings
Caravan Beyond Redemption
Stoner Metal 1998
.. Album Cover 4.19 | 12 ratings
Endtyme
Stoner Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 4.21 | 11 ratings
The VIIth Coming
Stoner Metal 2002
.. Album Cover 4.15 | 19 ratings
The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Stoner Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 3.59 | 12 ratings
The Guessing Game
Stoner Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 4.08 | 10 ratings
The Last Spire
Doom Metal 2013

CATHEDRAL EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 3.38 | 6 ratings
Soul Sacrifice
Doom Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gods of Grind
Doom Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
After Forever
Traditional heavy metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Cosmic Requiem
Stoner Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 3.81 | 8 ratings
Statik Majik
Stoner Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.05 | 2 ratings
Hopkins (The Witchfinder General)
Stoner Metal 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in London
Doom Metal 2010
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A New Ice Age
Doom Metal 2011

CATHEDRAL live albums

.. Album Cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Anniversary
Doom Metal 2011

CATHEDRAL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Memorium
Doom Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo #2
Doom Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rock Hard Presents: Gods of Grind
Doom Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
New Metal Messiahs!
Stoner Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vengeance of the Blind Dead (Flexi Version)
Doom Metal 2013

CATHEDRAL re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soul Sacrifice / Statik Majik
Doom Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Memoriam
Doom Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Serpent's Gold
Stoner Metal 2004

CATHEDRAL singles (4)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Grim Luxuria
Stoner Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Twylight Songs
Doom Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ride
Stoner Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Gargoylian
Stoner Metal 2001

CATHEDRAL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Our God Has Landed
Doom Metal 2001

CATHEDRAL Reviews

CATHEDRAL The Ethereal Mirror

Album · 1993 · Stoner Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
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.

CATHEDRAL Forest of Equilibrium

Album · 1991 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Warthur
Although I'm generally pretty keen on doom metal, and will always honour Lee Dorrian for his role as Rise Above head honcho in bringing groups like Blood Ceremony, Electric Wizard, and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats to wider attention, Cathedral have always somehow failed to catch me - especially their more stoner-oriented middle period. (Once you start yelling "Huggy Bear oh yeah!" in the middle of a song you know you have lurched into total self-parody.)

This debut album of theirs, though... I think it has finally grown on me. Forest of Equilibrium has a rather unique doom sound because the participants are coming at it from decidedly non-doom backgrounds. You have Lee's own past in Napalm Death, Adam's Acid Reign roots, Mark Griffiths' Carcass roadie years - in short, a heap of experience in the faster, grittier, more extreme flavours of metal out there.

The end result is a doom album where, though I find Lee's vocal contributions to be a bit hit or miss, the overall aesthetic he leads the band to accomplish is an interesting departure for doom metal, giving it some of the gruesome, sick edge that extreme metal subgenres of the era enjoyed. The end result is a doom album which stands in stark contrast to some of the more "clean" and pristine takes on the genre, and as such deserves its place in doom history. Manage your expectations carefully and listen with an open mind.

CATHEDRAL Forest of Equilibrium

Album · 1991 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
When Lee Dorian announced the formation of Cathedral, no one quite knew what the hell to expect. Dorian had been part of the first legendary line up of Napalm Death, so a Doom Metal band seemed like the polar opposite. Add to that a guitarist from one of the UK’s leading Thrash bands of the time, and it seemed like a very odd proposition. Would this be the first ever high-speed Doom band? The first few notes of ‘Comiserating the Celebration’ showed what was in store. Cathedral was slow, heavy and well, Doom-laden. The rhythm guitar came straight from the Tony Iommi school of riffs. Discordant guitar lines played counter to the rhythm, seemingly out of tune, but fitting perfectly. Dorian’s psychotic screech was gone, replaced by a deep, soulful moan. Like a mammoth struggling for its life in a prehistoric tar pit, the whole effect is one of sinking, a hopeless inescapable fate. And basically, that was the tone for the entire album. The band explores the plummeting depths of despair repeatedly. There is not an element of cheer anywhere on the album. ‘Soul Sacrifice’ picks up the pace a little, and apart from a final flourish, hardly raises the tempo beyond a slow march. ‘Equilibrium’ also rumbles like a rolling shockwave of an earthquake across a continent. Lee Dorian’s vocals were something of a revelation. Until the release of this album, Doom vocalists basically emulated Ozzy Osbourne’s high-pitched tenor. Some like Trouble’s Eric Wagner favoured the tripped out, stoned Ozzy, while others like Candlemass’ Messiah Marcolin went with full operatic pomposity. Paradise Lost’s ‘Lost Paradise’ predates ‘Forest Of Equilibrium’, with Nick Holmes employing a similar vocal technique, but there was a large Death Metal component to Paradise Lost’s sound. Cathedral was pure Doom. Dorian sounds like he’s on the ultimate downer trip, all life and energy sapped from his body, his voice the croak of a man who has seen his own demise and has accepted it resignedly. The lyrics are tales of mysticism and natural majick, but Dorian would inspire dread no matter what the subject matter. Guitarist Adam Lehan was also treading new ground. He’d formerly been a member of UKAC (United Kingdom Apple Core, a hardcore label piss-take) nutters Acid Reign. It might have been tempting to play old Acid Reign riffs at half pace, but there is nothing here which even hints at Thrash. The odd ropey riff is excusable in Thrash, because playing at high speed mean it’s gone again fairly quickly. However, playing at the leaden pace of Cathedral Lehan and fellow guitarist Gary Jennings had to deliberately place every note, or it would hang there rotting like a corpse in a gibbet. ‘Forest Of Equilibrium’ helped relaunch Doom Metal into the general Metal conscious. It attracted notice because of the band members’ previous gigs, but kept the interest because of its own musical merit. It was also Cathedral’s only pure Doom release. From ‘The Ethereal Mirror’ and beyond, a large Stoner Rock component was added to the sound. ‘Forest Of Equilibrium’ stands alone as a dread monolith in Cathedral’s career.

CATHEDRAL The Last Spire

Album · 2013 · Doom Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"The Last Spire" is the 10th full-length studio album by UK doom metal act Cathedral. The album was released through Rise Above Records in April 2013. Cathedral announced in February 2011, that after 21 years together they had come to an end as a group. They did however announce that they would do a farewell tour and release one final studio album before disbanding and that final album is "The Last Spire". It´s not a "lightweight" group going into retirement, but one of the most profilic doom metal acts to ever emerge from the UK scene. They leave a legacy of several doom metal "classics" and a reputation as a powerful and hard working live act.

The music on the album is unmistakably the sound of Cathedral. They always have had a unique take on the doom metal style and are probably one of the most distinct sounding acts on the scene. That is in large part due to the singing style of Lee Dorrian. I guess we can rule out by now that Dorrian will ever be able to hit a clean note, but he sure does possess an odd charm that´s highly unique. Demonic, psychadelic, and demented, are some of the words that are valid when describing his vocal style. Cathedral has at various points in their career experimented with a more hard rocking stoner doom style in addition to their brick heavy doom metal style and also on occasion incorporated psychadelic and even progressive elements to their sound. The music on "The Last Spire" is generally in the brick heavy end of the band´s sound with occasional psychadelic leanings and even a nod towards progressive rock on "An Observation", which features both hammond organ, Mellotron, moog, and other vintage keyboards. A track like "Pallbearer" includes female singing while Autopsy frontman Chris Reifert makes a guest appearance on the sinister sounding "Cathedral of the Damned".

The quality of the songwriting is overall pretty high although there are tracks that drag on a bit too long and some vocal parts that are almost too atonal for comfort. The sound production is grand, distorted and organic. Paired with the tight musicianship and the band´s unique sound, "The Last Spire" certainly comes off as a great final effort by Cathedral. I´m not sure I would say they go out on a high, as they´ve produced some incredible albums very early in their career, that I´ve never felt they´ve been able to top, but we are treated to an adventurous high quality doom metal release and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

CATHEDRAL The Last Spire

Album · 2013 · Doom Metal
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arcane-beautiful
So this is it. This is the end. One of my favourite bands. Saying goodbye. And celebrating their death with a funeral.

Cathedral have always been a band with a rather morbid sense of humour. So whenever they decided to call it quits, they wanted to show their respect by ending their over 20 year career with a final album, which was a great idea, because it shows that the band are ending due to an agreement, rather than bitchy discourse. And, you got to respect them for being so respectful to themselves and to their audiences.

I really want to say that this album is for anybody....but it really isn't. For the most part, this album is depressing as hell. Being a fan of bands like My Dying Bride, Draconian and Esoteric, I was surprised at how Cathedral where able to make me more glum than these bands have done before.

Trying to bring their tragic demise to a full circle, the band decided to take influence from their foetal days. Their classic debut “Forest Of Equilibrium”, an album which really took the metal world by storm and pretty much made Doom metal what it is today, was a major influence and reflection on this album. Instrumentally, the band have taken a more minimal side to production. Garry Jennings guitar sound is heavier than ever, but the razor like tone is now back, cutting into you like a chainsaw with every riff. Lee's vocals are as always, either on pitch or slightly off pitch with a tiny growl behind it. Lee isn't the worlds best vocalist, but his voice does have character and as a storyteller, he is the perfect narrator behind the music and the stories the lyrics paint.

Instrumentally, the band have always been able to impress me. Garry Jennings has always been underlooked as a guitar player, when really, he is a underrated genius. His style of playing is so diverse and full of character, it allows his riffs to really get into the marrow of your bones.

Lyrically, Lee has written ironic and almost comical lyrics. Dark they are, but if you read between the lines and understand the metaphors, Lee is portraying images of funerals, death and doom, but he is really portraying the end for the band, talking about their history and some ties, even thanking their fans.

The intro to the album, “Entrance To Hell”, Lee screams “Bring out your dead.”, a saying that was used in English Medieval times, adding to the doom and gloom of the whole album.

The album is really held together by the three epic songs, which either go over or just about reach the 10 minute mark. “Pallbearer” and “An Observation”, the two longest songs on the album are the most interesting tracks. “Pallbearer,” the more rockier epic has some brilliant bone crushing riffs with some proggier edges throughout, and a rather punky ending. “An Observation” on the other hand is probably my favourite song on the album. As it starts off, it is very slow and dirgeful. 4 minutes into the song, silence is heard. Then a synth solo explodes from nowhere. It does make me laugh at times, but it still shows how diverse and progressive Cathedral are and have always been.

The album also holds some shorter songs. The albums single “Tower Of Silence” is heavy as hell and is a real mammoth of a song. “Cathedral Of The Damned” is a more straightforward Cathedral song while “Infestation Of Grey Death” is a monumental doom epic.

“Thy Body, Thy Tomb” is a song that really just punches you in the face. The song's real body is a heavy and traditional Cathedral song, which I'm slightly surprised by. The song ends with some nice keyboards...oh wait...no it doesn't. The song emerges from the dead and ends with a kick ass riff that goes on for 4 minutes. I love the suprise and the sudden attack Cathedral do to leave a good impression.

In conclusion, this is Cathedral's last album. They have always been able to deliver brilliant albums. Knowing that they where ending, they where obviously going to do something impressive, and they have. This still isn't my favourite Cathedral album (The Garden of Unearthly Delights still holds that flame), but it's definitely in the top 3. A return to form, before the phoenix disappears forever.

RIP Cathedral

8.5/10

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