CATHEDRAL — Supernatural Birth Machine (review)

CATHEDRAL — Supernatural Birth Machine album cover Album · 1996 · Stoner Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
UMUR
"Supernatural Birth Machine" is the 4th full-length studio album by UK doom/stoner metal act Cathedral. The album was released through Earache Records in November 1996. It´s the successor to "The Carnival Bizarre" from 1995 and features the same four-piece lineup as the predecessor. So with this release it was cemented that Cathedral would continue with only one guitarist in the lineup, which is something that drastically changed their sound on "The Carnival Bizarre (1995)" compared to the twin guitar doom metal style of the first two albums.

"Supernatural Birth Machine" pretty much continues down the same doom/stoner metal style of its predecessor. It´s generally a little less doomy and slightly more hard rocking, but other than that it´s a natural successor in terms of sound and style. The one guitar approach provides a relatively simplistic touch, just like the case was on the predecessor, but the focus is still on heavy and organic played riffs and rhythms and Lee Dorrian´s often out of tune raw shouting vocals. There is a certain unique charm to his delivery, but damn the man can´t hit a clean note if his life depended on it.

The material on the 11 track, 58:00 minutes long album is relatively well written. There´s nothing offensively bad featured on the album, but there aren´t many highlights worth a mention either. It´s pretty standard quality doom/stoner metal, which could have prospered from more catchiness and a generally more hook oriented songwriting approach. Way too many of the tracks just pass by without leaving a lasting impression. The sound production is organic and relatively well sounding, but it lacks slightly in the punch department. The band are as always well playing, and all in all "Supernatural Birth Machine" is a decent release by Cathedral. Taking their full discopgraphy into account it´s one of their least interesting releases though, and a 3 star (60%) rating is fair.
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