The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
Cathedral - “The Garden Of Unearthly Delights” - Nuclear Blast - 2006
|Track Listing1. Dearth AD 2005|
2. Tree Of Life And Death
3. North Berwick Witch Trials
4. Upon Azrael’s Wings
6. Fields Of Zagara
7. Oro The Manslayer
8. Beneath A Funeral Sun
9. The Garden
Coventry England’s revered Doom Metal masters Cathedral have returned after a few years absence from recording with a solid sampling of Sabbath/Trouble inspired Metal. Every time I listen to a band that labels themselves as Doom Metal I am brought back to the early seventies it seems because it reminds me of the influences that Sabbath first laid down for the genre that became Heavy Metal. I believe if Sabbath formed today they would be classified as Doom. While the group was formed about 15 years ago, I would not be someone who followed them but I am able to tell you of the quality material presented on this recording. If you are a fan of the trudging heaviness created by Sabbath and carried on by Trouble then there are some things on this release that show the next logical step in this form of Metal. The group makes a smart move by not having every song plod along like some peers might and instead offer you some interesting changes across the album. “North Berwick Witch Trials” is a great Doomy track while “Corpsecycle” is a tad more catchy and accessible citing potential as a Metal radio single. A tasty acoustic number “Fields Of Zagara” is followed by the blistering almost Motorhead inspired “Oro The Manslayer”. During this one I grabbed the air guitar and stopped only to head bang a little during the verses. Cathedral also chose to challenge Dream Theater with the song “The Garden” which according to my CD player caps off at over 28 minutes in length. There is a lot of heavy Sabbath feel to this track and despite the long running time I did not find myself bored at all since there were many changes to enjoy. A hidden track closes the recording and features guest female vocalist Lo Polidaro. All in all it was a very satisfying album for me as a new listener.
Cathedral is definitely a band to take a look into if you enjoy this type of sound and from this album I am convinced of how good they do it. Between them and Witchcraft I am going to waiver between Power and Progressive for a new preferred genre. The members of the group are long time vocalist Lee Dorrian, Garry Jennings (guitars), Leo Smee (bass) and Brian Dixon (drums). This album has already been released in Europe and is meeting with strong critical acclaim so now it is the US listeners chance to “feel the Doom!!!”.
Official Website: www.cathedralcoven.com
--Ken Pierce iaw: PiercingMetal.com
Cathedral - The Garden Of Unearthly Delight - 2005 - Nuclear Blast
|Track Listing1. Death Ad 2005|
2.Tree Of Life And Death
3.North Berwick Witch Trials
4.Upon Azreal's Wings
6.Fields Of Zagara
7.Oro The Manslayer
8.Beneath A Funeral Sun
10. Hidden Track
Cathedral has long been my favorite band of the doom and stoner mold, as they've shifted between and blended both, but I wasn't really sure what to expect from this one. Their previous release VIIth coming really did little for me and is probably my 2nd least favorite Cathedral album after the slow, death/doom debut. "The VII Coming" overall just seemed disjointed and unmemorable, but I think maybe that album was just rushed, coming only a year after "Endytyme".
Now a few years after the release of VIIth this album shows Cathedral much more focused and taking things back a few steps towards their mid-era stoner material. This album isn't full on stoner rock though and comes across pretty damn dark and heavy. I suppose the closest comparison would be "The Carnival Bizarre's" Sabbath worship but at times "Caravan Beyond Redemption" style grooves and "Ethereal Mirror's" evil sounding weirdness creeps in. Really it is a mix of the best moments of their generally recognized glory era. To put it simply this album is full of heavy riffs, catchy grooves, and plenty of the dark/twisted atmosphere that Cathedral is best known for. From hard hitters like "Oro The Manslayer" and "The Tree Of Life & Death" to the heavy stoner grooves of "North Berwick Witch Trials" and "Corpsecyle" this album just suceeds in all forms. There should be something for fans of any era of the band really and the always inventive band adds their own touch to this one as well. Check out the creepy as fuck little girl chant in "Beneath A Funeral Sun" for some evil sounding shit and the constantly shapeshifting, 27 minute, "The Garden" for some guest female vocals and a pretty different Cathedral song.
In summation... this album destroys. This really has been the year for the darker metal bands to shine in my opinion. If Sabbath X100 on the heaviness and evil sounds good to you then you need this. Actually I'd recommend this to just about anyone who likes darker metal as this isn't your typical slow doom nor is it the standard fuzzy stoner band. This is just unique, heavy as hell asskicking.
Highlights: Beneath A Funeral Sun, North Berwick Witch Trials, Corpecyle, Oro The Manslayer
Rating - 4.5/5.0
--Stygian Steel 10.11.05