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Cathedral - The Garden Of Unearthly Delights

=Staff's pick

Dearth AD 2005
Tree Of Life & Death*
North Berwick Witch Trials
Upon Azrael's Wings
Fields Of Zagara
Oro The Manslayer*
Beneath A Funeral Sun*
The Garden

Genre Doom Metal
Lee Dorian
Tracks 10
Garry Jennings
Runningtime 71 Min.
Label Nuclear Blast
Leo Smee
Release 29 Sept. 2005
Brian Dixon
Country England
Similar artists ---

British doomsters Cathedral return to the folds with their eighth album The Garden Of Unearthly Delights. It is heavy for sure and the doom legends in Cathedral can't hardly be labeled as solely doom anymore as there is a just as much groovy seventies metal as well as sludge and stoner to be found on this album.

First song Tree Of Life And Death kicks into action with a sound similar to Corrosion Of Conformity with a heavy and mighty groove with a really nice and good flow. The flow is kept with the next track that also goes along in the same great manor with some really tasteful guitar parts although not as good as the first one. Then it gets up and down with the pace of the songs and with the material. When it turns slow it feels uninspired and boring to me while with other bits and pieces the flow is kept and it works rather well. It isn't until Oro The Manslayer starts I wake up again, and not only awake but also I get blown away - raw, groovy and surprisingly fast, this seven and a half minute track features some really great riffing as well as solo parts.

Beneath A Funeral Sun that carries some heavy Black Sabbath vibe with the harmonies also counts as one of the better songs on this album which has it highlights, even if they are few. Cathedral has not seldom a spaced out touch to their music but the most spaced out of them all is without a doubt the epic 27 minute track The Garden that contains most of everything that you can expect from this band and more thereof including female vocals. I am not sure if it is correct to call the sound of Cathedral 'progressive doom' but it sure as hell is innovative, something that they surely show with The Garden even if I only like it partly. With this kind of music it is simply too massive for me to take in.

So how to sum this all up then? I have never been a close follower of Cathedral but they have always been there lurking around somewhere in the outskirts for me. Some of what I have heard I have liked and some I have not, but they have never really stuck with me, and the same goes for The Garden Of Unearthly Delights. There are parts that I like and there are some that I don't, and I will probably not take this album with me in case of fire.






4,5 chalices of 10 - Thomas

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