Cathedral Reissue Return to the Forest + Freak Winter 2LP Sets

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 11th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

cathedral logo

Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure the material here being reissued as two 2LPs was what was bundled together in 2011 on the 2CD set Cover get more from CV Writers. We also provide professional CV writing services and LinkedIn profile writing. Anniversary (review here), celebrating the Coventry doomers hitting the 20-year mark at a London show the year prior. I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on here, but the new vinyl edition splits up the two sets into two separate releases, highlighting the InnovGene Sample Of Restaurant Business Plan Chennai provides PhD Dissertation Services for PhD Scolars of Engineering, Management, Computer Scince, Arts and Science Dave Patchett cover art and basically giving fans a limited-edition type way to re-experience the set. Of course, it’s worth noting that 2020 would mark 30 years of EssayPro offers qualitative Books On Writing A Business Plans. Ensure yourself a successful entry to college or university of your dream! Cathedral if the band were still together, but their having called it quits in 2013 seems to have stuck at least to this point. In the age of inevitable reunions, I kind of respect that.

Of course the set is out on frontman Professional Business Plan For Real Estate Investment. If you are looking for a sizzling content for your eBook, leave your worries behind because you will be really happy Lee Dorrian‘s Balance Sheet Assignment Help offers custom labor report development and design for your unique information requirements. Rise Above Records. The PR wire has info:

CATHEDRAL Release 2LP Reissue of 20th Anniversary Concert ‘Return to the Forest’ + ‘Freak Winter’

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UK Doom Metal band CATHEDRAL are releasing a 2-LP record celebrating the band’s 20th anniversary concert in London. The first half of the release, ‘Return to the Forest’ covers the band’s first ever live performance of their album ‘Forest of Equilibrium’ at the London show. The second half of the record, ‘Freak Winter’ features another full set of the band’s classics and fan favorites from the evening. The full record will see a May 8th, 2020 release in four different pressing types. See below for more details.

‘Return to the Forest’ Lineup: Lee Dorrian, Garry Jennings, Adam Lehan, Mark Griffiths, Mike Small

‘Freak Winter’ Lineup: Lee Dorrian, Garry Jennings & Leo Smee w/ keyboard wizard Dave Moore

‘Return to the Forest’ & ‘Freak Winter’ Vinyl Pressings:
Black Sparkle Vinyl (500 of each)
Black Vinyl (500 of each)
Purple Vinyl – US Edition (500 each)
?
ORDER: ‘Return to the Forest’

Side One
1. A Picture of Beauty and Innocence
2. Commiserating the Celebration
3. Ebony Tears

Side Two
1. Serpent Eve
2. Soul Sacrifice

Side Three
1. A Funeral Request
2. Equilibrium

Side Four
1. Reaching Happiness, Touching Pain

ORDER: ‘Freak Winter’

Side One
1. Funeral Of Dreams
2. Enter The Worms
3. Upon Azrael’s Wings

Side Two
1. Midnight Mountain
2. Cosmic Funeral
3. Carnival Bizarre

Side Three
1. Night Of The Seagulls
2. Corpsecycle
3. Ride

Side Four
1. The Last Spire Pt.1 (Entrance)
2. Vampire Sun
3. Hopkins (Witchfinder General)

https://www.facebook.com/cathedral/
https://www.facebook.com/riseaboverecords/
http://www.riseaboverecords.com/

Cathedral, ‘Back to the Forest’ 2009 Documentary

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Friday Full-Length: Cathedral, The Garden of Unearthly Delights

Posted in Bootleg Theater on February 14th, 2020 by JJ Koczan

Cathedral, The Garden of Unearthly Delights (2005)

The various eras of Business Research Methods Assignment reviews - modify the way you do your homework with our approved service Fast and trustworthy writings from industry top company. Cathedral have their detractors and proponents, and if I’m perfectly honest, I don’t know where 2005’s Our http://zefys.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/?how-to-write-a-short-personal-statement enhance our client's probability of winning through development of compliant, convincing and compelling proposals. The Garden of Unearthly Delights sits in terms of average fan esteem. And not to put too fine a point on it, but I also don’t really care. The record rules. It was the Coventry-based doomers’ eighth album, and also marked their first offering through Resources - Put aside your concerns, place your assignment here and get your quality project in a few days Get started with dissertation writing Nuclear Blast after releasing 2002’s Need to buy dissertation? Then apply to Article Writing Services Org Legits and get a qualified help from experts. They know everything about academic preparation. The VIIth Coming through The UKís leading dig this and interview coaching provider. Our Career Consultants have 50+ years of industry and recruitment experience Dream Catcher/ CV Master Careers - dawn elise snipes phd resume and consultancy services delivered by CV Consultants with almost 14 years of CV writing and recruitment Spitfire Records and spending the bulk of their career to that point on Search for jobs related to do my assey or hire on the world's largest freelancing marketplace with 13m+ jobs. It's free to sign up and bid on Earache Records, to which they signed ahead of their 1991 landmark debut, Get absolutely astonishing results - order a dissertation with hop over to here! Professional PhD writers, affordable prices, money back and free Forest of Equilibrium (discussed here; reissue review here).

Vocalist Train The Trainer Assignments: A professional writer who has the skills, tools, and diligence to create high-quality business materials for you. Receive Lee Dorrian‘s ties to England’s formative years of grindcore in Napalm Death and Cathedral‘s transition from the harsher-edged doom of their own beginnings to and through the other end of stoner rock in LPs like 1996’s Supernatural Birth Machine andcathedral the garden of unearthly delights 1998’s Caravan Beyond Redemption and into the mature doom of 2001’s Endtyme and the aforementioned The VIIth Coming were already given considerations when it came to the band, and as they made their way onto Nuclear Blast for the first time, it seemed like they had a chance to refresh their sound with a collection of hyper-strong songs that not only reconciled the various sides of their approach, but celebrated them, giving the doom and the rock their due while looking through a progressive lens at what the band — who by then had already been together for some 16 years — might still accomplish. That’s exactly what The Garden of Unearthly Delights became.

Produced by Warren Riker, who’s probably more known for the work he was doing around that time with the likes of Crowbar and the resurgent Down, The Garden of Unearthly Delights highlighted the to-that-point-undervalued aspect of songwriting in the work of Dorrian and his fellow founder, guitarist Gaz Jennings, as well as bassist/flutist/mellotronist/synthesist Leo Smee and drummer Brian Dixon (lately to be found in The Skull). Its 10-track/70-minute run made it some 17 minutes longer than its predecessor, but it used that time wisely and purposefully, even if splitting up the near-27-minute multi-movement epic “The Garden” onto two vinyl sides of a double-LP version made for a somewhat awkward (and also, one has to admit, more digestible) presentation.

But even the preceding psych-doom quirk — singing kids, ’60s garage bounce, strings and all — of “Beneath a Funeral Sun,” the songs throughout The Garden of Unearthly Delights are unquestionably the focus of the record itself, rather than any particular stylistic concern. And the album is that much stronger for that. It’s as though Cathedral threw up their hands to some degree and said, “screw it, we don’t know what we’re supposed to sound like so let’s have fun,” and don’t tell anybody I said so — because what could be less doom than admitting to a good time — but The Garden of Unearthly Delights is an absolute blast. Sure, it opens grim with the intro “Dearth AD,” but that’s just the first minute, and then it’s off through the gruff riffing of “Tree of Life and Death,” dirty, rocking, brash — and fun.

So much fun. Crazy catchy. But not dumb. The arrangement is clever, the mix is golden and the performance is vital. “Tree of Life and Death” throws down a gauntlet that the historical narrative of “North Berwick Witch Trials” picks up with an even more earworming hook, and it seems like by the time the band are into “Upon Azrael’s Wings” and deceptively melodic “Corpsecycle,” sprinkling samples here and there amid chorus after memorable chorus, it kind of just feels like the band are showing off. And gloriously. I know the narrative of Cathedral is very much wrapped up in the deathly ways of the debut and all that, but seriously, I defy you to read this sentence, listen to “North Berwick Witch Trials” or “Corpsecycle” — your pick — and not nod along approvingly. I’ll tell you right now it won’t happen.

And the sound only expands as Cathedral move through the interlude “Fields of Zagara” through the speedy, careening “Oro the Manslayer” — boasting some highlight work from Jennings and Smee alike in a building instrumental section in the second half before shifting back to the verse and chorus — and into “Beneath a Funeral Sun,” the bizarre-seeming turns of which act as a preface to “The Garden,” which is a record-unto-itself smorgasbord of progressive doom construction.

The song clocks in at 26:59 and announces its arrival with a drum thud emerging from sparse but swelling noise, and subsequently tells a story of apocalyptic vision through nine parts, some of which have sub-movements. There are more strings, mellotron, guest vocals, acoustic stretches — and that’s the first two minutes — and an unabashed conceptual weirdness that almost 15 years after the fact still comes across as equal parts brazen and ambitious.

It’s a lot to take in — hence the comment above about digestibility of splitting it up — but even through it all, there’s a chorus, and as far off as the song goes, that chorus comes back in striking fashion in later reaches. It is gleeful in its weirdness, manifesting in every bit the spirit of the Dave Patchett full-poster foldout cover cathedral the garden of unearthly delights full posterart adorning the album in all its nuance and complexity. “Proga-Europa,” a minute-long semi-hidden track that emerges after a few minutes of silence to close out the record in boogie fashion, is about the only way they could have possibly backed it up.

It would be five years before Cathedral issued a follow-up to The Garden of Unearthly Delights in 2010’s The Guessing Game (review here), and that record shifted to incorporate many of the more progressive elements of “The Garden” into some of its own tracks, and pulled it off, but there seemed to be competing impulses at work. The next year, they marked 20 years since their debut with Anniversary (review here) on Dorrian‘s own Rise Above Records, and the same label would also stand behind Cathedral‘s final album, 2013’s The Last Spire (review here), which brought an end to the band’s arc by returning to the darkened grit of their earliest work but still retaining the lessons in craft the intervening years had taught. As ever, they did it on their own terms.

That’s very much how I look at The Garden of Unearthly Delights as well: the output of a band refusing to compromise on what they wanted to be and what they wanted to do. Even aside from the basic appeal of its initial salvo or the breadth of its semi-title-track, the scope and craft the band showcase throughout what, again, was their eighth long-player — long after most groups would have settled into a pattern of repetition or at least a basic aesthetic formula; a “sound,” to be more kind — remains deeply admirable. It is a reminder that any creative work is only worth pursuing over a longer term if it continues to grow and fascinate the artist or artists behind it.

Plus, riffs.

As always, I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

Most of the week was a blur, but I guess that’s not necessarily bad? It was The Patient Mrs.’ birthday on Wednesday, so my family came over for dinner. We’re doing a bigger thing on Sunday with her mother and sister coming down from Connecticut to spend the day and my family will be over again and so on. It’ll be good times, hopefully somewhat low-key, but probably not. Whatever. We’ve done this kind of thing enough at this point with this crowd that it’s pretty standard operating procedure. That, in itself, is kind of nice.

Living in New Jersey, having moved back, is not without its complications. There are all kinds of things we want to do to update this house and make it more livable that we can’t because we’re not actually on the deed — because paperwork, and family, and money, and lawyers — but I don’t regret being here.

Today at 5PM Eastern is a new episode of¬†The Obelisk Show on Gimme Radio. You’ve already seen the playlist, but it’s all C.O.C. in honor of Reed Mullin and I talk a bit on there about his impact on the band’s sound. I don’t really have any insights to offer, dude was just a great drummer and brought a lot to the band, so I thought the music was worth celebrating in its various eras and incarnations. You could do a hell of a lot worse than listen to two hours of Corrosion of Conformity, as far as I’m concerned. Despite the circumstances, that’s pretty much a gift to any day.

Listen on their app or at http://gimmeradio.com.

And thanks.

Next week is about half-planned. I don’t know. Do you really care? It’s gonna be rock and roll. I’ve been reviewing a lot of psych records lately — kind of where my head is at, honestly — but I think I’m going to try to tackle the Dool album on Monday for a change of pace and to give myself a bit of a challenge. That’s a good record, so it’ll be fun too to write about, but something a little different from all the melting-brain, lysergic whatnot. In the spirit of Cathedral above, gotta keep it interesting.

There are announcements and streams and this and that booked too for Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Wednesday’s open now but something will either come along or I’ll find something to put there. Maybe I’ll go see Torche and maybe not. I haven’t really decided, which means probably not, but it would be nice to get out. I didn’t go see Church of Misery this week. Just too much. Plus, is murder really all that cool? I remain torn when it comes to that band, but in any case, I’ve seen them plenty and I wasn’t hurting for stuff to write about.

I guess I’ll leave it there since The Pecan is up — it’s after 6:30, so that’s no surprise — and needs to be retrieved before he tears down the drywall in his bedroom. Because he might. Because he’s two. So yeah.

Great and safe weekend, whatever you’re up to. Please check out forum, radio and merch at MiBK. The ol’ FRM.

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Doomed or be Doomed: A French Tribute to Cathedral Due Aug. 13

Posted in Whathaveyou on July 17th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Just the other day I was thinking about how underrated Cathedral are. Really, that’s the kind of thing I think about. Not only were they groundbreaking in terms of setting the tone for what doom metal became in the ’80s and ’90s, but they had that whole rock period too, and yeah, there were some ups and downs along the way, but they never compromised at all on doing what they wanted to at any given moment, and right up to the end, they delivered quality doom. The idea of a French tribute to a quintessentially English band is a cool bit of cultural nuance, but the point here is Cathedral deserve to be talked about in league with the heavyweights of their generation, and I know Lee Dorrian‘s work with Rise Above sometimes seems to pull focus away from that, but there’s an awful lot he did first musically that’s worth discussing.

Kudos to Sleeping Church Records for putting this one together. Take a few minutes and stream the Ataraxie cover of “Reaching Happiness, Touching Pain” at the bottom of the post. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Doom on:

doomed or be doomed a french tribute to cathedral

Doomed Or Be Doomed : A French Tribute To CATHEDRAL to be released on August 13th via Sleeping Church Records!

Pre-orders: Shop – https://sleepingchurchrds.com or Bandcamp – https://sleepingchurchrecords.bandcamp.com/

If you have not known CATHEDRAL at Forest Of Equilibrium, you may not be able to understand the huge impact this album has had on the Hard Rock scene of the day. Certainly, we knew a little Doom Metal thanks to CANDLEMASS … But that was something else. Heavier, slower, more morbid. In a time when it was the race to speed that prevailed, this disc took everyone back on the road. And the band did not stop there: for each album, CATHEDRAL evolved, jostled new barriers, and established new rules of the game, both musical and pictorial thanks to the tormented and psychedelic covers of Dave Patchett. So, from a simple idea launched on the internet, then relayed by social networks, patiently, slowly, this double-album was built to bring together what the French Doom has produced better and pay homage to the most influential bands of English Doom Metal. Each of them has entered the world of CATHEDRAL to re-interpret, sometimes re-invent. Do you dare to follow them on this journey?
– Laurent Lignon –

Two-headed project, this tribute album was imagined and possible thanks to the passion of Laurent Lignon and Stéphane Le Saux who know very well the French Doom scene. Thank you to them, without these people, this tribute would certainly never have emerged.

Mastered by Frederic Patte-Brasseur (ATARAXIE) / Artwork by Kax Nivore

Track-listing:
PILLARS – Morning Of A New Day
GOAT RIVER – Ebony Tears
LUX INCERTA – Serpent Eve
MISANTHROPE – Soul Sacrifice
PRESUMPTION – Equilibrium
ATARAXIE – Reaching Happiness, Touching Pain
BARABBAS РLa Cathédrale De La Sainte Rédemption (Ride)
MONOLITHE – Enter The Worm(Hole)s
CONVICTION – Stained Glass Horizon
NORTHWINDS – Voodoo Fire
FATHER MERRIN – Congregation Of Sorcerers
DIONYSIAQUE – This Body, Thy Tomb

https://sleepingchurchrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.facebook.com/sleepingchurchrecords
https://sleepingchurchrds.com

Ataraxie, “Reaching Happiness Touching Pain”

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Friday Full-Length: Various Artists, Burn One Up: Music for Stoners

Posted in Bootleg Theater on June 8th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Various Artists, Burn One Up: Music for Stoners (1997)

21 years ago, Roadrunner Records gathered together 15 bands on one compact disc, slapped a picture of an 18-wheeler truck in the desert on the front of it, and called it Burn One Up: Music for Stoners. It’s not easy to find a copy of it these days — I looked for a while before finally getting it in London in 2010 — but with bands like Queen of the Stone Age, Karma to Burn, Sleep, The Heads, Cathedral and Fu Manchu on board, it’s worth the search. Dig the full tracklisting:

1. Queens of the Stone Age, 18 A.D.
2. Karma to Burn, Ma Petit Mort
3. Fu Manchu, Asphalt Risin’
4. The Heads, GNU
5. Spiritual Beggars, Monster Astronauts
6. Floodgate, Feel You Burn
7. Slaprocket, Holy Mother Sunshine
8. Leadfoot, Soul Full of Lies
9. Celestial Season, Wallaroo
10. Cathedral, You Know
11. Acrimony, Bud Song
12. Blind Dog, Lose
13. Sleep, Aquarian
14. Hideous Sun Demons, Icarus Dream
15. Beaver, Green

It’s easy to argue that, as far as “stoner rock” goes, these are some of the bands who would most shape it. Yeah, Slaprocket never got an album out, but the New Jersey-based outfit divided into Solace and The Atomic Bitchwax, and both of them continue to make their mark to this day. Europe is represented through Dutch outfits Celestial Season, Hideous Sun Demons and Beaver, Sweden’s Spiritual Beggars and Blind Dog, and the UK shows off some of its best in The Heads, Cathedral and Acrimony. The aforementioned Slaprocket speak for the Northeast, while Floodgate hail from Louisiana, Karma to Burn from West Virginia and Leadfoot from North Carolina, so the Southeast is accounted for as well.

And of course we wouldn’t even be talking about the genre if it weren’t for California, which brings Fu Manchu, Sleep and an early incarnation of Josh Homme‘s then-new, on-the-rebound-from-Kyuss outfit, Queens of the Stone Age, which featured a frontman known only as “The Kid”. That’s a particular point of fascination unto itself, but with a first-album-era vocalized Karma to Burn as well and an off-album track from Cathedral, there’s plenty of fodder to make Burn One Up worth seeking for anyone who’d do so, but while the comp wouldn’t serve as a debut for Cathedral, or Celestial Season — who followed a similar path from doom to stoner rock and didn’t stick around long enough to make the turn back before reuniting in 2011 — or Acrimony or Sleep, etc., it’s still amazing to look at it and think of the legacy many of these bands cast. Shit, Sleep just put out their first record in 15 years and took over the world. Would instrumental heavy rock be where it is today without Karma to Burn? And Slaprocket through their already noted ties and Floodgate‘s vocalist, Kyle Thomas (also Exhorder) is currently fronting a little band called Troublem so you know, not exactly minor shakes there.

Blind Dog put out two records through MeteorCity before splitting up, closers Beaver would soon have a split out with openers Queens of the Stone Age via Man’s Ruin Records, and this would be the final appearance for Hideous Sun Demons, who released their only album, Twisted, in 1995. Spiritual Beggars gave an early look at their third album 1998’s Mantra III, with “Monster Astronauts,” while The Heads showcased how far out aural weedism could go with “GNU,” inarguably the trippiest cut on the release.

And The Heads are just one of the several bands who continue to make an impact. Fu Manchu. QOTSA. Karma to Burn. Sleep. Spiritual Beggars. One could argue the only dude missing here is Wino, and he would’ve been coming off The Obsessed and just getting going with Shine — later Spirit Caravan — so that could just as easily be a question of timing as anything else. Okay, maybe a bit of Orange Goblin and Electric Wizard would’ve been cool. You can’t have everything.

As with most compilations, the sound is somewhat disjointed, as the material was recorded by different players in different studios often enough in different countries, but Burn One Up gives an amazing summary of where the genre was in the wake of Kyuss‘ breakup and as it looked forward to developing in the 21st century into the multi-headed beast it is now. You can hear the crunching influence of grunge in Beaver, Floodgate and Slaprocket, but clearly these bands and the rest were on their own wavelength already, and whether new or old, whether they went on to lead the aesthetic or folded soon after — that reminds me, I need to break out those old Leadfoot discs — Burn One Up: Music for Stoners shows an admirable prescience in its picks and is a true piece of treasure for anyone who’d seek it out in its summary of what heavy rock and roll was at the time and what it would go on to be.

As always, I hope you enjoy.

Went to bed last night around 8PM. I’d been up since one in the morning, so somehow it made sense, plus The Patient Mrs. was having trouble getting The Pecan to go to sleep and she had half a cocktail to finish, so it seemed only fair to tag in. I’d woken up early on account of said Pecan as well, his sort of nighttime mumblings varying between actual fuss, crying and a kind of sleepy coo, and decided to spend the extra hours organizing stuff on my new laptop, which I’ve dubbed The Silver Fox. Because it’s silver, you see. Yes, we’re all very clever over here.

Anyhoozle, kind of another rough night with the baby last night had me up at three. He was in the bed — something I swore up and down I wouldn’t let happen and then of course did — and had rolled toward me in such a way that I was against the wall pretty much pinned. By a kid who, at seven months, weighs about 18.5 pounds. Life does funny things to you. I woke up, enjoyed the snuggle-time for a bit, and then got up to work on the above post. Circa 5:30, The Patient Mrs. came out of the bedroom carrying the again-complaining baby — whose diaper I’d already changed at some point — and kind of at a loss for what to do. I went back to bed with both of them and sort of rocked him while standing up, a gentle bounce with his head on my shoulder and swayed back and forth until he was falling asleep, then got into bed while holding him basically the same way and he went out. We all caught a solid two hours of rest in that position and it’s early yet to call it (a little after 8 as I type this), but I think that might be the difference-maker on the day.

We’ll get in the car soon enough and head south from Connecticut, where we drove to yesterday for two magical hours of screaming-baby-in-the-car fun, to New Jersey, where once again we’re basically setting up shop for the summer. We’ll be back and forth between there and CT to hit the beach probably on weekends and/or various other times, and there’s still stuff that will need tending to in Massachusetts — The Patient Mrs.’ work commitments and the like — but it’ll be a lot of good family time over the summer with my people and her people and I’m looking forward to being in the New York area for probably the greatest amount of time in the half-decade since we moved away.

Around here, things will likely proceed as normal, if there is such a thing. Notes for next week look like this currently, but these things can and do change as you well know by now:

Mon: Demande a la Poussiere review/track premiere; Dust Lovers video premiere maybe.
Tue. Oresund Space collective review; Kal-El live video.
Wed. Orange Goblin review.
Thu.: Currently open. Maybe Astrosoniq review.
Fri.: King Heavy review/album stream.

Plus plenty of news and whatever else happens my way.

Ups and downs this week as ever, but I’m getting through. That’s the story from here.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. Thanks for reading and stick around as there’s more good stuff to come. All the best. Forum and Radio.

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Friday Full-Length: Cathedral, Forest of Equilibrium

Posted in Bootleg Theater on January 12th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

Cathedral, Forest of Equilibrium (1991)

As lauded as they were during their time — from their stint touring with Black Sabbath in the ’90s to impact at MTV, influence on doom in and out of their native UK, etc. — I still think that for the actual quality of the work they did, Cathedral are underrated. While much of their legacy would be set on subsequent offerings like 1993’s The Ethereal Mirror (reissue review here) and 1995’s The Carnival Bizarre, paying a much-needed revisit to their 1991 Earache Records debut, Forest of Equilibrium (reissue review here) only demonstrates the powerful nature of the band from their very beginnings.

I don’t think the story needs to be recounted here of vocalist Lee Dorrian growing weary of punk following his time in Napalm Death and finding himself in the company of guitarist Gaz Jennings to found Cathedral and move in a decidedly different, more Sabbath-influenced direction. On Forest of Equilibrium, the lineup would be Dorrian, Jennings, guitarist Adam Lehan, bassist Mark Griffiths and drummer Mike Smail (Dream Death), and with additional flourish of keyboard and flute, they’d run through a CD-era-runtime set of seven songs and 54 minutes of raw but deceptively complex, grueling doom that, even 27 years later, remains striking in both how ahead of its time it was is arriving, how progressive the underpinnings of Cathedral‘s sound were even at that point, and how assured they seemed to be of what they were doing even as they flew in the face of trend in both punk and metal.

Cathedral didn’t invent modern doom by any stretch. Trouble had been around for more than a decade by the time Forest of Equilibrium came out, and others like Saint Vitus, Pentagram and Candlemass had been lumbering the earth for some time as well. But they did represent a different, more loyalist aspect of the generation up and coming in England at the time. Consider what Cathedral did with songs like “A Funeral Request,” “Comiserating the Celebration” and “Ebony Tears” in terms of concurrent groups like Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride and Pagan Angel, who’d later become Anathema. While not emotionless and not without its own sense of drama at times — looking at you, “Reaching Happiness, Touching Pain” — Cathedral‘s songs took from punk a sense of bare scathe, and their material was less about theatrics and drama than it was about the basic impact of their plod and wretched atmospheres. As the intro “Picture of Beauty and Innocence” leads into “Comiserating the Celebration” (the title of which just screams grindcore in its alliterative construction), Cathedral were very clearly on their own wavelength separate from the emerging death-doom movement. Throughout their career, they would never quite fit in. Forest of Equilibrium was the crucial beginning point of that.

The band seemed to know it. Not necessarily that they’d go on to release 10 LPs and have one of doom’s most storied tenures before calling it quits after 2013’s The Last Spire (review here), but just that they were right to be so firm in their sonic convictions. Even in its faster moments — the centerpiece “Soul Sacrifice” or in the later reaches of “A Funeral Request” — Forest of Equilibrium maintains its viscous tonality and ambience, and Dorrian‘s harsh, morose vocal approach only adds to the way in which the riffs of the chugging “Serpent Eve” and the nod-ready dual-guitar-highlight semi-title-track “Equilibrium” seem to ooze from the speakers even these many years later. It would be rare for a band making their debut to be so confident in what they were doing in any case, but to have Cathedral emerge from the UK’s primordial doom soup as cohesive in their purposes as they were continues to be striking. Plenty of acts talk about going against the grain. Far fewer have lived out that particular cliche and stood as tall in doing so as Cathedral.

Not only that, but listen to the acoustics and flute at the outset in “Pictures of Beauty and Innocence” as they foreshadow the flute and keys to be included as “Reaching Happiness, Touching Pain” rounds out, and you begin to realize just how little of Forest of Equilibrium was an accident, and that, however much its primary statement is made with excruciating tempos and/or a take on doom informed in part by what was happening in extreme metal at the time, there was also so much more behind the band’s approach as a whole. That’s easier to read in hindsight than it would’ve been at the time, but even so, it is one more element at play that makes the first Cathedral long-player one of the boldest doom releases certainly of the 1990s, if not ever. They knew what they were doing, they knew how they wanted to do it, and they were brazen enough to make it expansive as well as loaded with sonic grit. It would be improper to consider that anything less than a triumph of sound and aesthetic.

Of course, Cathedral‘s career would be marked with several of those along the way, but Forest of Equilibrium holds a special place as the first of them, and while they’d develop through phases more indebted to heavy rock and a kind of middle-ground traditionalism before 2010’s The Guessing Game (review here) made their most progressive statement and the aforementioned 2013 swansong found them coming full circle in a return to darker fare, their position as stylistic forerunners never wavered, and in their latter material or their earliest work, they’re defined ultimately by the same relentless creative drive, and yeah, as much praise as they’ve gotten over the decades, that’s still underappreciated.

I hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading.

So uh, this week was the Quarterly Review. Did you notice? It seemed like it was pretty quiet. A few of the bands shared links and whatnot, and that’s always appreciated, but by and large it was kind of a muted response. Fair enough, I guess, but I still hope you managed to find something you dug in that batch of 50 records. I found a few, to be sure.

I guess the week was up and down in general, though. “Iron” Al Morris fucking died. “Fast” Eddie Clarke fucking died. A new YOB record was announced. I got to premiere a video from The Obsessed. So yeah, lows and highs. I end the week today with a trip to the dentist to follow-up on the root canal I had a couple weeks ago and a couple festival writeups, so yeah, even that: hits and misses.

Next week The Patient Mrs. goes back to work. The semester is starting up, classes start Wednesday and she’s teaching Wednesday night. Her schedule means that I’m home with The Pecan for stretches at least on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about it — not the least because the kid still won’t take a bottle from me. We’ve been through like five different brands at this point and he just wants no part of it. Before he came along, I was nervous about changing diapers. I’d never really done it before. Hell. I’ll change diapers all fucking day. I don’t care. You wanna rocket-ass poop all over the place? Whatever Pecan, I can clean it up. But a miserable kid who’s hungry and over-tired and screams inconsolably when you try to feed him? Yeah, that’s way rougher. Shit everywhere if you want, but save me from that fucking bottle.

We’ll see how it goes.

In the meantime, my food issues continue. I have an appointment Monday afternoon with a nutritionist whose position, I expect, will be something along the lines of, “Um, eating disorders are bad, m’kay?” and for that I will have driven probably an hour each way because that’s how long it takes to get just about anywhere from where I live. I’ve had one meal so far in 2018 (actually since Xmas) not comprised of protein powder. It was garlicky cloud bread with pesto. I think on the 8th? Somewhere around there. The Patient Mrs. also made me low-carb scones that I inexplicably gained four pounds from eating and haven’t been able to get rid of since. The rest is shakes, coffee and fake peanut butter, though even the fake peanut butter now seems like too much food to me and I don’t eat it every day. I’d just about take a human life if the tradeoff was a guarantee I could have a cheeseburger and not put on three pounds from it. I don’t even need a bun.

You don’t give a fuck. Save it for your therapist. Get back to the riffs, bro. Riffs. Fair enough.

Here’s what’s in the notes for next week:

Mon.: Somali Yacht Club review/track premiere.
Tue.: Wolftooth review/track premiere; Ozone Mama track-by-track/full-album stream.
Wed.: Clamfight review/full-album stream.
Thu.: Manthrass track premiere/review.
Fri. Six Dumb Questions with Atala.

All subject to change, addition, subtraction, etc., but that’s the plan. It’s a considerable amount of stuff for what’s a busy week otherwise, but hell, I did 50 reviews this week, have a two-month-old baby kicking around the house and basically starve myself as much as I possibly can and still manage to live through the day. Ain’t nothing that hard. The track premieres will get done. Ha.

I hope you have a great and safe weekend. I’m going to sleep late tomorrow, which is a thing I’m very much looking forward to doing, and then some family is coming up from CT on Sunday into Monday, which I also expect will be enjoyable. Beyond that, maybe some reading, new¬†Star Trek on Sunday night, protein shakes and coffee. Good times will be had, no doubt.

Thanks for reading. Please check out the forum and the radio stream.

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The Obelisk Questionnaire: Lee Dorrian

Posted in Questionnaire on July 1st, 2015 by JJ Koczan

lee dorrian

There is not much one might do in doom or metal in general that¬†Lee Dorrian¬†hasn’t done. From getting his start at the beginnings of grindcore with¬†Napalm Death¬†to forming the massively influential¬†Cathedral¬†to fostering and continuing to develop an¬†underground rock aesthetic few can predict or match with¬†Rise Above Records¬†— giving bands like¬†Orange Goblin,¬†Witchcraft,¬†Naevus,¬†Revelation¬†and¬†Electric Wizard¬†a home in their early stages —¬†his work over the better part of the last 30 years has not only resulted in badass records like¬†Cathedral‘s¬†1991 debut,¬†Forest of Equilibrium, or the 2002¬†Rampton¬†album from the one-off project¬†Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine¬†with members of¬†SunnO)))¬†and¬†Iron Monkey, but has actively played a role in¬†reshaping¬†what we think of as heavy. An inimitable stage presence,¬†Dorrian¬†put¬†Cathedral¬†to rest in 2013 after the release of¬†The Last Spire¬†(review here), but he continues his forward-thinking work with¬†Rise Above, releasing landmark¬†works¬†from the likes of¬†Ghost¬†and¬†Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats¬†as well as potential doom-shapers like¬†Lucifer.

This week,¬†Cathedral¬†reissues their¬†first demo, 1990’s¬†In Memoriam, complete with bonus live material, and I’m thrilled to be able to have¬†Dorrian¬†provide his answers to The Obelisk Questionnaire to mark the occasion:

The Obelisk Questionnaire: Lee Dorrian

How did you come to do what you do?

Just from being a fan of music since I was a little kid. From a very early age I was fascinated by not only the music, but also the lifestyle and culture surrounding it. In my early teens I started doing a fanzine, this led me to booking shows in local pubs and venues when I was sixteen. This in turn led me to joining my first ever band, which was Napalm Death and it went from there.

Describe your first musical memory.

I have memories of listening to records with my dad when I was about four years old. In particular, I remember him playing Beach Boys over and over but I also remember rocking out in the living room with him to Slade around the same time. Also, one very vivid memory from around this time was continually playing the Small Faces single on Immediate Records called “Itchycoo Park.” For some reason it had a blue ink stain on the black and white labels and I used to watch it going round and round, whilst the sound effects on the track would make me dizzy, haha. It was my favourite single when I was a little kid but the first single I actually bought with my own pocket money was “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas. After that I got into the Bay City Rollers, then became serious about rock ‘n’ roll and was a Teddy Boy at eight years old! I used to hang around with the older Teds and they showed me the ropes, what to wear, how to dance, etc.

Describe your best musical memory to date.

I guess it was hearing a track off the B-side of Scum on the John Peel radio show. He had been my idol (if that’s the right word), since I was 10/11 years old, so hearing him play a record that I was on was just completely surreal. Then I got to know him a bit, which was just amazing. Nothing I did after that really topped it to be honest.

When was a time when a firmly held belief was tested?

When Cathedral signed to Columbia Records in the US. As anarchist teenager, I said I would never be in a band that signed to a major label. The opportunity came to us, we didn’t chase it, or even desire it. All I can say is, we had some great times as a result but it also fucked everything up.

Where do you feel artistic progression leads?

Genuine artist progression leads to absolute greatness, though it depends on how you interpret it. I‚Äôm sure many artists I‚Äôve admired early on, but not liked them so much as they‚Äôve “progressed,” would view their progression differently than I would. I‚Äôm sure the same could be said for many people that have listened to some things I may have been involved with over the years: I might think it‚Äôs good, they might think it‚Äôs crap.

How do you define success?

Doing something you believe in and getting it right artistically. To me that would be more important than selling millions of records.

What is something you have seen that you wish you hadn’t?

Swans a few weeks ago in London. Having said that, the first time I saw them in ‚Äė86 was one of the best shows I have seen in my life.

Describe something you haven’t created yet that you’d like to create.

A planet where only cool people lived.

Something non-musical that you’re looking forward to?

My daughter coming back from vacation!

Cathedral, “Morning of a New Day”

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Cathedral to Reissue In Memoriam June 16

Posted in Whathaveyou on June 9th, 2015 by JJ Koczan

cathedral in 1990

A quarter century after its initial release and two years after¬†Cathedral‘s final album,¬†The Last Spire¬†(review here), came out, their¬†In Memoriam¬†demo will be reissued by¬†Rise Above Records. One can hardly imagine the band had any idea of the legacy they were starting when they named their first offering in memory of something already passed away, but the irony of the title notwithstanding,¬†In Memoriam¬†is a landmark document in the history of doom from a time when its practitioners were still few and far between. The reissue, which is out June 16, comes with a live set from 1991 and a bonus DVD for those who’d like to extend their studies.

The PR wire has it like this:

cathedral in memoriam

CATHEDRAL ‚ÄúIn Memoriam‚ÄĚ

As with a choice few truly great bands, the first self-financed cassette recording by Cathedral – made available in October 1990 – was a pioneering underground masterpiece in its own right; the sound of a young band exploring its newfound chemistry, finding confident variations on a flawless list of influences and cultivating a sound and style that would prove hugely inspirational throughout the 1990s and beyond, being a major influence on everyone from Electric Wizard through to Reverend Bizarre.

Where most demos are little more than a dry run for the first album, ‘In Memoriam’ still has its own distinct and important identity in the Cathedral canon. The debut LP that followed, ‘Forest Of Equilibrium’, has a sombre, devout, melodic and mystical grandeur all of its own – but ‘In Memoriam’ has a far murkier, earthier, more deathly intent. Creepy, cryptic and bowel-looseningly heavy, it represents the first time that the doom metal stylings of Trouble, Saint Vitus, Pentagram and Witchfinder General had been rendered in a new, more extreme metallic form.

At the beginning of the new decade, it was really only Cathedral who were proud to assert the influence of true doom metal – a perennially unfashionable genre, but especially in a turn-of-the-decade metal scene so obsessed with speed, technicality, brutality and modernity.

*Highly influential cult Doom Metal debut recording by the UK masters, Cathedral.
*CD edition comes with bonus DVD, featuring a rare live performance from 1991. Also includes booklet with extensive notes and rare photo’s.
*Vinyl edition comes as a double 180gm LP set in gatefold sleeve and full sized 8-page booklet.

Demo 1990
Mourning of a New Day
All Your Sins
Ebony Tears
March
Live Holland/Belgium 1991
Intro/Comiserating the Celebration
Ebony Tears
Neophytes For Serpent Eve
All Your Sins
Mourning of a New Day
DVD Live in Groningen (NL) May 1st 1991
Intro/Comiserating the Celebration
Ebony Tears
Neophytes For Serpent Eve
All Your Sins
Mourning of a New Day

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Cathedral, “Ebony Tears”

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Cathedral, The Last Spire: Circle of Time Has Stopped

Posted in Reviews on May 24th, 2013 by JJ Koczan

Whatever else you might want to say about Cathedral‘s catalog as it’s developed over the course of their massively influential more than 20-year run, the band has always made the album they wanted to make. Even during the British doom legends’ mid- and late-’90s period of wandering through the stoner rock wilderness — see 1996’s Supernatural Birth Machine and 1998’s Caravan Beyond Redemption — they didn’t wind up there by happenstance. Still, their legacy will always be for morose, stomping, thoroughly British doom, and it’s that side of their approach that their fans have most clamored for over the years. Their last studio outing, 2010’s The Guessing Game (review here), offered two discs of classic prog-influenced songs that asked much of their audience but offered much in return. Where the prior full-length, 2005’s The Garden of Unearthly Delights, had sought to marry some of the rock and doom sides together, The Guessing Game marked the band’s 20th anniversary with a bold and uncompromising progression of their sound. The results were never going to be as heralded as the band’s earliest works on landmark albums like 1991’s Forest of Equilibrium debut (presented in its entirety on the¬†Anniversary¬†live album; review here) or the subsequent offerings The Ethereal Mirror (1993) and¬†The Carnival Bizarre (1995), but again, it was the album Cathedral felt compelled to write, and that was what mattered at the time.

Now Cathedral have called it quits, played their last live show, made their last video and the somewhat cleverly titled The Last Spire (released through¬†Rise Above/Metal Blade) is reportedly to be their final album. One never knows for sure — surely over their time together the band must have amassed suitable fodder for rarities collections, live albums, greatest hits, cover records and so forth — but if it actually is the end of their run, The Last Spire is also the point at which the album Cathedral wants to make meets with the album that fans want to hear. It is an 56-minute victory lap that — far from actually sounding like one — presents eight songs of the dark, dreary doom that has come to be thought of as traditional in no small part because of Cathedral‘s crafting of it. The band’s lineup of vocalist Lee Dorrian, guitarist Gary “Gaz” Jennings, bassist Scott Carlson and drummer Brian Dixon present some progressive moments reminiscent of or at very least nodding toward The Guessing Game — the synth interlude that interrupts the sluggish lumber of “An Observation” comes to mind; David Moore‘s contributions of Hammond, Moog, synth and mellotron aren’t to be understated in establishing The Last Spire‘s murky atmosphere — but in their structure and in their intent, cuts like the early “Pallbearer,” “Cathedral of the Damned” and “Tower of Silence” underline the doomed feel for which Cathedral have become so known both in their home country and abroad. They are Cathedral at their most Cathedral. And rightly so. One couldn’t possibly hope for more of them than that.

The aforementioned trio occur sequentially following the intro “Entrance to Hell,” which finds Dorrian repeating the phrase “Bring out your dead” — which in my mind always goes right back to Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but he sells it well — over suitably plague-addled atmospheres, with “Pallbearer” as the longest track on The Last Spire at 11:39 and marked aside from its strong hook by the backing vocals of Rosalie Cunningham behind Dorrian‘s signature semi-spoken delivery and the chorus of “War, famine, drought, disease” repeated to memorable effect. There’s a mournful acoustic break in the middle, but by and large, Jennings, Carlson and Dixon sound big, thick and threatening, and when the acoustics (backed by organ) give way to the resurgent groove and faster push of the song’s peak movement, the effect is fluid and entirely metal. They end slow and offer a more mid-paced distortion on “Cathedral of the Damned,” which is marked out by the spoken guest vocal by Chris Reifert¬†of Autopsy and the line “Living in the shadow of a damned cathedral,” which may or may not be Dorrian dealing with his own legacy and the prospect of moving on after ending the band. Either way, it’s the riff and the buzzsaw guitar tone that stands out most as the band meet their longest track with the shortest full song (that is, non-interlude or intro), slamming head-on into the chorus as they do with no diminished returns on the subsequent “Tower of Silence,” the pair affirming Cathedral‘s potency on all levels as they round out The Last Spire‘s first half, whether it’s the vocals, Jennings‘ righteous solo, the heavy nod of the bass and drums, or the overarching catchiness of the chorus itself: “A tower of silence/Is waiting for me/Looming before/An astral sea.”

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