“The Garden Of Unearthly Delights” by Cathedral

Artist: Cathedral
Title: “The Garden Of Unearthly Delights”
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Release Date: 1/24/2006
Genre: Doom Metal
Rating: 7.5/10

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!!!”.

Track Listing:
1. Dearth AD 2005
2. Tree Of Life And Death
3. North Berwick Witch Trials
4. Upon Azrael’s Wings
5. Corpsecycle
6. Fields Of Zagara
7. Oro The Manslayer
8. Beneath A Funeral Sun
9. The Garden
10. Proga-Europa

Official Website: www.cathedralcoven.com

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