Cathedral – The VIIth Coming

Originally written by Russ Wallin.

Legendary doomsters, Cathedral, have released a new album entitled “The Seventh Coming”. The name is actually written in Roman numerals for the album cover. Cathedral has always had interesting cover art, with the exception of one American release. To me, half of the initial attraction has been because of the cover art. Much like Iron Maiden in that respect. I’d say nearly all of us have studied a Maiden cover at some point. The cover art offers individuality and meshes perfectly with the Cathedral vibe. “The Seventh Coming” consists of 10 songs and is a little over 52 minutes in length. I’m not real familiar with what Cathedral has done in the past few years. I’ve heard all the albums and have most of them up to the “Hopkins” ep from ’95. I’ve seen Cathedral once back in April of ’96 and I have two buddies that are Cathedral gurus. One of them “Witchblaster” has, up until recently, designed and maintained the official Cathedral website. So I’ve been exposed to a good deal of Cathedral over the years, despite the fact that I haven’t spent ample time with their latter works. “The Seventh Coming” is more straight forward compared to Cathedral’s other albums. Those who are familiar with Cathedral know that bizarre is always a proper choice of words when describing their music. Cathedral’s appeal has been the super doomy riffs with tripped out vocals and a fat guitar tone. They’ve migrated to a more mass appeal sound over the years. Songs that are more digestible and dare I say, typical. Cathedral will never truly be typical though. The closest they’ll ever get is quasi-typical. Gone are the days of super waked out songs! This is both good and bad. On the good side, the album has a steady flow to it and will keep more people interested, as compared to some of their previous works. On the bad side, it loses some of the uniqueness that Cathedral has always portrayed. This album has a good sound to it. I would say the sound is accurate and full. Everything is fairly clear and well mixed. The instruments actually have some life to them, which was not the case in Cathedral’s early works. A lively sound and up-tempo (for doom) riffs make this album…well…rock! All the songs flow very well and are executed tastefully. I wouldn’t exactly say that there’s any trademark material on this album and the line between Cathedral and the rest of the doom world has gotten a little thinner, but the album is solid and you’re still well aware of who you’re listening to. I do miss the more unique material that only Lee and Gaz could come up with, but if I had to show a Cathedral album to a newbie, this would probably be it. As I said before, this album has more of a mass appeal than previous works, so I’m not as satisfied as I might otherwise be. All in all, this is still a good power doom release. The lyrics are pretty good. Lee Dorrian has always had thought provoking lyrics of the psychedelic and ethereal variety. He has a unique mind and it shows in his lyrics, although I’m not as impressed as I have been on previous releases. Gaz has been referred to as a Tony Iommi protégé with his legendary riffs and tone. These two individuals are the encompassing factor that makes Cathedral what it is. Cathedral followers will obviously pick this one up, being the devout groupies that they are. Others who like the doom scene should check this one out. It’s a good mixture of doom and power. “The Seventh Coming” has a good jam vibe to it and that’s what I’ve found to be most appealing. I still like “Cosmic Requiem” the best, but “The Seventh Coming” is good in its own right. What Cathedral loses in uniqueness, they make up for in energy. A good buy for doomsters everywhere.

Posted by Old Guard

The retired elite of LastRites/MetalReview.

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