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CATHEDRAL
CATHEDRAL
The VIIth Coming
(Dream Catcher)
53:25min

After a last album for Earache ("Endtyme") described everywhere as a rather bleak and dark affair, CATHEDRAL begin their new association with Dream Catcher with the obvious goal to offer something fresher and groovier. Personally I don't share the common view about a so called evolution of their music throughout the years. CATHEDRAL always played Doom Metal and nothing else, achieving a synthesis of all the currents of this very underground music genre. So the debate around the heaviness of a given album against another seems totally irrelevant to me. "The VIIth Coming" brings us the proof that CATHEDRAL have never lost their way and kept consistent with themselves. You could see this new album as a résumé of their career, and any CATHEDRAL fan could find here various elements of past albums gathered for the best of the results. Ultra-heavy passages alternates with groovy and faster rhythms, melancholia gives way to joy. What's really new on "The VIIth Coming" is the franker references to seventies Hard Rock, for example a track like 'Aphrodite's Winter' could have been composed in 1971, complete with Hammond organ and a progressive atmosphere. Otherwise the main riff of 'Empty Mirror' bears a strong resemblance with what TROUBLE made us accustomed to in the time of their splendor, while 'Nocturnal Fist' made me think of a NWOBHM tune (with Lee Dorrian sounding like Paul Di'Anno!), and 'Congregation Of Sorcerers' verges to raw and slow Death Metal in the USURPER way. "The VIIth Coming" offers various moods and atmospheres and thus keeps the listening interest intact throughout its entire duration. The band sound serene and in total confidence of their skills, Lee Dorrian in particular offering his best performance so far in my opinion, simply because he has added a lot of variety in his vocal delivery. "The VIIth Coming" is not as classic as "Forest Of Equilibrium" could be but only because the surprise effect is not here anymore. On the other hand it marks a new departure for CATHEDRAL towards a bright future and let's hope, a handful of fantastic albums like this one.

Edouard Vergriete

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