Unfortunately, all things in life (be it good or bad for each one) have an end. Such is the case with Cathedral, as they decided to split up last year and the only thing left to accomplish this is their latest album ”The Last Spire”. They have already played their last gig which was released as a double album called ”Anniversary” and these are the last tracks we’ll ever hear from them. Liking them or not, many admitted that Cathedral were an honest band for more than two decades and helped more than a lot to the rise of the Sabbathical sound, call it doom, stoner, simply heavy rock or whatever else.
The British were for me a chance to start debates when olders than me were arousing the importance of older groups. They’d always say ”back in our time we had Sabbath, Saint Vitus” and such stuff, then I was always about ”and we have Kyuss, Cathedral” etc… The fact that they kept on releasing great albums and EP’s made them have a steady follow-up, but on the other hand it was not enough or as long as they deserved. Maybe one of their reasons for splitting up was this, you never know. Fact is that the last decade they went through a lot of obstacles and they could have split up at least twice or thrice.
”The Last Spire” is an album which takes us back to their initial roots, at the time when they were releasing their landmark debut ”Forest Of Equilibrium” in 1991. Heavy, slow and crawling riffs which may remind of the ”Endtyme” album of 2001 to some of their younger fans. Most of the songs are difficult to catch at first and even if ”Cathedral Of The Damned” or ”Tower Of Silence” (the video clip of the album) are a little shorter in duration, the rest four tracks are way too long to maintain consistency. Mixed riffs, keyboard fillings, weird vocals from Lee Dorrian and in the end, songs that serve the album but are not even close to some of their older albums.
Their previous album ”The Guessing Game” was for me the worst (or less good if you prefer) they’ve done, as their ’70s prog feeling didn’t suit them that fine. This album was bound to sound opposite, it is way too far from sounding commercial and doesn’t contain moments of relaxation and hippie feelings as some of the older albums. This monolithic approach enables them to wave goodbye with their hands up high and their consciences clean, but it doesn’t mean that it’s an album for which we will remember them in the future (after all, they have eight more great albums and five excellent EP’s for this reason). It tired me a bit to be honest, though it’s not that bad.
I got a little disappointed because their latest EP ”A New Ice Age” was closer to the sound that made me love them, but on the other hand I can’t forget all they offered all these years and their four gigs I had the luck to be a part of (especially the last one the previous February was their best I’ve seen). Lee Dorrian and his company can claim a big part to the revival of the heavy sound in the ’90s and for making some of the best albums we listened the past two decades. I’d prefer if they split up in 2005 after ”The Garden Of Unearthly Delights” without the release of the last two albums (this included), but in the end, I look back and only remember the good times. The templar is not likely to arise…But who can tell for sure?
|Track List||Line Up||01. Entrance To Hell
03. Cathedral Of The Damned
04. Tower Of Silence
05. Infestation Of Grey Death
06. An Observation
07. The Last Laugh
08. This Body, Thy Tomb
|Gaz Jennings – Guitars
Lee Dorrian – Vocals
Brian Dixon – Drums
Scott Carlson – Bass