Sunday, April 28, 2013

Cathedral-The Last Spire

Metal Blade Records / Rise Above Records

If this is indeed to be Cathedral's last dance then by god they are going out in style. Having given doom fanatics two decades of blissfully dark, slow and painful metal the band now rides off into the sunset the right way. It's always good to see a band take the high road and fold before they destroy any semblance of credibility (Metallica) and "The Last Spire" is Lee Dorrian saying goodbye the right way. With the almighty Sabbath riffs of guitarist Garry "Gaz" Jennings (somewhere Tony Iommi must be smiling knowing what he inspired) and the rhythm section featuring Repulsion's Scott Carlson (bass) and Brian Dixon (drums) backing Lee up tracks like the 11-mintue "Pallbearer" are epic and truly beautiful. Can darkness and despair truly be this beautiful? Even when Lee Dorrian ups the stakes on "Pallbearer" by invoking evil and misery the band still manages to sound grandiose. Speaking of grandiose material, one must hear the menacing "Tower Of Silence" themselves to truly appreciate the epic nature of this album's highlight. All I can say is wow. About 5 minutes into this track the guitar playing of Gaz takes on this otherworldly quality. As the album opens with the atmospheric "Entrance To Hell", a dark and sinister way to welcome in the damned to Cathedral's swansong, it's only fitting that ends with another unholy number in "This Body, Thy Tomb". This 9 minute plus track wraps things up nicely and encourages fans that while Cathedral will be missed, and they will be, at least the band gave their fan-base one last near classic to remember then. Thanks for the memories Cathedral and for what you meant to doom metal. May the gods of darkness forever bless the rest of your journey. 

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