Monday 22 July 2013

Cathedral - The Last Spire (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 29/4/2013
Label : Rise Above Records

The Last Spire, album track listing:
01. Entrance to Hell
02. Pallbearer
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


Lead Vocals – Lee Dorrian
Guitars - Garry Jennings
Bass -  Scott Carlson
Drums – Brian Dixon
Hammond, Mellotron, Moog & Synths – David Moore
Guest Vocals on 'Cathedral Of The Damned' – Chris Reifert
Backing Vocals – Rosalie Cunningham

So here we are, at the end of the road less travelled. And if ever a band decided to pioneer and follow the path of most resistance, then that band was Cathedral. Pretty much one of the Doom band's Doom bands, Dorrian and company has amassed a legacy to counter some of even the most depressing dynasties. And so it is that we, their grateful flock, receive unto ourselves their final offering: the aptly titled 'The Last Spire'. Calling it a day with no regrets and the respect of both your peers and fans is a smart move, but only if the last thing you do is something that you can bow out with style to. Is this that album?
'Entrance to Hell' does exactly what it says on the tin, an ominous intro piece full of plague survival one-liners and bells ringing. It's gonna get grim up in here.
'Pallbearer' is where the riff returns home, a truly fine start to a potential Doom masterpiece. Stirring and full of rebellion, and loud as fuck. Good old-fashioned riffs that are thick enough to use in the production of tables. Not some flat pack shit from Ikea, a table carved of riffs that you can put tankards of beer or a sturdy bong on. That kind of table. Moving slower than frozen treacle and oozing pure demise. It's because of tracks like this, why I love this music. Lyrics about biblical plagues are standard, but Lee delivers them with more wide-eyed ferocity than most.
'Tower of Silence' is the single from the album (cool vid too - check it out), and what a fine choice it was. It's probably my favourite cut here too, colossal and vast in form, relatively simple in structure. 100% effective and 100% Cathedral. It chugs and drones and winds in equal measure. I think it actually gave me motion sickness.
'An Observation' is another great slice of Doom. You can tell that they intend to go out absolutely swinging on this one, and to leave no doubt as to who brought whom to the dance. It's crushing and delirious in spades, concussive blasts mix with hallucinatory calm moments. Be careful if you go hunting for grim, because grim might just find you first.
At the intro to this review I asked the question as to whether or not 'The Last Spire' was a fitting swan song for such a legendary act, and thankfully the definitive answer is most certainly yes. A more than fitting epitaph for some much adored UK Doom rulebook writers. Cathedral are bowing out on a high note, and this album is their parting gift to the loyal followers. Spin it and be aware of who your true masters were.
Goodnight, Cathedral - you shall be missed.
Words by : Matt Fitton

As ever, show your support to the band by checking them out at the various links.  You can buy the here or just about any other outlets  Thanks to Noise Cartel for hooking us up with the record for review.