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Cathedral
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
February 2006
Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast/Sound Pollution
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

THE GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS is Cathedral’s 8th album since their debut EP from 1990 (IN MEMORIAM). Cathedral is known for their unusual mix of doom and psychedelic metal/rock but they have always had a foundation in doom metal. The new on follows THE VIITH COMING (2002) and from 2004 the compilation THE SERPENT’S GOLD. It’s now 15 years since they released their first album.



Even if the guys still can be categorized as doom, they have speeded up their music somewhat. This minor change appears on THE GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS. The album is produced by Warren Ryker (Down, Crowbar etc) and he has done a great job combining the classical Cathedral sound with these smaller new changes the band went through. The album offers 10 tracks and the last song “Proga-Europa” is a hidden bonus track that’s featured on my promo copy. The longest is the 30 minute opus “The Garden” which is a long epic song with a woman that sings with Lee. The pace is changing all the way throughout the song and there’s longer parts with no vocals at all. At the end comes in a very intense and frantic violin that continues to play in a very disturbing way to say the least. Another very special track is “Fields of Zagara” which is totally acoustic and clocks in at 1:30. “Oro The Manslayer” is a song that reminds a lot of the Swedish act Entombed’s music (death’n’roll) and is also quite long at 8 minutes. But in “Beneath A Funeral Sun” we are back to the same old classic doom which I was really glad to hear at first but that was before I discovered they had brought a children’s choir into the song (?) what are the guys up to?



Despite all these unusual things that really are not what Cathedral is all about, at least not in my opinion, THE GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS as a whole is a typical Cathedral album.





Labels: http://www.nuclearblast.de AND http://www.soundpollution.se
Track Listing

Dearth AD (Intro)
Tree Of Life And Death
North Berwick Witch Trials
Upon Azrael’s Wings
Corpsecycle
Fields Of Zagara
Oro The Manslayer
Beneath A Funeral Sun
The Garden
Proga-Europa (hidden track)

Lineup

Lee Dorian – lead vocals
Gary Jennings – guitar
Leo Smee – bass
Brian Dixon – drums

Other reviews

» The Carnival Bizarre
by EvilG

» Endtyme
by EvilG

» The Serpents Gold
by MetalGeorge

» The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
by Anders Sandvall

» The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
by EvilG

» Forest of Equilibrium (reissue)
by Stu Occupier

» The Guessing Game
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

» Anniversary
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

» The Last Spire
by Aaron Yurkiewicz


Next review: » Cathedral - The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
Previous review: » Cathedral - The Carnival Bizarre

Cathedral
The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
February 2006
Released: 2006, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 3.0/5
Reviewer: EvilG

THE GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS is the first Cathedral album to catch my ears in a while. My favorite release of their’s has always been THE ETHEREAL MIRROR, and it remains so even after this album. There are songs on the new one that are every bit as good as Cathedral’s most brilliant work, however there are some moments on here that, for this reviewer at least, are unlistenable.



THE GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS offers some of Cathedral’s darkest and heaviest work to date. The albums sound, driven by guitars, is crusty and over saturated. This is not an overproduced and slick sound at all. It’s much rawer then I’m used to listening to with new releases. After a few listens this has become one of the album’s charms. The album’s strongest moments are at the beginning. A pointless intro makes way for one of the better songs of the CD, “The Tree of Life And Death”. This is one of the heavier tracks with Lee spewing out some fine rhythmic vocals sounding quite aggressive. This is followed by another of the finer moments, “North Berwick Witch Trials” before the best song of the album, and currently one of my favorite Cathedral songs, “Upon Azrael’s Wings”. This one is a major nod to old Celtic Frost where vocalist Lee Dorrian sounds a hell of a lot like Tom G. Warrior to the point that it is uncanny!! It’s not only the vocals, but the riffs that remind me of the verses to Celtic Frost’s “Circle of the Tyrants”. “Corpsecycle” has more of a ‘happy’ feel to it when compared to some of the other tracks which overall are dark and doomy sounding anthems. Another standout is “Oro The Manslayer” which is one of the heavier tracks on here. The album then takes a nosedive after with what starts out as a promising song - “Beneath A Funeral Sun”. The song is fine until the part with the children’s(??) choir. It just sounds retarded and makes me angry enough to hit the skip button. This one is just too off the wall for me. Then it’s the extremely long (almost 30mins!) and boring track called “The Garden”. This one is not something you can describe in a few lines beyond saying it’s full of changes including female vocals, acoustic parts, heavy parts, etc. Overall the song drags on too long, and comes off as an incoherent mess. After a long gap comes the hidden(?) Bonus track “Proga-Europa”. It’s ok, but much too short.



In all, out of the 10 listed tracks on here, 6 of them are cool. Therefore the rating of 3/5. If the album did away with it’s flotsam, and replaced it with songs in the vein of “Ride” and “Midnight Mountain” we’d have a winner. However, as a casual fan of Cathedral, I can say that this album is worth checking out because while the album has a few flaws, it’s good moments are brilliant!
Track Listing

1. Dearth AD (Intro)
2. Tree Of Life And Death
3. North Berwick Witch Trials
4. Upon Azrael’s Wings
5. Corpsecycle
6. Fields Of Zagara
7. Oro The Manslayer
8. Beneath A Funeral Sun
9. The Garden
10. Proga-Europa

Lineup

Lee Dorrian - Vocals
Brian Dixon - Drums
Gary "Gaz" Jennings - Guitars
Leo Smee - Bass

Other reviews

» The Carnival Bizarre
by EvilG

» Endtyme
by EvilG

» The Serpents Gold
by MetalGeorge

» The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
by Anders Sandvall

» The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
by EvilG

» Forest of Equilibrium (reissue)
by Stu Occupier

» The Guessing Game
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

» Anniversary
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

» The Last Spire
by Aaron Yurkiewicz


Next review: » Cathedral - The Guessing Game
Previous review: » Cathedral - The Carnival Bizarre





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