“This is the album I’ve been waiting to do since the first one, it almost feels like we made our second album last in some respects. We actually recorded a lot more material but decided to sacrifice many of the tracks to make the overall album feel more complete in its nihilism. I don’t like happy endings, I never have. So many good films are ruined by happy endings and I didn’t want that to be the case with CATHEDRAL, it was my dream to bring everything full circle,” [explicated CATHEDRAL's final act the group's legendary voice for 23 years, Lee Dorrian]
CATHEDRAL's final record, ‘The Last Spire’, is out now, since April 30th, 2013, on Dorrian's own label Rise Above Records in Europe (order here) and on Metal Blade Records in North America (order here). ‘The Last Spire’ was recorded at Orgone Studios in London, England and was produced by Lee Dorrian and guitarist Garry Jennings with assistance from Jaime Gomez Arellano, who also mixed the album, with artwork created by Dave Patchett and Arik Roper, while AUTOPSY's Chris Reifert and PURSON's Rosalie Cunningham contributed as guest vocalists:
“Gaz's [Garry Jennings, guitarist] final sally for CATHEDRAL is a copious, triumphant dark labyrinth of monstrous riffs, ripping leads and beguiling melodies, REPULSION's Scott Carlson [bassist] drops jaws with his vicious, attacking bass-work, and we’re going to miss the thunderous wallopings of Brian Dixon [drummer] more than we know. Meanwhile Lee's voice sounds more impassioned and commanding than ever, his Baudelaire-in-a-Midlands-squat lyrics attaining new heights of solemn, acid majesty. Clearly there was new impetus for reconnecting with that early spirit of doleful abjection, of sinister obsessions and lamented desires; on ‘The Last Spire’ CATHEDRAL are literally doomed. We are commiserating the celebration, and in what thrilling style,” [was full of grief Chris Chantler – read more here]
Formed in 1989 by former NAPALM DEATH vocalist Lee Dorrian and bassist Mark Griffiths in Coventry, England, CATHEDRAL were signed by Earache Records shortly after the release of their first demo, 1990's ‘In Memoriam’. Their debut, lumbering doom-sounding album ‘Forest Of Equilibrium’, recorded with guitarists Garry Jennings and Adam Lehan, was issued in 1991, followed by ‘The Ethereal Mirror’ in 1993, which “found the group experimenting a bit with new sounds on their path to discover the patented sound they would polish on succeeding releases” (Jason Birchmeier, AllMusic – more here). ‘Statik Majik’ EP and ‘Cosmic Requiem’ EP were succeeded by CATHEDRAL's third full-length, ‘The Carnival Bizarre’, in 1995. Recorded by Dorrian, Jennings, bassist and mellotron player Leo Smee and drummer Brian Dixon, the record was deemed nearly perfect by many a music critic. Next came 1996's ‘Supernatural Birth Machine’, followed by “captivating, inspired and intelligent” (Christian Genzel, AllMusic – more here) ‘Caravan Beyond Redemption’ in 1998. CATHEDRAL sixth LP, 2001's ‘Endtyme’, would be the band's last issued through Earache Records save for ‘The Serpent's Gold’ compilation album the said label released in 2004. Through Spitfire Records CATHEDRAL squeezed in between the ‘The VIIth Coming’ LP.
“There was a worrying hiatus between 2005 and 2010 when some dared to wonder if CATHEDRAL were coming back at all – but they re-emerged with ‘The Guessing Game’, an overflowing treasure chest of weird and wonderful goodies exploring new, bold variations on their craft. So when news came that CATHEDRAL really were approaching the Endtyme, it was a shock,” [lamented Chris Chantler, the group's official biographer]
But, before ‘The Guessing Game’, CATHEDRAL recorded ‘The Garden Of Unearthly Delights’ and released it in 2005 through Nuclear Blast Records. Five years later the band returned with a double album ‘The Guessing Game’, “featuring some of the most psychedelic, progressive material in the band's entire catalog” (Phil Freeman, AllMusic – more here)
“By the time English doom metal institution CATHEDRAL announced that 2011 would be their last year as a performing concert unit, they’d already recorded their requiem - and a big requiem it was too - in the shape of a double-live CD named ‘Anniversary’. Captured in December 2010 at London's Islington Academy, on the occasion of CATHEDRAL's twentieth - you guessed it - anniversary, the show that became the band's first official live album (if you can believe that) was clearly conceived to reward their oldest, most loyal fans,” [wrote Eduardo Rivadavia, AllMusic – more here]
CATHEDRAL feature(d)s: Lee Dorrian - lead vocals, Garry Jennings – guirtar, Scott Carlson – bass, Brian Dixon – drums and Davis Moore - hammond, mellotron, moog & synths