Werteste Schlaghosen-Rocker! Das feine RISE ABOVE-Label hat ein schickes neues Highlight für Euch am Start: Alles hat ein Ende. Nein, nicht RISE ABOVE, aber eine verdammt tolle Band, die zudem den Labelchef himself, Lee Dorrian, am Mikro hat: CATHEDRAL spielen am 03. Dezember 2011 in London ihre letzte Show ever und feiern das mit einem weinenden und einem lachenden Auge. Und mit einer supertollen Veröffentlichung. „Anniversary“ ist ein hochwertiges Doppel-Live-Album. Mitgeschnitten wurde dafür das legendäre Londoner Konzert zum 20. Bandjubiläum im letzten Dezember, das noch mal alle Hits aus der Karriere der Doom-Helden in herzblutig-tollen Versionen Revue passieren lässt.
…and so it ends as it began, with the grim but compelling sound of mankind’s most artful and potent response against the dying of the light: the almighty riff…sacred, remorseless, oppressive and sublime…it towers above us like a shadow cast by the collected follies of humanity itself, giving us succour and protecting us from the lure of the grave…
Whether you regard them as the saviours of doom metal, the rightful heirs to the Sabbathian throne, the masters of the arcane, profane and avowedly eccentric or merely one of the finest British heavy metal bands of all time, Cathedral have made an indelible and undeniable mark on the heavy music scene over their two decades of sonorous, lethargic service.
Led by vocalist Lee Dorrian and his perennial riff-deliverer Gaz Jennings, the band emerged at the dawn of the 90s amid the clattering clangour of an extreme metal scene that had simply forgotten how to slow down and synchronise with the miserly grind of tectonic plates and the ticking of time.
Righteously inspired by Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Trouble, Candlemass, Saint Vitus and many other purveyors of superlative snail’s pace riff worship, Cathedral made it their principal aim to resurrect the very concept of doom within the metal scene, both in terms of the musical subgenre that bore that name but also with regard to the haunting emotional might that had steadily been drained from the heart of heavy.
After grabbing the attention of many like-minded souls with their early demo recordings, Dorrian and the original line-up of the band released their debut album, the astonishing Forest Of Equilibrium, in December 1991, single-handedly reversing metal’s runaway momentum and dragging it back to its fundamentally slow, soulful and crushing essence.
From that moment on, Cathedral became revered guardians of true doom and embarked on a steadily mutating path towards total riff nirvana.
Upping the pace for 1993’s The Ethereal Mirror, they embraced evolution with alacrity. By the time 1995’s The Carnival Bizarre arrived, Dorrian and Jennings had been joined by bassist Leo Smee and drummer Brian Dixon, thus cementing a formation and focus that would serve the band well over the next 15 years.
The series of albums that followed veered from the kaleidoscopic psychomania of Caravan Beyond Redemption (1998) through to the blistered, necrotizing funeral grind of Endtyme (2001) and on to the wild progressive hues of 2010’s The Guessing Game, covering all points in between.
Cathedral’s live shows were always celebratory affairs, as the band traversed the globe spreading the bleak gospel and sharing grandiose riffs with generations of lost souls.
By the year 2010, it became clear that Cathedral’s mission had been effectively accomplished, and Dorrian began the countdown to oblivion.
The band played a 20th anniversary show at London’s O2 Islington Academy on December 3rd, reconvening that legendary original line-up to perform Forest Of Equilibrium for the very first time in its devastating entirety, followed by a bold stride through the rest of that glorious catalogue courtesy of that equally classic but more enduring latter-day configuration. Fans and friends travelled from all around this wicked world to witness the event and despite the fact that many British disciples were unable to get to London due to harsh weather conditions and a dismal public transport system, Cathedral acquitted themselves with humble grace and splendour.
Urged on by the news that Cathedral will completely retire from the mortal metal realm after one more show this coming December, the entire 20th anniversary gig is now to be unleashed as Anniversary, a double-disc extravaganza of crippling, ultra-doom that is as raw and uncompromising as these desolate days demand.
The first incarnation of the album will be a limited box set including two discs in mini-LP gatefold wallets with exclusive artwork by long-time Cathedral collaborator Dave Patchett, plus a 40-page booklet packed with pictures from the anniversary show and a replica poster. Vinyl editions will follow later.
Next year will see the release of The Last Spire, the final chapter in the Cathedral story, but for now Anniversary is doom’s last word. And so it ends…