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Cathedral
The Guessing Game

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2010
Genre: Doom
Reviewer: EC

  • Quite possibly one of the worse albums I've ever heard



  • Do you remember the back-breaking riffs in "Soul Sacrifice"? How about the monstrous ripping lead in "Hopkins: Witchfinder General"? Who could forget the mountain-on-fire doom riffage on "Ride" or THE BEST RIFF OF ALL TIME in "Utopian Blaster"!?! My 'ole my have the English Giants fallen...hard. There are not enough words in the English language to describe this putrid pile of 'poo. Who do you blame here? Is it the amount of drugs injected by Dorrian and his gang? Maybe the fact that the group already released the greatest metal riffs and records of all time and have nothing else to offer? I think it is producer Warren Riker and that bunch from New Orleans, with Riker and those Down, Eye Hate God, Crowbar guys not having enough sopping talent to wet a Q-Tip. Regardless Cathedral have managed to spend five years making the worst album of their career, and further more quite possibly one of the worse albums I've ever heard in the hallowed halls of metal.

    The band is completely removed from their catalogue of tunes, "The Guessing Game" being a Jethro Tull inspired album chock-full of spaced-out folk tunes that have a nugget of metallic groove. Lee Dorrian sounds downright awful on vocals, almost suffering a spoken word syndrome that pales in comparison to his outrageous vocal style during the band's prime time. The riffs are just filler and nothing remotely memorable or even entertaining with the down-tuned but thin wish-wash of Jenning's broken strings. The group mock their fans with horrendous efforts like "Cats, Incense, Candles and Wine" and its keyboard, tambourine and flute jingles minus anything even approaching rock or metal. Check out the gang's spoken word poetry slam in the mish-mash tangle of "Funeral Of Dreams" (you'll have a laugh). "Painting In The Dark" is just miserable, an almost half-assed attempt to create a heavy riff amidst a picnic blanket of cheese chorus that would find a perfect place on "The Partridge Family" or Scooby-Doo syndication. Just terrible boys, just terrible.

    This wouldn't be such an ear-slap if Cathedral made this project under a different band name. Call it "Misconception", call it "Magic Mountain" just don't call it Cathedral and damn sure don't call it good.


    About this Writer:
    Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: CATHEDRAL
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    The Garden Of Unearthly DelightsCathedral
    2006
    Ken Pierce1/18/2006
    The Garden Of Unearthly DelightsCathedral
    2005
    Stygian Steel10/14/2005
    The Guessing GameCathedral
    2010
    Eric Compton4/2/2010
    VIIth ComingCathedral
    2002
    Eric Compton1/26/2003


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: CATHEDRAL

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: CATHEDRAL
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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