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 contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. 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. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details