Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Painting in the Dark

Well, well, well.
A late start to the working day, a few months without any real internet access and just general laziness on my part, amplified by the non-arrival of Darkthrone's Circle the Wagons on LP (the CD came, but it didn't seem right to review), so what has awoken me from my slumber?
Well, I sit here, a cup of Yorkshire's finest tea in my hand, and my ears being massaged by the rather spiffing new CD from Coventry's most illustrious sons CATHEDRAL, Guessing Game.
Opener Immaculate Misconception is a spooky, instrumental piece that sounds all off-kilter, and sets the tone nicely for what follows, the spookiness is prevalent throughout the album but not in a Black-Sabbath-Graveyardy type way, more in a Hammer-Horror-Upper-Class-Satanists-in-Country-Mansions way.
The spoken lyrics in Funeral of Dreams make me think of Crass, for some reason, sort of like the last section of Big A, Little A. Strange.
Painting in the Dark is the kind of mid-album stomper we expect from the boys (think Corpsecycle et al) with excellent lead guitar work, you can just imagin Dorrian jumping around the stage and pretending to hang himself with his microphone lead to this one.  There's also a medieval feel to some of the arrangements within, noticeably on the acoustic intro to Death of an Anarchist, which is followed up by an almost Maidenesque part. No, really.  There's quite a proggy colour to the album through the prominent use of keyboards, which is quite unusual for Cathedral, but works very well, after all, we know about Lee's love for 70's rock, and the amalgamation of their influences shows on these two discs.  Edwige's Eyes (unveiled before Thee Claw at Damnation a few years ago) is a prime example of this.
Cats, Incense, Candles & Wine is a song that I can't describe at the moment. It's like Meg and Mog came to life and recorded a track. That's a good thing.  Another total hetpenging anthem getting out and about on the second CD is Casket Chasers, Lee delivering some clever lyrics with a growl and everything.
Requiem for the Voiceless is a doom epic along the lines of Golden Blood (Flooding) or Ebony Tears, absolutely mammoth riffs and drumming.And speaking of lyrics, wait til you hear the lyrics to Journeys into Jade. For doom fans of a certain age, you'll smile throughout this one!

All in all, a great album from the boys, who just seem to be getting better and better all thee time.
We can't wait to see 'em in Manchester at the end of the month!

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