Cathedral - The Garden Of Unearthly Delights review


100 users:
Band: Cathedral
Album: The Garden Of Unearthly Delights
Release date: September 2005

01. Dearth Ad 2005
02. Tree Of Life & Death
03. North Berwick Witch Trials
04. Upon Azrael's Wings
05. Corpsecycle
06. Fields Of Zagara
07. Oro The Manslayer
08. Beneath A Funeral Sun
09. The Garden
10. Proga-Europa

You'd be forgiven for thinking at first that this is a concept album as its title, cover and opening tracks all seem to involve the biblical Garden of Eden. But soon you realise this is not the case as nothing else on the album appears to have anything to do with this theme. It is still an interesting concept which is actually quite appealing in the way it is presented.

The music on this album is really very good. These guys know what they do well and they make the absolute most of it. At times they clamber their way through the dirtiest, murkiest sludge anyone has ever had the fortune, or misfortune, to get trapped in and at other times they up the pace a little to a good, healthy, stoner canter. There are still other times when they just get downright weird with children's vocals and unexpected style changes but they never totally lose the plot as the music is actually very well written and the lyrics are very witty.

They tell us about a 16th century inquisition of sorts in the track "The North Berwick Witch Trials" and also go on to aim at you some fantasy inspired themes. "Corspecycle" definitely grows on you, at first I didn't particularly care for it much but now it has become one of my favourite tracks on the album. The rock 'n' roll groove is just utterly enticing and the taunts at society are aimed squarely at the money hungry world which we live in.

The title track is a twenty six minute monster. A continually changing, chaotic affair, this is an absolute masterpiece. They throw every musical trick they have ever mastered into this song and it really does show. Whimsical guitar interludes, psychedelic ramblings, funky bass lines, beautiful acoustic melodies, classic rock 'n' roll and odd time signatures interspersed with shouts, whispers, spoken statements, moans, growls, howls, laughter, female serenades and all the ingenuity these English doomsters could possibly muster. The doom metal brilliance is never far away as we come back again and again to slow, grinding, morbid riffs and the lyrics on this track could very well be the template for a doom metal bible.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable and inventive album and in a genre of music where innovation is becoming more and more difficult this album is a modern day classic, not because it is something we've never heard before but simply because Cathedral have managed perfect such a broad range of styles and mangled them all together into something listenable. This is one of the few bands that manage to be really fun yet completely serious and thought provoking at the same time. This album makes for great partying music just as easily as it can be enjoyed in a reflective state of mind.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9

Written by Stuart | 28.07.2008


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 66 users
05.09.2008 - 18:53
Sleep In Sorrow
Ghost Of The Sun
I agree with you, this is an album that can be enjoyed both in partying and reflective moods and that's quite a rare thing. The ending of the title track is seriously eerie, depressing even. While "The North Berwick Witch Trials" is pretty much, in my opinion, one of the grooviest songs Cathedral has ever done - and that is saying a lot. And the second, forth and seventh tracks are heavy, hard-hitting monsters, I can't avoid headbanging to them.

Great review for a great album.
"It's not funny, my ass is on fire..."
06.09.2008 - 12:03
I think this album is quite an easy listen. It's certainly enjoyable and not your usual over-the-top depressive sound. That's not the reason I like it though, I just like it because the songs are good.
Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29

Like you could kiss my ass.
31.01.2010 - 03:33
Liver Failure
Yeah I really liked too. Very catchy, the best they can do without some bizarre sound elements of some previous works (althou they are still there).

''Corpsecycle'' really grows in each listen, best song of the album.

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/

Hits total: 4527 | This month: 36