Cathedral - The Garden Of Unearthly Delights review
|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
06. Fields Of Zagara
07. Oro The Manslayer
08. Beneath A Funeral Sun
09. The Garden
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.
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