Cathedral - Seventh Coming
Spitfire Records
Doom Metal
11 songs (59'27)
Release year: 2002
Cathedral, Spitfire Records
Reviewed by Marty
I was quite surprised that this is the very first Cathedral album to be reviewed here at Metal Reviews. In keeping with our goal to bring you as wide a variety of metal as possible, this band certainly deserves some attention for it's work in developing the Doom Metal genre. They were founded in 1989 by Lee Dorian (vocals), who is still with the band, and Mark Griffiths and were influenced not only by Black Sabbath (obviously) but by other bands such as Trouble, Candlemass, Pentagram and St. Vitus, all being the early pioneers of Doom Metal. The band has endured many hassles and hardships over the years such as being dropped by Columbia Records, being kicked off of a Mercyful Fate tour, many personnel changes, legal disputes and being ripped off more than once by shady promoters. One of the true highlights of their career was landing the opening slot on the European Black Sabbath tour in 1998. This lead to a friendship with Tony Iommi who is a big fan of this band and even provided some guitar work for their previous album, Endtyme. The beginning of 2002 saw the band return to the studio to start work on this, their seventh album, appropriately titled, VIIth (Seventh) Coming.

This release sees the band delivering a record that is much more varied than some of their previous efforts and mixes up styles and tempos quite well. Sure the trudging, ploddingly heavy sound is still there, but the band has thrown in some more up tempo passages and even some quite catchy choruses and vocal lines. The result is a very enjoyable album. The big boomy production on the guitars and bass really sound like the Master Of Reality era of Black Sabbath whereby tuning the guitars down one and a half steps (from E to C#), a punishingly heavy and very dark and gloomy sound results (Children Of The Grave is a perfect example of this type of tuning). The riffing on this album is big, double tracked, very,very heavy, and has an infectius groove to it. I love this type of metal.

Some psychedelic elements are found throughout this release and give a more Stoner feel to some of the songs. Acoustic guitar passages mixed with eerie keyboard sounds give some tracks an almost Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd like quality. In a couple of instances, the band gets side-tracked with some very slow, plodding bridge sections that just seem to go on aimlessly. I would've preferred that some solos or other tempo changes were used in these sections. Production wise, the guitars and bass have killer heavy sound to them whereas the drums could be a little more powerful to match the intensity of the riffing. Lee Dorian's voice has some Ozzy-like qualities to it, but can also be more menacing and angry when called for, depending on the mood of the song. Highlights include Phoenix Rising, a very Sabbath-like song with great riffing and a catchy chorus and Empty Mirror, an almost 9 minute song, again very Sabbath-like with the riffing but also has some cool atmospheric interludes. Iconoclast has a more hard driving edge to it and is one of the faster tracks on this release. Black Robed Avenger sees the band experimenting with a more epic, story-like song with some cool harmony guitar thirds, and Congregation Of Sorcerors has a Slayer-like sound to it with the vocal style and the sinister pounding riffs.

Based on what I've heard previously from this band, this is a more accessible album and the variation in styles and tempos takes some of the monotonous quality away that may have plagued some of their previous releases. Fans of the band will surely like this album as well as fans of Black Sabbath, especially the slow trudging style of albums such as Master Of Reality. The catchiness of the riffing and of the vocals lines is likely to draw new fans to this band as well. Those who may have found previous material not very appealing will find lots to like about this album. This is a very well written and well performed album from one of the Doom Metal masters. Try this one out if you're not familiar with this band. I think would be a great album to try out for your first introduction to this type of metal music.

Killing Songs :
Phoenix Rising, Empty Mirror, Iconoclast, Black Robed Avenger and Congregation Of Sorcerors
Marty quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Cathedral that we have reviewed:
Cathedral - In Memoriam reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Cathedral - The Last Spire reviewed by Charles and quoted 92 / 100
Cathedral - The Guessing Game reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Cathedral - The Ethereal Mirror reviewed by Adam and quoted 90 / 100
Cathedral - Endtyme reviewed by Charles and quoted 93 / 100
To see all 11 reviews click here
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