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Cathedral - The Guessing Game

The Guessing Game
by Dimitris Karametros at 06 April 2010, 10:04 AM

My first time with CATHEDRAL was back in 1995 when I was exploring the Doom Metal genre. A friend of mine had “Statik Magic”, that’s when I first listened to CATHEDRAL. I was amazed by its heaviness and groove, soon after I bought “The Etheral Mirror” and “The Carnival Bizarre” - both amazing albums - and from that time on I became a fan. Years passed and CATHEDRAL dwelled deeper in music crafting as if they were never satisfied with their sound, always unconventional and sometimes difficult even bizarre they pushed the limits of experimentation, and they never sold out; maybe that is why they never gained the credit they should.

“The Guessing Game” is CATHEDRAL’s ninth double studio album and follows “The Garden Of Unearthly Delights” only to make things more difficult and strange. It seems that CATHEDRAL are bend on testing their fans and the Metal scene with must needed exploration. In “The Guessing Game” they take the word progressive and they give it a new meaning. Where many hoped that with “The Garden Of Unearthly Delights” CATHEDRAL would slowly fall back to its ethereal roots, “The Guessing Game” takes these roots and entwines them into a complicated sound pattern that juxtaposes the past and the future sound format in a somewhat tiring yet very interesting way…if you manage to last that long listening to the double album's insanity.

“The Guessing Game” is an amalgam of great sounds and musical forms. The songs seem to be recited rather than sung and the use of a moog and the groove of the guitars and the use of a flute in a certain song definitely give off the smell of HAWKWIND and JETHRO TULL. I can be as bold as to say that there is a psychedelic ambiance similar to YES, a risky move but “The Guessing Game” is a risky album, difficult but not boring. It’s true that I got tired in some songs but that did not stop me from wanting to listen to them all.

CATHEDRAL of course retains its characteristic doom heaviness in “The Guessing Game”, along with the grove that always was a trademark to their sound; the songs may not be easy but are more memorable than in previous albums, even to someone that will hear CATHEDRAL for the first time. Personally I believe that “The Guessing Game” might not be the best album from CATHEDRAL but it definitely is a bold one, experimental and psychedelic.

CATHEDRAL is a band that cannot be taken for granted and that is a good thing. “The Guessing Game” is an album that will appeal mostly to an older fan base and to Metal fans who like heavy sound and an irrational rational progressive patterns.

3 Star Rating

  1. Immaculate Misconception
  2. Funeral Of Dreams
  3. Painting In The Dark
  4. Death Of An Anarchist
  5. The Guessing Game
  6. Edwige’s Eyes
  7. Cats, Incense, Candles & Wine
  8. One Dimensional People
  9. Casket Chasers
  10. Ghost Galleon
  11. Requiem For The Voiceless
  12. Journeys Into Jade
Lee Dorrian – Vocals, Samples
Garry Jennings – Guitars, Acoustic Guitar, Percussion
Leo Smee – Bass Guitar, Mellotron, Flute, Synths, Auto Harp
Brian Dixon – Drums
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records


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Edited 05 February 2023

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