Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Cathedral - Twylight Songs

I ended up with this record because my awesome girl surprised me with it one weekend, having picked it up for super-cheap at a metal market. I was so damn excited to hear it, so I put it on, not knowing what side I had facing up, nor what speed it should be played it. Safe to say, the moment the needle dropped and the speaker's crackled to life, the excitement kinda drained outta me...

The first side is Reaching Happiness, Touching Pain, which appears on the band's doom-as-fuck album Forest Of Equilibrium. What I failed to notice when glancing at the tracklisting is that it's the 'Autumn Jade Mix', which starts off similarly enough, with annoying trilling flutes and all, but this mix is entirely devoid of dread. The slow crawling electric guitar has been replaced by... well, nothing.
It carries on just flute before the drums crash in, accompanied by some barely-audible, not-quite-acoustic twang-y dribble of a guitar. The first time we listened to it I think we ended up rolling around laughing. This is just bad. I mean, I love Cathedral, and I appreciate their experimental streak, but by the time Lee Dorrian's croon kicks in, sounding lost without the backdrop of doom distortion, I was officially disappointed.
It carries on like this for like 8 minutes before it collapses, basically exactly the same as the album version except without the heavy, creeping guitar tracks. So it's doom metal with the very heart of all that makes it doom metal ripped out. Shit.

The B side is a cover of Sabbath's 'Solitude' which is suffixed by the words '(inebriation mix)', which should instantly set off alarm bells. Everyone knows Cathedral contributed this song to the Nativity In Black tribute album that came out in the 90s, but the version that's on this record seems to be the same music, with a VERY pissed-up vocal take from Dorrian. Words are slurred and sung off-key, and... well I just fail to see why anyone would ever want to hear this version of this song.
Owning this record is a pointless exercise in completism.

I was selling it on ebay, but that ended for far too little money. Gutted.

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