CD Review: Cathedral – Anniversary

Cathedral - Anniversary
4 stars

With 2011 coming to a close shortly, it seems fitting that a double-live Cathedral album has hit store shelves. After a twenty-one year career, the band has decided to call it a day by ending their live performances this year and closing off their entire career with a final studio album to be recorded in 2012.

Cathedral’s unique style has gained them a large cult-following around the world and on Friday Dec 3, 2010, the band celebrated their twentieth anniversary with a special concert at the Islington Academy, London. They reunited with the original line-up to perform their first album Forest of Equilibrium in its entirety, as well as a main set with the current line-up containing a selection of tracks spanning their career (with the exception of material from Supernatural Birth Machine through The VIIth Coming). The results of that double-set show make up the new box set, simply titled Anniversary.

Loaded with 20 different tracks, Anniversary captures a great moment in the band’s history and gives the listener a grand tour of the band’s catalog. The standout, by far, is hearing a live version of the entire Forest of Equilibrium album, which to some is the band’s best album. Staying true to its roots, Cathedral kept the performance pure and nearly note-by-note perfect. The only exception being Lee Dorrian’s vocals, which don’t have the same growl as the original album.

Cathedral’s unique take on doom has made them a mainstay for more than 20 years and Anniversary is a great summary of that career. The two-hour collection makes for a great listen and a good doom metal history lesson.