Caravan Beyond Redemption (Earache Records)
By: Jeb Branin
CATHEDRAL has always been a hit and miss band with me. Although I truly appreciate the attempts Lee Dorrian and company have made at bringing doom metal to the foreground of the scene I have always been somewhat disappointed at best and disgusted at worst with their delivery. Something has always been missing. I'm pleased, however, to say that "Caravan Beyond Redemption" is a huge step forward for the band. Their metal edge is more finely honed than ever before and they have finally managed to find some direction in their attempts at both experimentation and psychedelia. This is the first CATHEDRAL album that can stand on its own from start to finish. The first where the entire album works. The first that I actually have put on to listen to all the way through just for the pleasure of it. Whereas in the past I have always had to pick and choose the strong tracks, this album is nothing but strong tracks. All of the lessons of the past nine years have been learned and the band is in top form. Whether it is the sick whine of Dorrian's vocals or the pounding crunch of the guitars or the moody tones of the superbly penned tunes everything seems to work. I'm impressed.
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