Cathedral are one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time. Their influence is far, far beyond any commercial success they have achieved.
Over two decades, Cathedral consistently made superb records, often under severe financial constraints, for the right reasons – love of their art. That more of us might have the courage to follow their example would be a good thing.
Cathedral’s story really began with 1990’s In Memoriam cassette (ironically, cassettes are starting to make something of a comeback!), reproduced here on CD and vinyl by Rise Above Records.
It is a very important release, showing more of a death metal influence than their debut full-length Forest of Equilibrium. Indeed, I feel the influence of such bands as Dream Death, Autopsy, and Celtic Frost here (as well as the more obvious Pentagram and Trouble). There is also something of a transition from Lee Dorrian’s vocals with Napalm Death here. It’s interesting to speculate what would have happened to Napalm Death if Lee and Bill Steer had stayed and incorporated the influences they used in Cathedral and Carcass respectively! Perhaps for a new project. It is, as Status Quo once memorably said, ‘Never Too Late’.
In Memoriam is full of heart and emotion. It is a genuine genre-defining classic. It has a raw live feel and sounds very similar to the excellent live tracks included herein, such as a fine cover of Pentagram’s ‘All Your Sins’ (curiously, members of Pentagram would briefly join Cathedral a few years down the line).
This is essential for anyone who loves not just doom metal but good music played from the heart.