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Cathedral - Stained Glass Stories CD (album) cover

STAINED GLASS STORIES

Cathedral

 

Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 104 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Another one of these unearthed gems by the (then-) essential Syn Phonic label in the early 90's, this one is made by a fairly-forgotten US band called Cathedral, which shouldn't be confused by three other bands of the same name, including the British doom metal one. I'm not sure Vernon Joynson even mentions the band in his Fuzz on Borderline book, but their sole album might be out of his book's usual time frame. In either case, this quintet (classic prog quartet, plus a singer) made an interesting album, but, like many of these later-70's US "gems" (like Pentwater, Yezda, Mirthrandir and uch), Stained Gmlass Stories is a bit over-rated, because it doesn't bring anything new than their main early-70's British influences (Yes and Genesis in Cathedral's case) had done 6 to 8 years before.

Unlike some of the groups mentioned above, Cathedral leaned more on Genesis (and Yes to a lesser extent) for inspiration, but these influences are permeating too much their music for it to retain any kind of originality. Some passages of The Search seem to be almost straight out of Nursery Cryme or Foxtrot, and I can almost sing out the Seven Stones lyrics (some/lots progheads might consider that good, I'm not so affirmative), and in other songs, we're just changing albums. Don't get me wrong, if you're into early-70's UK soundscapes (and I do), you'll love theses Stained Glass pieces, but I want my different bands to sound like like themselves, not like their influences.

According to the pictures in the booklet, they at least played one big gig, if I judge by the stage they played on, but like Pentwater or Mirthrandir, this Ontarian dude had never heard of them until the (then-) essential Syn-Phonic label released it in the early 90's. While rather enjoyable per se, if you're not too demanding regarding the band's originality, I didn't hang on to the album, because it's non-essential in my book. But for most progheads, this is a good consolidating block of a 70's US prog section, just like the other groups I cited. But Cathedral is always preferable to the 80's UK neo-prog clones that would come a few years afterwards.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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