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Cathedral - Stained Glass Stories CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.79 | 190 ratings

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Steve Hegede
Prog Reviewer
5 stars CATHEDRAL is usually mentioned with other 70s American prog bands like YEZDA URFA and MIRTHRANDIR. Those three bands played symphonic-prog influenced mostly by YES and early GENESIS (although YEZDA URFA showed a strong GENTLE GIANT influence). And it had a profound influence on CATHEDRAL. The listener will instantly notice that CATHEDRAL were quite aggressive for a mid-seventies prog band, and the band wastes little time exploring action-packed sections in each track. The bass/drum interplay was one of the first things to catch my attention. Not only does the bassist and drummer lock into complex and aggressive grooves, but the drummer was also allowed to fill most of the tracks with additional percussive instruments. The guitarist is the next musician to stand out. Try to imagine Robert FRIPP as an American guitar player. The guitar-riffs are dissonant, yet have a twangy, Southern, sound to them. The keyboardist is also impressive. Along with the standard hammond organ, and assorted instruments, he uses a very unusual mellotron (maybe it was sick or something that day) which gives the album a unique sound. The two complaints that I tend to hear about this band includes that the vocalist was rather average, and that the band borrowed heavily from YES. Personally, I have no problems with the singer. Yes, he is the weakest member of the band and he strains through a few parts. But, especially if you're familiar with MIRTHRANDIR, after repeated plays your ears quickly get use to his style. It's also true that a few parts sound exactly like some parts from "Relayer" (especially the intro here). But, to be fair, the majority of album sounds original. Aside from a few riffs that remind me of some YES melodies, the majority of the themes here are unique. Anyway, this impressive album was carefully crafted from beginning to end, and it is a perfect introduction to the seventies American-prog scene.
Steve Hegede | 5/5 |


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