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Cathedral - Tom Doncourt & Mattias Olsson's Cathedral CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 7 ratings

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4 stars You certainly remember the legendary American band Cathedral founded in Long Island in 1975. This combo released a fabulous album called "Stained Glass Stories" in 1978 in the Yes vein then, after a reunion, the great (more personal?) "The Bridge" (2007). Tom Doncourt and Mattias Olsson's Cathedral feature the last material the late Tom Doncourt created with his friend Mattias Olsson, and according to the name of this album, you easily guess that they wanted to create a music honouring the legacy of that band. Tom Doncourt sadly passed away in 2019 but a year later the album they had crafted together was released through Olsson's own label Roth Händle Recordings. After Cathedral's split, Tom released several albums of experimental music in the ambient and electronic style with some guest musicians including the Swedish drummer Mattias Olsson. If I say Olsson was former Änglagård's drummer, your eyes will twinkle. And you're right! Actually this collaboration release is in the symphonic and dark prog style close to King Crimson (the first and "Red" period): a lot of mellotrons, a melancholy and introspective atmosphere... This album was finished by Mattias after Tom's passing away. «Before Tom passed away last Spring we had been working on an album together on and off for a year?Whenever I was touring or recording in the US I would stop by his studio on Long Island on my way back to Sweden and we would write and record together?The process was incredibly relaxed, open and fun with a lot of story sharing, joking and discussions about unusual instruments, music and art. Already from the start we had decided that this album was going to be Progressive rock in the vein of our old bands Cathedral and Änglagård. (...) Finishing the album has been a strange and eerie process as the music was created by the two of us during a long, intuitive and wild conversation. And now that dialogue has gone silent?but whenever I have felt lost or needed help or guidance I have always turned to the music we created together. (...) You will probably listen to this album as a bunch of progressive rock songs but I hear it more as a sonic Polaroid of the friendship we shared and the love and respect we had for each other which made us feel free and safe to create, explore and have fun". Mattias says in the booklet. The result is a fabulous record featuring vintage keyboards, a brilliant syncopated rhythm section (you often think of Bill Bruford), a rich instrumentation (a lot of guests), beautiful arrangements and a delicate mix. A vibrating tribute. The epic 'Poppies in a Field' (12'34) is a must, really! By the end, the simple melody of 'The Last Bridge Organ' and its evocative crescendo of guitars and keyboards, quietly evaporating into the mist is a poignant and hopeful (?) conclusion to that record. In a nutshell, this disc with its 8 tracks and 36 minutes (only!) is a pure bliss! Highly recommended.
Thierry | 4/5 |


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