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Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Ouch!!! What in the holy name of Prog where these guys thinking! Ok, I'll admit vocals never constituted prog's main attraction and God knows we've heard some pretty bad acts, even from the most seasoned bands. But this one takes the cake. As for the production, it sounds as if some producer had rounded off a prog garage band, handed them the usual instrumental arsenal and said: "Here, boys, go make some noise".

Ok, perhaps I'm being a little too harsh here. To be fair, I admit "Kingdom of Ends" does have its share of good musical phrases and some inspired passages (if you listen very closely, you can even find a few sparks of genius, even some good keyboard and guitar licks here and there). But these good moments are far too few to even make it a decent album.

Some tracks remind me of PENDRAGON but most are reminiscent 80's MARILLION (the track "Nothing About Nothing" is a real "Market Square Hero" sound-alike). Not bad, you will say. However, there is a sameness that pervades though out the album that makes it tedious to listen to till the end. First of all, the vocalist seems to have a very limited range; he has trouble reaching some notes and as a result is sometimes off key - this really spoils the magic. Also, as he mostly screams at the top of his voice, you wish for some relief after the second or third track. Second, no one instrument really stands out: the lead guitar often sounds as if it were hidden in the background, the drumming is very elementary and the keyboards are hardly distinguishable from it all. I suppose a decent recording studio could have done marvels with such material because it does have some potential. As it stands, we'll just have to take it for what it is: a half-decent looking Cinderella dressed in rags.

P.S. This band is NOT to be mistaken for the 70's band of the same name, whom I haven't heard yet and for whom the critics seem to have nothing but high praises.

Report this review (#14115)
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Their sound blends tried and true progressivisms into an accessible format, fronted by lead vocalist Ted Thompson, while still offering plenty of instrumental fire and spirited solos. At times they may remind of Pendragon in earlier years, but such a comparison only accounts for an overall sound, and doesn't factor in Cathedral's superior compositional skills; their instrumental passages deliver far more eloquent and provocative moments than the aforementioned... Fans of the neo-progressive sound will surely enjoy this album beginning to end.
Report this review (#37048)
Posted Monday, June 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars For the most part, Cathedral fall into the Genesis/IQ/Marillion neo-prog camp, but they do it very well. There are also evident Pink Floyd influences, mainly in the guitar. This is an album I would listen to as often as IQ's The Wake or Twelfth Night's Fact and Fiction... Cathedral have penned appealing compositions with memorable melodies. The longer tunes... have several sections of tension and release that give the songs direction and purpose. Cathedral stand head and shoulders above most others in this (neo-prog) genre.
Report this review (#39105)
Posted Sunday, July 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Gosh !!

This Cathedral must not be confused with neither the great 1970s band with the same name or the British stoner rock act. This is a Neo-Prog band from USA. I reviewed their second album one year ago and did not like it. Kingdom of Ends is their debut album and it is on par with their second album. Not much change.

Cathedral does a mix of AOR and Neo-Prog. Pendragon, IQ and Marillion is the references here. Kingdom of Ends have some horrendous thin vocals with no dept. He can only sing in almost only one tone and it seems like the music is packed around his limited abilities. The music sometimes dips into some Celtic folk music before it hastily retreats back to Neo-Prog and AOR. Actually, this is much more a Neo-Prog album than an AOR album.

The opening song Beneath The Wheel is the only saving grace here. The rest is best forgotten, with a small nod to Pinocchio and Nothing About Nothing fairly good songs. The rest of this album is very bland and dull as a mug of warm water. Must try harder........ they did and they failed............ and they disbanded. I am not in mourning. I prefer the original masters of Neo-Prog any day, any time.

2 stars

Report this review (#261720)
Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars 2.5 stars really...

One of the few US bands daring to play progressive rock were the Washington-based quintet CATHEDRAL (nothing to do with the US Symphonic Prog act of the 70's).Led by guitarist Gary Sisto the band was formed in early 1991, featuring also Ted Thompson on vocals,Todd Braverman on keys, Mike Hounshell on bass and Mark Copney on drums.CATHEDRAL were one of the first bands (if not the first one) to sign on Kinesis Label along with compatriots Iluvatar.In 1992 they release their debut entitled ''Kingdom of ends''.

Often compared with neo prog acts of the 80's, CATHEDRAL jump on the train of easy- listening yet dynamic prog rock and do it just fine at some point.I do not know,but propably CATHEDRAL could have been a great influence for ENCHANT,as the two bands sound extremely similar.Even vocalist Ted Thompson has the same voice with Ted Leonard of ENCHANT,that is an emphatic and emotional vocalist with crystalline chords and a wide range of expression,but a bit of cheesy moments as well.At his most theatrical moments he tries to sound like FISH,but this style doesn't work that well.Speaking previously about ILUVATAR, CATHEDRAL hold also some similarities with their compatriots, especially in the keyboard parts and accesible melodies of the album.However, ENCHANT remain the best comparison with most of the compositions swinging around Sisto's good guitar work,featuring catchy riffs, energetic grooves,some fine melodies and decent breaks as well.This combination of the decent guitar work with the acceptable vocal lines is actually the best thing ''Kingdom of ends'' has to offer,as the keyboards are pretty forgettable at least for me.

The album is not particularly exciting,I have heard tons of bands playing this style a lot better,but it will certainly hold some interest for fans of ENCHANT and even Neo Progressive rock.Between the slim line of mediocre and quite good progressive rock.

Report this review (#263812)
Posted Monday, February 1, 2010 | Review Permalink

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