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Cathedral Tom Doncourt & Mattias Olsson's Cathedral album cover
3.94 | 11 ratings | 4 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2020

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Poppy Seeds Intro (0:59)
2. Poppy Seeds (2:05)
3. Chamber (3:36)
4. #1 (10:38)
5. Tower Mews (2:01)
6. Today (1:24)
7. Poppies in a Field (12:34)
8. The Last Bridge Organ (2:36)

Total Time 35:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Tom Doncourt / Mellotron 400, Chamberlin M1, Moog 15 Modular, Hammond organ, grand piano, Yamaha CS-30, Ondéa, Bird organ, Wurlitzer electric piano, Clavioline, Hammond Solovox
- Mattias Olsson / drums, tuned, untuned & detuned percussion, electric guitars, baritone guitars, Wurlitzer electric piano, turntables, speak & read, Vako Orchestron, Optigan, Gizmotron, Chamberlin Rhythmmate

- Hampus Nordgren-Hemlin / electric bass, additional electric & acoustic guitars, Fender VI, Jenco & Schiedmayer celestes, Vako Orchestron, Hohner Bass 2, Hohner Guitaret, Omnichord, Jerry Jones electric sitar
- Akaba / vocals
- Stina Hellberg Agback / harp (7)
- Hanna Ekström / violin & viola (7)
- Anna Dager / cello (7)

Releases information

Label: Marquee (Japan), Roth Händle Recordings (EU)
Format: CD, Digital
November 25, 2020 (Japan), December 10, 2020 (EU)

Thanks to rdtprog for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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CATHEDRAL Tom Doncourt & Mattias Olsson's Cathedral ratings distribution

(11 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(73%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

CATHEDRAL Tom Doncourt & Mattias Olsson's Cathedral reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Windhawk
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Tom Doncourt and Mattias Olsson's Cathedral feature the last material the late Tom Doncourt created alongside long time collaborator Mattias Olsson, and given the name of this album it is obvious to assume that this was their joint effort to create material honoring the legacy of Doncourt's old band Cathedral. Doncourt passed away in 2019, and a year or so later the album he and Olsson had crafted together was released through Olsson's label Roth Händle Recordings.

Those who are fond of contemporary, creative and expressive progressive rock made with an eclectic orientation that includes cinematic sections, classic era symphonic progressive rock and post-rock among several styles used or with elements featured throughout should enjoy this album by Doncourt and Olsson immensely. A strong, solid and perhaps somewhat dark creation. A suitably haunting finale for Doncourt as a creator of music it is too of course, but first and foremost a high quality example of what I'd describe as contemporary, eclectic progressive rock.

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy / RPI / Symphonic Prog Team
4 stars Tom Doncourt is known for his work with Cathedral the symphonic band that released the excellent album ''Stained Glass Theories'' in 1978. He has released some albums of experimental music in an ambient and electronic style with some guest musicians including Mattias Olsson's ex-drummer of Anglagard. This collaboration release is more in the symphonic prog style than his previous releases. Together and with other musicians they have recorded their parts in their respective studios. This album was finished after Tom's passing by Mattias. The result is a stunning 35 minutes of music with those vintage sounds of strong keyboard melodies with a brilliant rhythm section. The music is dark, melancholic, and introspective with some beautiful arrangements and rich instrumentation. The album is 2 long songs separated by some little pieces. You can hear some influence of King Crimson and the unique Swedish prog style. The highlight song is the 12 minutes ''Poppies in a Field'' with his haunting melodies, sumptuous keyboard melodies, and that modern Kink Crimson's style of drumming. My only complaint is that this album is too short.
Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars With the band CATHEDRAL, Tom Doncourt released a single symphonic prog album in the late 1970s that astonishes even to this day. Somehow he and Änglagård founder and candidate for busiest man in Prog, Mattias Olsson, hooked up to try to drag Tom out of retirement and voilà! There is music being produced! And wonderful, boundary-pushing music it is! (Should we expect anything less from M. Olsson?)

Recorded before the March 2019 death of Mr. Doncourt, Mattias & Co. saw this one to completion--and boy are we fortunate he did: it's a monster of surprisingly forward-thinking progressive rock music! One of the best releases of 2020!

1. "Poppy Seeds Intro" (0:59) a cappella voices setting a mood and melody line (4.5/5)

2. "Poppy Seeds" (2:05) picks up the melody and chord progression from the "intro" and translates it into instruments with tuned percussion instruments added to expand and embellish. (4.5/5)

3. "Chamber" (3:36) guitarish and bellish instruments with massive bass drums, Mellotron, and computer scratches morphs into a bass and guitar-heavy KING CRIMSON/TONY LEVIN-sounding piece at 1:30. Alternates with soft "flute", "harp" and electric guitar section two times. (8.75/10)

4. "#1" (10:38) one of the most effective, perfect prog epics of 2020! Quite a heavy, full, almost Viking sound to it from the opening. Very impressive bass and drum playing with astonishing keyboard sound arrangements. (19/20)

5. "Tower Mews" (2:01) treated piano amid multiple 'tron tacks (flutes, strings, voices). I got shivers! Very Ant Phillips-like. (4.5/5)

6. "Today" (1:24) repeated voice saying "Today I'll go crazy" with a full wall of African rhythms & percussives, flutes, "saw" and more. (4.5/5)

7. "Poppies in a Field" (12:34) keyboard dominated slow rock opening is quickly established to support the poppy vocals of Akaba. (No pun intended.) With the third minute the music detours down a dark alley--VDGG-like. Then Mellotron and waves of bells/percussion give an introspective interlude for the fourth minute. Return to the heavy prog theme from the opening for the fifth and sixth minutes before another cycle through a gentle dream-scene in the seventh. At 8:32 begins a very cool, almost YES-like sophisticated section that is my favorite. The final scale down at 10:45 leads into a section of a bizarre, almost "alien," soundscape, which, strangely, takes us to the song's end. Otherwise, there are some very cool experimental sounds woven through both the heavy and pastoral parts of the song, but ultimately, as a whole, it fails to achieve anything cohesive, much less great. (21.5/25)

8. "The Last Bridge Organ" (2:36) interesting sci-fi/Blade Runner-like outro. (4.25/5)

Total Time 35:53

I don't know who Hampus Nordgren-Hemlin is or where he came from, but the dude plays a mean bass! And I really respect the sound experimenting that Mattias is so into. No wonder he and Ketil Vestrum Einarsen make such a good team!

B+/4.5 stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection and a real tribute to a long-time master of our beloved genre of music. (Mr. Doncourt passed in 2019.) On the down side, the album is a bit short (35+ minutes) with only two proper prog songs and six rather brief "vignettes." BUT, if you like this, check out the other Tom Doncourt stuff Mattias is releasing on behalf of his dearly departed collaborator.

Latest members reviews

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 Cathed ... (read more)

Report this review (#2497088) | Posted by Thierry | Tuesday, January 26, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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