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Cathedral - The Bridge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.35 | 55 ratings

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4 stars Releasing your sophmore album 29 years after your debut is a pretty rare thing but never the less this is what Cathedral have done. I found Cathedralīs debut to be really exciting allthough it was very unpolished and even though many things have happened in 29 years itīs easy to hear that this is the same band playing. The King Crimson influences are still strong but mostly because Paul Seal sounds a bit like Wetton. Paul Seal is a much better singer than Wetton though. I can also hear influences from Genesis here and there. This is retro prog without a doubt.

The music is very complex with many sections in every song. Especially songs like Monsterhead and Hollins have many different parts. Itīs not like the tempo is very high though itīs more the structure of the songs which are complex. There are some really fast played guitar notes though. All the songs are easily memorable and itīs nice to hear that Cathedral even though they are a retro prog rock band are able to make original music. Kithara Interludium does stand out from the rest of the songs as it is a classical acoustic guitar suite. Itīs very competently played but I think it is a bit too long. As a fan of early seventies prog rock Iīm happy to hear that the mellotron is used extensively on The Bridge. It gives the music a very symphonic lift that I greatly appreciate. This was also the case on Cathedralīs debut.

The musicians needs to be mentioned as this is one of the best performances I have heard in a long time. These guys know how to play their instruments. As a guitarist myself I am awe strucken when listening to David Doigīs playing. That man plays some great guitar parts. Singer Paul Seal has developed his voice since the debut and allthough he will never be my favorite singer I think he has personality and does a great job here. The rythm section is pretty prominent and especially the bass from Fred Callan is very loud in the soundscape. Both Fred Callan and drummer Mercury Caronia IV does a great job here. The keyboard player Tom Doncourt is the main reason why this sounds retro. He uses vintage keyboards a lot. He mostly plays background notes to support the vocal melody and the guitar. I love vintage keyboard sounds so to me this is great.

The sound quality could have been better but The Bridge is self produced and if you think about that the production is allright. The drums and the bass which is way too high in the mix annoy me though. For the life of me I cannot understand why a band of Cathedralīs caliber canīt get a record contract so they can get a good sound ? The progressive record companies should be lined up trying to get Cathedralīs signature.

This was a pleasant surprise for me as I didnīt expect too much from a band that hasnīt released anything in 29 years. I expected them to sound tired and old, another pathetic attempt to relive their youth, but instead Cathedral has grown considerably as musicians and composers and we get this excellent album that I will rate 4 big stars. Had the production been really good I might have given this one 5. Itīs highly recommendable though. One of the best symphonic prog rock albums released in recent years to my recollection.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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