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The Guessing Game

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Album Review

Cathedral's ninth studio album, their first since 2005's The Garden of Unearthly Delights, is a double disc, and it features some of the most psychedelic, progressive material in the band's entire catalog. Originally formed out of vocalist Lee Dorrian's distaste for the burgeoning death metal sound of his previous band, grindcore pioneers/stalwarts Napalm Death, Cathedral sounded like a pure throwback to the doom of the early '70s on their first few releases, but over the course of their long career, their albums have displayed rock & roll swagger and lysergic experimentation. The Guessing Game is in many ways a magnum opus, offering examples of everything Cathedral does well. "Casket Chasers" is a roaring stoner metal anthem worthy of modern doomsters like Down or any of Scott "Wino" Weinrich's bands, while the eight-minute "Funeral of Dreams" is a multifaceted, retro-psychedelic excursion reminiscent of Uriah Heep. "Requiem for the Voiceless" is pure, creeping Sabbathian horror, while "Cats, Incense, Candles & Wine" shifts from acoustic strumming to a jazz-funk groove. Retro instrumentation (flutes and Mellotron in particular) and production techniques abound. This album lives up to its title in spades; it's impossible to predict, listening to one song, what the next one will sound like, except for the general surety that it'll sound like it could have been recorded (on tape, not into a hard drive) anytime between 1969 and today.

Customer Reviews

"Twenty years it's been."

Not many bands CAN make an album ike this anymore (a double LP 90 minutes long.)
All epic songs with a retro feel. Excellent playing and those tongue-in-cheek lyrics all of which is second nature to these fellas.
I feel it has to be listened as an album rather than random on a playlist etc. (Yes the old way!)
Very impressive artwork by Dave Patchett. Even though it's a downloaded album!
Well done and thank you Cathedral. Enjoy.


Formed: 1990

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

It's universally agreed that the originators of the doom metal genre are Black Sabbath, but there were several bands of the '80s/early '90s that kept the style alive (during Sabbath's "lean years"), such as Saint Vitus, Trouble, Candlemass, and, especially, the U.K.-based Cathedral. When singer Lee Dorrian jumped ship from grindcore godfathers Napalm Death during the late '80s, he sought to form a new outfit that would focus on the plodding sounds of Sabbath, rather than the all-out assault of his...
Full bio
The Guessing Game, Cathedral
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