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    Main » 2010 » April » 24 » Cathedral - 1993 - There in the Shadows
    Cathedral - 1993 - There in the Shadows
    Cathedral - 1993 - There in the Shadows
    Style: neo prog
    Country: us
    Audio: lossless (ape, cue, log, scans)
    time: 1:05'04" Size: 439mb

    from Gibraltar:
    This band has developed a following in the DC area, and this is their first CD release. This is pretty much in the neo-prog vein, with fairly strong similarities to IQ, musically, with vocals in a more "American" style. The little I heard of Kingdom of Ends came across as straight forward radio rock. Very weak in terms of progressiveness, almost laughable in fact. This is one of those bands that gives neo-prog a bad name. -- Mike Borella The 55 minute Kingdom of Ends consists of two previously released cassette EPs: Cathedral (1991) and Kingdom of Ends (1992). There are four songs in the five minute range and four in the 7-10 minute range. The players on this album are: Gary Sisto, guitar; Ted Thompson, lead and backing vocals; Todd Braverman, keyboards; Mike Hounshell; bass and backing vocals; and Mark Copney, drums and backing vocals. 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. Sisto reminds me mostly of David Gilmour and a souped up Steve Hackett but on "Beneath the Wheel," he manages to sound a bit like Roy Albrighton of Nektar! Copney and Hounshell are better than the average neo-prog rhythm section. Even Thompson's voice, although nothing spectacular, is better than the average neo-prog singer, usually a major flaw in bands of this genre. Cathedral have penned appealing compositions with memorable melodies. The longer tunes, such as the eight minute "Psychotic" or the ten minute "Pinocchio" have several sections of tension and release that give the songs direction and purpose. They are doing more than going through the motions. Even the shorter tunes, like "Seldom Seen" and "Nothing About Nothing" manage to provide a few change-ups to keep me interested. Occasionally, some of the complex passages sound slightly forced but I give them credit for trying. Ultimately, however, Cathedral are derivative and provide nothing new or fresh, a trait that keeps them lumped with the other neo-prog bands. As such, Cathedral stand head and shoulders above most others in this genre.Cathedral developed a more original sound for their second release, There in the Shadows. Featuring the same members, there are similarities to their previous release but Cathedral have honed their style into something more original, and more varied. Eight songs comprise the 65 minutes of this disc, ranging from 6:35 ("Change My Mind") to nearly 12 minutes ("Existential Crisis"). The album opens with "Holy War," which features good doses of Gary Sisto's Gilmouresque guitar. Though Sisto's style often is strongly reminiscent of Pink Floyd's guitarist, it actually helps him stand out among many faceless neo-prog guitar players. This is followed "Junk Drawer," a ballad of sorts, with acoustic guitar and voice, with minimal bass and percussion. At more than eight minutes, this drags on too long, unless you get into the story line, which draws an analogy between a household junk drawer and lifetime memories. If you don't pay attention to lyrics (like I don't), then "Junk Drawer," as well as songs such as "Don't Ruin the Memory" and "Change My Mind" can be rather tedious. Songs that are 6-8 minutes in length should have some development but these go nowhere. There are much better songs though, from the heavy, almost Black Sabbath-like riffing of "Renfield" (the Dracula character) to the Rush/Gilmour mixture of "Soul Windows (Version 3.1)." The standout track is the three part "Existential Crisis." It opens with a flanged (phased?) riff that recalls Hendrix, Robin Trower or Mahagany Rush (perhaps not as heavy) and vocals, that fades after 2.5 minutes into a spacy guitar solo that once again recalls Gilmour. The final five minutes is mostly made up of another instrumental passage ("The Dream of the Stimulating World") that recalls the heavy riffing of "Renfield." This song is easily the best developed, as is the closing "The Wayfarer," which makes for a very solid final 20 minutes. Though derivative mostly of Pink Floyd/Gilmour/Rush, Cathedral showed solid improvement from their first release. Singer Ted Thompson's voice was harder to take all the way through in one listen, which I attributed to the likes of "Junk Drawer," et al. In all, another solid album from Cathedral, sure to please fans of their first album, as well as attract new fans. -- Mike Taylor

    01. Holy War 8:29
    02. Junk Drawer 8:16
    03. Renfield 7:54
    04. Don't Ruin the Memory 6:55
    05. Soul Windows (Version 3.1) 7:35
    06. Change My Mind 6:36
    07. Existential Crisis  I. Bedtime Prayer II. Rapid Eye Movement (T 11:57
    08. The Wayfarer 7:21
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