Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cathedral - Endtyme (2001)

While certainly no "return" to the days when LD and the gang wandered aimlessly through the Forest of Equilibrium, Endtyme is actually a pretty decent album in its own right.

Once I got over the fact that, no, this is not going to be a return to the band's original incarnation, I had actually begun to enjoy the album for what it's worth. A large quantity of this album is as Sabbath soaked as the band has ever sounded before or after, hell, even more so. A lot of folks had made mention at the time of how heavy this album was and how it reminded them of FOE. I don't see the FOE comparison whatsoever, but the guitar tone on this album is probably the heaviest it's been since The Ethereal Mirror, which, despite the goof and the glam, was actually heavy in it's own right. The production is a Billy Anderson job, who I'm not terribly fond of. I don't mind an edge in regards to rawness but a little too much can sound just as contrived as any one of these mindlessly overproduced, assembly wrought monstrosities of the past decade or so. I will say, that well after the first chords are struck, my displeasure begins to fade and all that is left is the music itself.

Dorrian sounds a wee bit more "restrained" than usual, which is a good thing as I'm not particularly fond of his mad rantings on previous albums. The one flaw I've noticed throughout the duration of this album is that Gary Jennings seems to have forgotten many of the subtle tricks and nuances that made Forest of Equilibrium such an enduring treasure to behold. Many of the slower sections on this album sound like some sort of bootleg Cathedral fumbling around in a dark room. While I never thought I'd say this about an alleged "doom" band, I find the more "rockin'" and upbeat material on this album to be where it's at. Credit is surely given to the band for at least attempting to, once again slow things down a bit, but at this point in the game ,  I'm fairly convinced that the band is way out of touch with and rather indifferent to their 1991 state of mind.

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