All in all, a little messy
I was looking forward to seeing Cathedral, their latest opus, 'The Garden of Unearthly Delights', is one of my favourite discs of the year. It's a shame Cathedral don't have a bigger standing in the UK, and when they had to change over their own gear after Ocatavia, it felt a shame for two reasons. Firstly, they have a hat full of albums behind yet it seems they can't afford a bass or drum tech, and secondly the crowd didn't seem bothered when drummer Brian Dixon and bass Player Leo Smee appeared on stage to shift the gear about.
Musical injustices aside, Cathedral gave the crowd their own brand of hammer horror Sabbath orientated doom metal to a partially indifferent crowd. It made me beg the question, were Cathedral playing to the right audience? I think they were, however the problem was not really the band but the sound. Vocalist Lee Dorrian, who has similar mannerisms to Ozzy Osbourne with his head banging and jumping, was too low in the mix, plus the equalisation lacked top end so his voice wasn't crisp and didn't cut through the wall of sound. I think Leo Smee had problems with his bass as he frequently had to tend to his amp, I also think Leo Smee had problems with his bass because, for the most part, he couldn't be heard. Even when guitarist Garry Jennings was playing a solo it was still difficult to pick out the bottom end. Garry's guitar sound was messy, lacking clarity and depth. One of the great assets of Cathedral's album work is the big guitar sound, however this was not the case tonight. 'Hopkins (The Witch finder General)' is, in my opinion, one of the great metal anthems, but even this was barely recognisable by the poor sound and mix. At only thirty minutes the set was criminally short and I felt missing out 'North Berwick Witch Trials' was a mistake. A lot of their problems were not of their own making and Lee Dorrian at the end, said they'd be back in March. I for one will be there, let's hope they have a little more control over their sound and a little more room to move about next time.