Archives For cathedral

Last time in Part 1, we introduced the proverbial Big Four of doom metal. Though “big” is a word that certainly applies to their elite stature among the subgenre, it did not apply to their sales figures. Even Epicus Doomicus Metallicus, the Candlemass debut record that is often considered doom metal’s finest hour, was a commercial flop upon its 1986 release. Though it’s a phrase that originally applied to the Velvet Underground, I think it’s fair to say that “not many people heard those early albums, but everyone who did went out and started a band.”

One of those copies of Epicus reached Messiah Marcolin, who sang for a band called Mercy with a booming, intense, opera-like voice. He called Leif Edling in the middle of the night, sang him “Solitude” over the phone, and offered to sing for Candlemass. While dressed as a medieval monk.

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For some fans, this is THE Cathedral album, even more than the pioneering death/doom classic, “Forest of Equilibrium.” In that record’s aftermath, it would have been very easy for the band (now considered such innovators), to continue with the Forest’s sound.

But Cathedral’s sound on “The Carnival Bizarre” added a hefty dose of seventies-style hard rock and dropped the deadly growls in favor of a gravelly, off-key snarl. Were it not for the band name on that (incredibly trippy) album cover, you may have trouble believing it’s still Cathedral. As you fold out that dense and busy spread of artwork however, don’t be intimidated by its grotesque-ness: “The Carnival Bizarre” is one of the most accessible and enjoyable doom metal records in the subgenre’s history.

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