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Guessing Game

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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The Guessing Game
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Editorial Reviews

Mighty doom icons Cathedral are one of the most unique and unpredictable acts around. These legendary merchants of slow-motion couldn't care less about redundant genre restrictions and have incorporated everything from doom, psychedelic, folk, even funk into their works. With their ninth album, Cathedral have achieved much more than simply living up to that reputation - they've created timeless songs that buck convention and further secure their status among the underground elite.

Cathedral officially got their start in `89, when founding members Lee Dorrian and Mark "Griff" Griffiths were discussing their love for bands like Pentagram, Black Sabbath and Candlemass. They toyed with other genres and sounds to emerge a band worthy of being mentioned alongside their influences, a legendary band in their own right!

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Nuclear Blast America
  • ASIN: B0035KGDZ8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #437,987 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Cathedral are the best ever doom metal band after Black Sabbath, and it's only because of Sabbath's seniority and invention of the doom genre that keeps them from being the first. Doom is much darker, gloomier and atmospheric than other metal forms, and on "The Guessing Game" the band reveals its roots in prog music, somewhat recalling King Crimson in particular without being derivative, and more importantly, remembering to limit the excursions into noodle territory before the listener becomes disinterested.
But Cathedral fans know that with the incredible musicians on board things will never stray too far from their dark sinister sound. Which brings up the point that as musicians, guitarist Gary "Gaz" Jennings and bassist Brian Smee are outstanding. This more experimental album, especially the first disc, with keyboards and more melody, demonstrates their ability to play in several modes, much like the 29 minute opus "The Garden" from "The Garden of Earthly Delights". Smee provides enough chops on the bass to make the best bassists out there jealous as hell. Why he doesn't rank in best bassist categories is a mystery. Then there's Jennings, who may be more in tune to the dark energy that feeds the metal soul even than Tony Iommi himself, who was sufficiently impressed with Cathedral to provide some solo work. From classy jazz chording to riffs that can start their own earthquakes, Jennings is a genius.
Lee Dorrian also provides clean melodic vocals where needed, and shows that when the occasion demands it, he can sing very well. His lyrics are dark and mystical, and he possesses a strong instantly recognizable voice to the proceedings. The second CD rocks harder, but the album is best listened to in sequence.
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I was floored the first time I listened to this. It's like all the best parts of Cathedral, with something new and old at the same time... quite difficult to explain. I highly recommend this to all fans of Cathedral, and good stoner/doom metal. What really separates this from their previous albums is the extent of the psychedelic and progressive 70's classic rock elements thrown in... makes for quite an interesting listen, indeed. I cannot recommend this enough!
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The new Cathedral release is their first double album, and it’s been getting great reviews. Of course, as a true-in-the-wool Cathedral fan, I had to check it out. It doesn’t impress greatly at first, but it appeals more on repeated listens. It is, like so many Cathedral albums, a consistent diatribe against religion and questions the voyage of life, with some witches and warlocks stuff thrown in, and it is very much of the same mind as the Dave Pratchett cover art (which folds out to a poster version of an illustrated question mark twelve times the size of the CD cover). The first song, “Immaculate Misconception”, is an instrumental, and it starts off with the sound of a woman moaning (in intercourse? in labour?), and then there are smashing guitar, cymbol and keyboard sounds, topped off by the cry of a newborn child. The next song “Funeral of Dreams” is a wild old drudger that goes into weird tooting sounds a la the experimental stuff heard on the “Statik Magik” EP. It has all the familiar elements of a mid-pace Cathedral (they only have doom-, slow- and mid-paced songs), with some passages of psychedelic vocals. “Painting in the Dark” starts off with a soundbite from Ruth Gordon in the film “Harold and Maude” (”Well, if this is reality, you can stick it; I’m off to do some painting in the dark.“) and the song sneers and heaves. The song has a poppy chorus, great drive and a cool solo. “Death Of An Anarchist” starts off with a sad, Metallica-type acoustic intro, then gushes over with sloppy, broad chords and riffs. Come to think of it, the whole song sounds very Metallica. The lyrics, however, are straight out of a Survivor anthem. “The word ‘love’ people say with shame / but in this heart there’s a burning flame / I take a look at society / A misfit, I guess that’s me.Read more ›
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Simply put: an amazing album- I'd say their best! It is definitely experimental and has a 70's metal feel. This was the album that made me get into their catalogue- I would have stopped if I listened to Carnival Bizzare before this one, so I'm glad I didn't. TGG sounds different from their other stuff. Still incredibly heavy and slow at parts, so all is well. A reviewer said it sounds like Sabbath and King Crimson, and that person is right...but not sure why they gave a low rating. Anyway, don't think of this as a Cathedral album- just think of it as a kick A$$ double disk! Enjoy...
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This is definitinely a Cathedral album;bizarre,doomy & gloomy but they went too out of their line with this release and I still believe is a very good production but their effort was stopped in time.Their best 3 songs:Painting in the Dark,The Casket Chasers & Journeys Into Jade but if you still want to try it I recommend to listen to full songs and not just samples.
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Format: Audio CD
Having been a Cathedral fan for many years I was eager to see what the new songs would sound like on their new double album. Cathedral have been responsible for some of the best metal riffs ever and a listen to their back catalogue would verify this, particularly The Etheral Mirror, Carnival Bizzare and Supernatural Birth Machine. This new disc has been touted in some quarters as being something different with copious amounts of prog and psychedelic sounds being evident. Well this is certainly true but the core Cathedral sound is still very much there. The massive riffs and time changes abound. I'm lovin the different guitar tones Gaz Jennings is using on this album and the songs are featuring up to three or four changes within each number. Gaz is going for it on this release and it has become my favourite release from the band since er.... The Garden of Unearthly Delights. The Sabbath worship is still evident but the use of the melotron and other effects does nothing to detract from the power of the songs. Cathedral have tweaked their sound a bit and are the better for it. Feels like I'm listenin to some early Uriah Heep, Yes or Black Widow in some places and to be honest it's bloody refreshing. I wasn't expecting to be blown away by The Guessing Game as much this and it's a pleasant surprise.
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