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The Last Spire


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Audio CD, April 30, 2013
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Amazon's Cathedral Store

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The Guessing Game

Biography

To paraphrase Nick Drake, time has told us that Cathedral are a rare, rare find. Twenty years time, in fact, since ‘In Memoriam’ first made its crepuscular crawl towards the darker reaches of our consciousness, in which Cathedral have proved themselves to be so much more than the paragons of doom metal they originally resembled. Twenty years, in which they’ve proved ... Read more in Amazon's Cathedral Store

Visit Amazon's Cathedral Store
for 35 albums, 6 photos, videos, and 1 full streaming song.


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The Last Spire + 13 [Deluxe Edition]
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 30, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Metal Blade
  • ASIN: B00BMTX2QM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,568 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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See all 11 customer reviews
Fans of Cathedral will find something to like on this CD to like regardless of what aspect of the band they like.
J. Clark
The album is distinct from that effort in that this sounds like a band who is comfortable in their own skin, writing and performing songs they themselves enjoy.
N. J. Scroggins
The colossal pace and troubled vocals add a dour sense of impending demise which is super appropriate for this swansong.
Scott Rosenbluth

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By N. J. Scroggins on May 5, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
After a long and glorious career, Cathedral announced this would be their final album. Personally, I have been a Cathedral fan since the Forest of Equilibrium and have faithfully purchased each of their albums. Within their 20 year plus catalog lies quite a bit of variation of styles, from the slow, monolithic doom dirges of the early days to the more prog influenced material of the more recent titles, particularly 'The Guessing Game'. For my taste, Cathedral was most successful with 'The Ethereal Mirror' and 'The Carnival Bizarre' where they were able to meld all their influences into a distinct and cohesive whole. So now here we are at "The Last Spire". In a return to their roots, this album is far doomier than any of theirs since "Endtyme". The album is distinct from that effort in that this sounds like a band who is comfortable in their own skin, writing and performing songs they themselves enjoy. The material presented here has the slow, chunky progressions of the early days, but it is tastefully supplemented by ornamental flourishes of the prog aesthetic the band obviously has an affection for. As always, the guitar work by Gaz Jennings is a highlight of the album. The vocals by Lee Dorian have always been a polarizing aspect of the bands work, and this album will do little to bring naysayers into the fold. Having said that, I am a fan of Mr. Dorians, and very much enjoy the rawer, less produced sounding effort presented here. All in all, this album is an apt way for Cathedral to lay the band to rest, as it has a very funereal and dirge-like feel while hitting the high points of what makes them who they are as a band. Longtime fans should jump right in! If you are new to the band, this may be a good place to start, though I suspect your favorite will eventually surface from the bands back catalog.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Scott Hedegard on May 21, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I am a recent convert to Cathedral, so it figures that they would call it a day right when I'm in the process of getting their music. But holy cow, what a swan song! Cathedral are heavily influenced by other doom predecessors, Black Sabbath especially, Trouble and St. Vitus, but they got the best endorsement of all by Tony Iommi complimenting them himself and even guesting with a solo on the "Carnival Bizarre" album. In the world of doom metal, you can get no higher praise.
There's a reason Iommi favors Cathedral. Of all the post-early Sabbath outfits, they are the best of the bunch. So innovative is guitarist Garry Jennings, who is the best dark riffmaster next to Iommi himself in the world and gifted the lyrics of Lee Dorrian that no other band comes anywhere near them, including Electric Wizard, the other only competition so to speak.
"The Last Spire" as noted in many a review is a return to the earliest days and could easily have been the follow-up to "Forests of Equilibrium", their stunning debut album. Jennings is absolutely on top of his game; he is the only guitarist who could conceivably replace Tony Iommi if need be, and we sure hope that doesn't happen, but it does show how well Jennings has learned his craft. Indeed, he is a grossly underrated genius.
Eight songs stretch out over an hour of weaving ultra heavy tapestry, challenging and easily defeating all comers to the doom throne. It's sad to know Cathedral are calling it a day, but this will be one of the greatest final albums ever recorded. One hopes Jennings finds an outlet for his creative ideas. The music world will be a lesser place without Cathedral.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By B.NASH on May 20, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is the funeral of the one of a kind Cathedral. I've been into this band since first seeing the video Ride on headbangers ball, way back in 93. Cathedral come full circle back to where they began. This is dark, depressing, funeral doom, with just the right amount of cathredal weirdness thrown in. This album is a slow burner. It takes a few listens to sink in and it truly has the aura of being the last of its kind. What a way for this band to go out. Lee dorian stated that he hates happy endings. Cathedral are really a band that you either get or you dont. I haven't seen much of a middle ground. For those of you new to Cathedral, they have an extensive back catalogue. Im going to enjoy the walk down The Last Spire for the forseeable future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Clark on June 12, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'll admit to starting to like Cathedral a little late in the game considering I remember hearing "Ride" back in 1993 and brushing it off. At the time, compared to other metal acts like Sepultura, Napalm Death, Carcass and Morbid Angel, Cathedral seemed slow and oddly retro. Which, in its own way sums up what most people need to know about Cathedral: They don't care about trends and what other bands are doing, they are doing to do what they want to do. That philosophy is demonstrated on The Last Spire, which according to the band, will be their last album as Cathedral. Things like that tend to change, but for now I'll take them at their word.
Through out their 20 year career and 10 full length studio albums, Cathedral as shown an amazing amount of flexibility, finding ways to blend slow as molasses doom metal with progressive and 70 retro elements. Some of their CDs are more straight ahead metal (Ethereal Mirror, Garden of Unearthly Delights) while others (Guessing Game, Supernatural Birth Machine) explore some pretty far afield musical ideas. Spire combines elements from all of their albums so as to be a almost a recap of everything they've done, although I think the doom elements outweigh the progressive elements.
The doom elements are things like long, around 7 minutes on average, sludgy songs that are about decay, death and all the things you'd expect lyrically. The progressive elements show up in some very abrupt time changes, retro elements like xylophone interludes, and melodies that somehow remind me of the Beatles. As other reviewers have mentioned the first track is appropriate, but a complete waste of time. Its filler that goes on just a little too long.
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