Metal!: Cathedral, Potential Threat SF and Magister Templi
Ritual Thrust into the Profane Maw of Churning Filth
The Hellgoat doesn’t cry but if he did, he’d shed a tear right now. The Last Spire is Cathedral’s final record (yeah, don’t they all say that) so a grand career that started way back in 1989 is finally over. However, Lee Dorian and company certainly didn’t fade out, instead releasing a record that is right up there with the finest albums they’ve made.
The Last Spire is everything the last two records weren’t for the Hellgoat. As you know, the Hellgoat enjoys a band that strays off the path now and again but both The Garden of Unearthly Delights and especially The Guessing Game got so psychedelic, trippy and sometimes just plain bizarre that they were tough listens. The Last Spire has its acoustic passages, moments of heavy organs and moogs, violins and otherwise odd noodlings throughout but they fit better than on previous disc. The Guessing Game often left you thinking “how the fuck did I get to this odd passage?” when trying to figure out the quick shifts to different styles, whereas with The Last Spire you kind of say “that’s pretty fucking cool where that went,” instead. The band sounds energized and determined to kick ass on the way out the door.
Maybe because it’s the final record and they have nothing to lose but the band has really focused this time on creating a cohesive record and have cut the fat out of the record almost completely. Being different seemed to be painfully pushed to the forefront and sounded forced on previous discs. All the sounds on this record are really organic and in the places they should be rather than what feels like random drop ins. This makes for the most consistent listen of any Cathedral record since 1995’s The Carnival Bizarre.
The entire record has a sense of power to it that was missing over the last few years but even with that, “An Observation” which is filled with strings and a lot of organ and moog is one of the most compelling songs on the disc. And the 12 minute “Pallbearer” is the epic type song that only a band of Cathedral’s stature could make work. In fact, now that all is said and done, I wouldn’t be surprised to see either of these tunes go down as fan favorites in the entire catalog.
The album ends on the supremely heavy and dark “This Body, Thy Tomb” which is a fitting ending to a long and storied career. It’s unfortunate for all that there’s not going to be a follow up to The Last Spire since it would be interesting to see where the band takes it from here but if this is really the end, then Cathedral have gone out with a monstrous bang.
Their last video, for the tune “Tower of Silence” is below. Glad they are musicians and not actors, um…awkward. And the Hellgoat thinks Lee Dorian is starting to look at little bit like David Spade but weathered.
Somnolent Regurgitation of the Scrolls of Proselytism
(The Hellgoat wishes to convert you to the ways of the metal. But he prefers to let the press release and bio do most of the talking on these nefarious black circles.)
Press: Civilization Under Threat from Bay Area Thrash Metallers Potential Threat SF will be released through Old School Metal Records. The album gives a nod to the old school by combining aggressive, commanding vocals with dual guitars and a thundering bottom end. The engineering and mastering of Juan Urteaga (Machine Head, Testament, Heathen) at Trident Studios has given the album a massively heavy quality without being over-produced. Thrash ’til Death!
The Hellgoat’s Take (8.5/10): Potential Threat SF has unleashed a beast here. Civilization Under Threat is very much in the vein of traditional Bay Area Thrash mixing old Chuck Billy-like vocals with the more modern new wave of American thrash sound. It also doesn’t hurt that they share bassist Damien Sisson with Death Angel as that influence has clearly taken the band to the next level. The Hellgoat’s only complaint is that with no song shorter than 5 minutes long, the album feels like it goes on for way more than the hour it runs for. The 9-minute “Behold the End” is an epic tune and a perfect album closer but there’s still two more songs after it, which is just a little too much. As long as they don’t follow suit with their peers and create album after album following the exact same formula, this could be the start of something big for Potential Threat SF.
Press: Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the upcoming release of Lucifer Leviathan Logos from Oslo’s Magister Templi. The band’s full-length debut, which follows 2012’s self-released Iao Sabao! EP, offers an alchemical balance of Occult/Doom music blended with pure NWOBHM-inspired traditional metal. Add a lethal dose of Mercyful Fate-galloping tempo-changes straight outta the golden era, and you end up with 100 percent pure heavy metal excellence.
The Hellgoat’s Take (8/10): It took a good four listens for the Hellgoat to truly appreciate Magister Templi’s brand of doom and old school heavy metal. The music isn’t flawless, which gives the album a little charm and it sounds like it was recorded in the hallway of a vacant castle, which is always good to add an old school doom feel to a record. It’s a grower of a record, so if you don’t quite “get it” the first time around, listen to it again (and maybe again). It’s worth it.