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Cathedral : Cosmic Requiem



'Cosmic Requiem' was, unknown to me at the time, one of the first doom albums I had ever purchased. It was an impulse buy... owing mostly to the fact that I was hungry for any 'underground' metal I could lay my hands on, and had luck with albums on the Earache label before. Safe to say, when I first listened to it, I had no idea what to think, but by the time the words "Let's groove... sonic motherfucker!" erupted from my speakers, I was hooked. Now, over 10 years later, this is still a favourite album of mine.

This EP (and at 42 minutes in length, that's a bit of a stretch) is mostly a re-release of the 'Statik Majik' EP, with one new song, 'A Funeral Request - Rebirth', one song which only appeared on the Japanese version, 'The Voyage Of The Homeless Sapien', and the backing of a major record label in Columbia. Not surprisingly, this was the last major label release Cathedral would see.

As the first track, 'Comsic Funeral' plays, it is obvious that at this point, the band had not abandoned the death/doom stylings of 'Forest of Equilibrium' just yet. Indeed, crushing, doomy moments like this can be heard throughout most of the songs on this EP. However, we are soon introduced to the groovy, Black Sabbath-y Cathedral, which started, oh so slowly, coming out on the 'Soul Sacrifice' EP.

The funny thing about this EP, is that the only 'new' song, 'A Funeral Request - Rebirth' is probably the most uninspired. It almost seems like a throw-away. Perhaps, they should've just left 'Midnight Mountain' from the 'Statik Majik' EP on here. It's mostly a moot point though, as for sure, the gem here is the last, 22+ minute opus, 'The Voyage Of The Homeless Sapien'. It's here that the band really seem to experiment with all the groove from the previous songs, and take it to a new level, but also while keeping those chugging doomy riffs, and dual guitar pounding that made Cathedral what it was back then. It's nice to know they've gone back to exploring a similar style, because I certainly wouldn't mind more 'Voyage Of The Homeless Sapien' type songs.

Perhaps, it's the nostalgia, but I actually prefer this groovy, but still very doomy version of Cathedral to all of their other incarnations. It just seemed much more natural... like this is what the band had wanted to play all along, but were somewhat unsure of themselvles, or perhaps, thought they had to play up to a death/doom stereo-type (okay, mostly death metal stereo-type, as the idea of death-doom was just developing in the early '90s). Overall though, would I call this album 'essential'? No. After all, it is only an EP with 4 songs. Certainly, 'Forest of Equilibrium', 'The Ethereal Mirror', and 'The Carnival Bizarre' should be the cornerstone of any Cathedral fan's discography... but after you're finished with the 'essentials', make this the next purchase on your list. You won't be dissapointed.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated

Information

Tracklist :
1. Cosmic Funeral
2. Hypnos 164
3. A Funeral Request - Rebirth
4. The Voyage Of The Homeless Sapien

Duration : Approx. 42 minutes

Visit the Cathedral bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Matt Zuchowski
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