Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Cathedral - The Ethereal Mirror (1993)
03 Enter The Worms by Ridiculous
04 Midnight Mountain by Ridiculous
What happens when you take the ex-singer of the original Napalm Death lineup who then forms a doom band in the early 90s who then embraces prog, disco, and funk all within a metal framework? You get this album. At first, it seems like a bit of a mess and full of contradictions. You have very metal instrumentation bumping up against very un-metal themes, plus everything is clean due to this being a hugely major label funded album( it was their first on Columbia back in 93).
A lot of this musical genre bending came about as a way of compromising and fucking with the record label, they decided to use the money to expand their sound and they ended up coming up with something new that would influence a huge amount of "heavy" music to come.
Sure there is a lot of doom influence in this music but a lot of it moves into grunge territory as well as prog song structures. The lyrics are very spacey and psychedelic and seem to be about random things like midnight mountains and drugs, lots of drugs.
Now after going on about how all over the place this album is there are two defining traits that ultimately hold the album together...it's heaviness and intensity. Throughout these 10 tracks the intensity never waivers, the music is crushing and to be honest most reminds me of what Mastodon have been doing for a while, writing pop hooks filtered through the heaviest playing possible, it's all melodic but it sounds like hell rising up and chasing you down the street.
This album encompasses many metal styles as well as a lot of non metal styles and I recommend it to anyone who isn't afraid of muddling their metal sound with twists and turns of our musical history. This is a great hydra of a record that twisted and turned itself into my brain, I only hope it can do the same for you our fine musical readership out there.