Cathedral / London Vegan Festival
It’s a cold, miserable and rainy Sunday in London (and yeah, I know it’s July). I’m suffering from a hangover and a severe lack of sleep and need a suitable soundtrack in which to wallow in. First thing that springs to mind for some reason is Entombed’s ‘Left Hand path’, but I quickly realize that the speed of the drums will do my aching head no favours. I spy Cathedral’s ‘Forest of Equilibrium’ on the shelf and I know I’ve found just the ticket – melancholy lyrics, riffs that sound heavier than than a box full of Skullflower albums falling down the stairs and a picture on the back cover of the band in a graveyard looking like they’ve just been told that they’ve missed the last bus. Perfect.
I love this album. Seriously. I can’t really get into the later Cathedral stuff; it’s good by most standards but everything pales in comparison to Forest of Equilibrium. The Doom genre seems to cover many different types of sounds, from the more traditional sounds of Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus to the more avant garde stylings of Sunn o))). For me though, this album is the pinnacle of the genre. There’s a definite sense of foreboding that comes through from the lyrics, and it’s not of the ‘the world is going to be eaten by 50,000 demons from the nether-regions of Ka-Za’ variety often heard in metal. Nope, the lyrics are much more personal; they dwell on things such as relationships ending and are often almost existential. Listened to carefully the album sounds like some kind of journey – the way the organ swirls upwards and beyond at towards the end of the last track gives a real funereal atmosphere and sense of release. The riffs are as a slow as a steamboat coming into the harbour, and how Lee Dorrian’s vocals turned from sounding like two cats fighting in Napalm Death to the mournful dirges on this album I’ll never know.
So what does this have to do with veganism? Well not a great deal, but the London Vegan Festival (http://www.veggies.org.uk/event.php?ref=1197 ) is only a couple of months away, and last year at the very same event I bumped into…Lee Dorrian! Well, I say ‘bumped into’ when in reality I just stared at him in a totally star struck way. I think I read years ago that he was a vegetarian (no surprise, given Napalm Death’s lyrics), but I was still surprised to see him. If Lee is there next year I’m determined to pluck up the courage to talk to him about ‘Forest of Equilibrium’ and see if he has any interesting cookie recipes . Here’s hoping. PeteF.