While this is a decent representation of Cathedral live, I'm sad to say its got some issues. The first for me being Gaz Jenning's guitar sound: its surprisingly messy. It sounds like way too much distortion was brought to bear, and it has little in common with the awesome tone found on the band's studio recordings. The rest of the instruments sound great, as does Dorrian. And even disc one, the full performance of "Forest of Equilibrium," sounds better, even though there are two guitar players.
My other complaint with this collection: the song selection on the second disc. Of the 8 Cathedral studio albums following "Forest," only 4 are represented, and 7 of the 12 tracks come from only two albums, "Ethereal Mirror" and "Carnival Bizarre." I can sort of understand why they skipped over "Supernatural Birth Machine" and "Caravan Beyond Redemption"--they are the weakest in their catalog, and even Dorrian has publicly distanced himself from them--but seriously, nothing from "The VIIth Coming"? Or "Endtyme," possibly the heaviest thing they've ever done? Yes, I said that. Heavier than "Forest." Possibly.
All that said, its not a bad album. It does capture their live energy, and the mix is good without being over-polished. It also shows their versatility through the years, as a band that was in the somewhat unenviable position of having recorded what is considered by many to be their landmark album, first. To my taste, "Ethereal" is the record that should have gotten full treatment, but I do realize that "Forest" pretty much set the new bar for heavy when it came crawling out of the gates.
And who knows: Cathedral did just play their farewell show, and I'd be shocked if that sucker didn't get recorded. Maybe that one'll fill in some of the discography gaps. I guess I'm mainly griping because they're done, and I know this and the farewell show are liable to be all we'll ever get from them live. Few bands have meant as much to me through the years as Cathedral, and they will be missed, sorely. Which makes me wish the cross-section was more even, if not comprehensive.