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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
12


on 13 April 2010
It's been a fairly long wait between albums for Cathedral, the last one, 2005's The Garden of Uneathly Delights, had ecstatic high points and a few misfires, as is normal with Cathedral albums, but was generally a pretty strong offering. Arriving five years later, The Guessing Game could well be the band's most adventurous album to date. It is certianly epic.

The songs on this album are sprinkled with musical colour, establishing a progressive and psychedelic kaleidescope of desirable sound. Each of the two CDs that the music is spread across opens with an instrumental, the first of which leads into the epic Funeral of Dreams. This is a truly outstanding track, lasting around 8 minutes and it never gets boring. Other standouts on CD1 are the very pleasant instrumental title track and the funky, retro Cats, Insence, Candles and Wine. The second disc disc is not quite up to the standards of the first, but the album is a grower and there is much to discover on repeated listens. There are, of course, a few of Cathedral's trademark lumbering funeral march tunes to offset the flourishes of light.

The Guessing Game is another strong album from Cathedral and fans will be sure to lap it up but it could have perhaps been better in some regards. Some tracks are let down by what seem to be poorly thought out vocal melodies and repetetive lyricism. This albums lacks one of the rollicking, catchy as hell, heavy metal romps that Cathedral do so well and the couple of tracks that seem to be heading in that direction become derailed when the chorus arrives. I'm thinking of Painting in the Dark and Casket Chasers here, for example. As for the lyrics, constant references to "society" and "reality" become a tad tiring and I would prefer that Mr. Dorrian climb down from his soapbox more often than he does here. The vocalist does seem to have a proverbial bee in his bonnet with regards to his perception of the general public, constantly accusing us of existing in some kind of living death. This from someone who is usually a fan of the singer's insane ramblings about "skeletal hands" and all that. If I'm not mistaken there is a refernce to a skeletal something or other in The Guessing Game, which, needless to say, is a highlight.

Edit: It is a spectral sea, not a skeletal item.
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on 17 April 2010
It's been a fairly long wait between albums for Cathedral, the last one, 2005's The Garden of Uneathly Delights, had ecstatic high points and a few misfires, as is normal with Cathedral albums, but was generally a pretty strong offering. Arriving five years later, The Guessing Game could well be the band's most adventurous album to date. It is certianly epic.

The songs on this album are sprinkled with musical colour, establishing a progressive and psychedelic kaleidescope of desirable sound. Each of the two CDs that the music is spread across opens with an instrumental, the first of which leads into the epic Funeral of Dreams. This is a truly outstanding track, lasting around 8 minutes and it never gets boring. Other standouts on CD1 are the very pleasant instrumental title track and the funky, retro Cats, Insence, Candles and Wine. The second disc disc is not quite up to the standards of the first, but the album is a grower and there is much to discover on repeated listens. There are, of course, a few of Cathedral's trademark lumbering funeral march tunes to offset the flourishes of light.

The Guessing Game is another strong album from Cathedral and fans will be sure to lap it up but it could have perhaps been better in some regards. Some tracks are let down by what seem to be poorly thought out vocal melodies and repetetive lyricism. This albums lacks one of the rollicking, catchy as hell, heavy metal romps that Cathedral do so well and the couple of tracks that seem to be heading in that direction become derailed when the chorus arrives. I'm thinking of Painting in the Dark and Casket Chasers here, for example. As for the lyrics, constant references to "society" and "reality" become a tad tiring and I would prefer that Mr. Dorrian climb down from his soapbox more often than he does here. The vocalist does seem to have a proverbial bee in his bonnet with regards to his perception of the general public, constantly accusing us of existing in some kind of living death. This from someone who is usually a fan of the singer's insane ramblings about "skeletal hands" and all that. I can't hear any skeletal hands, or any other body parts, in here but there is a "spectral sea" in Ghost Ship. Needless to say that is a lyrical highlight.

Edited review to say that even songs that I dismissed at first are real growers. Very strong album.
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on 15 June 2010
Really, what an event!!! This album of the band seems to become their best work. I've been fan of Cathedral since "Forest...". "Ethereal mirror" has been the coolest one in the style up to now. But "The guessing game" overspat everything. Frankly speaking, time has changed either, so for the early 90-ies "Mirror" was a peak, in the latest decade the game is perfect. On the album you can feel fragrance of the 70-ies in sort of Jetro Tull to Led Zeppenin, the queer sound of techno-metal of Voivod style to speed metal of the late 80-ies - early 90-ies, and of course their own heavy disco mushed through blacksabbathdoors stoner rock + doom. Best choice for any metal fan! Highly recommended!
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on 30 April 2010
For my first listen my initial reaction was a very strange affair, a little weirdness, each new release from Cathedral you will always get something different.
On the G.G they have headed more towards 60's Vanilla Fudge type psychedelic sounds
with some progressive rock, heavy metal, and their usual doom, and gee when you mix
them all in one "pot" you get one hell of a record. It may take a couple of listens
but it's good stuff, well worth it.
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on 12 April 2010
This is a very strange affair, my initial reaction, this is a more varied album.
They have gone back to their 60's sounding music. If you like your music with
a dash of progressive rock, progressive metal, and a little pscychedelia, and
weirdness, but gee in the typical Cathedral way, the usual hard rock, heavy metal
and doom you can't go wrong!! Good stuff.
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on 30 September 2015
thank you for the cathedral cd.
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on 14 June 2016
Excellent lp
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on 11 April 2010
If you're a fan of Cathedral, or Doom, or even just rock or metal in general, then do yourself a big favour and pick this up!
I've been a fan since the superb "Etheral Mirror", and this album is (in my humble opinion anyway) Cathedral's best release to date, even bettering the excellent "Garden of Unearthly Delights". Over 2 CDs, far from being overblown, it manages to take you on a psychodelic doom-ride through every aspect of what makes Cathedral great, while throwing in a few curveballs too. The album never becomes boring, and always keeps the listeners' interest, with a wide variety in the tracks ranging from folky bits, to almost thrashy bits to classic funeral doomy bits. A Metal classic, and an album that the band should be very proud of! Cheers Cathedral!

Favourite tracks include ALL OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I liked it...
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on 30 July 2010
The Guessing Game was somehow my first ever introduction to Cathedral and I'm mightily impressed. I'm familiar with Lee Dorrian from his time with Naplam Death, but never put the two together.

The Guessing Game is certainly a mixed bag, with Progressive Metal, Doom, Psychedelic Metal and even bit bit of Folk Metal in there.

I listened to this on a train journey to and from London, and normally skip around listening to some of everyone, but the Guessing Game had me hooked on the first play and I gave it another full-length listen on the return journey.

This is easily the best new music I've heard this year....pending of course the new Iron Maiden in a couple of weeks.

Highly recommended!
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on 30 March 2010
Weighing in at 1 hour 24 minutes and 48 secs although the last track is only half as long as it shows up as there is a gap at the end and then some 'narration',actually more like Soul Sacrifice and Static Magic than recent stuff,the song Requiem for the Voiceless could have come off Forest..,bizarre in places,groovy in others,never drawn out either,one thing though,the inlay is a fold out poster of Dave Patchett's excellent artwork but since it's jammed so tightly into the tray you'll probably only get it out once,if you can,and never again,shame as it's one of his best pieces,probably his biggest,great album.
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