The Last Spire

Rise Above Records

Street: 04.29

Cathedral = Crowbar – Pentagram / Neurosis

Cathedral’s final full-length serves as the dreadful denouement to their career. It seems rather odd that Lee Dorrian and his merry band of self-styled metal outcasts would follow up The Guessing Game with an album so unbearably dull as The Last Spire. Dorrian’s voice has finally devolved into an abrasive, self-effacing sneer, and Gaz Jennings populates this record with thoroughly unremarkable sludge metal pap. But, if you listen closely, it almost seems like this final snub was intentional—the latter half of “An Observation” and “This Body, Thy Tomb” cast an eye back to the early days of Cathedral with dynamic riffs and colossal doom-stomping style. It feels like The Last Spire is the hammer driving the final nail into the coffin of Dorrian’s doom metal career—blunt, unsubtle and artless, but bringing to mind a final dose of cathartic remorse, a remembrance of older, better times. One final, mediocre record is hardly enough to tarnish that legacy. –Henry Glasheen