Cathedral - Stained Glass Stories

Year of Release: 1991
Label: Syn-Phonic
Catalog Number: SYNCD3
Format: CD
Total Time: 45:45:00

The Cathedral represented on this disk is an American 70s group, whose single album the Syn-phonic label rescued in 1991. This symphonic-style group is not to be confused with the neo-progressive group Cathedral on the Kinesis label (members of which went on to record the wonderful Ad Infinitum album) or the metal band Cathedral, which was an offshoot of Napalm Death. This Cathedral's sound is strongly reminiscent of Anglagard, with touches of Gentle Giant, King Crimson, and Yes.

In spite of this strong heritage, the tracks don't, in my opinion, hold together well as songs, with the music jumping from one seemingly unrelated part to another. (Maybe I need to listen to the CD a few more times?) However, the playing is top-notch, and there's much to enjoy here musically. I'm not a big fan of the lead vocalist, who sounds like Michael Sadler from Saga with Gabrielesque touches and inflections. I like both Sadler and Gabriel. Maybe it's the generally mediocre melodies here that bring the singer down. No question that Cathedral shines best when they're into the instrumental sections, of which there are many.

The recording is obviously a low-budget affair, sounding a bit muffled. The fact that it was recorded in the 70s doesn't let it off the hook for poor production values, as there are plenty of examples of top-notch prog recordings from that era. What does let Cathedral off the hook is that fact that this is probably the best recording that the band could afford at the time, and it's far better that the album get a low-budget treatment then to have us miss out on it altogether. In spite of its shortcomings, this is an album that I can recommend -- but with reservations.

Introspect (12:35) / Gong (7:00) / The Crossing (5:55) / Days and Changes (8:35) / The Search (11:20)

Mercury Caronia IV - drums and percussion
Fred Callan - bass, bass pedals, voice
Paul Seal - lead voice, bass pedals, percussion
Tom Doncourt - keyboards, glockenspiel
Rudy Perrone - guitars, voice

Stained Glass Stories (1978/1991)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: March 15th 2001
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum

Artist website:
Hits: 1456
Language: english


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