Sunday, January 27, 2013
Black Sunday: Cathedral - Gargoylian (2001) & A New Ice Age (2012)
I've collected most Cathedral, with the glaring exception of the Twylight Songs 7", and have always enjoyed the Gargoylian 7", acquired originally largely due to its Blind Dead jacket. It's fairly hard-to-find and I've accumulated three copies since buying the original via Southern Lord mail order, though all of mine are identical black vinyl (there were reportedly 2,000 pressed with 1,800 in black and 100 each in blue and gold). The vinyl itself is fairly flimsy and the jacket's lettering printed gray on gray, leaving the lyric inscrutable. The songs, "Gargoylian" and "Earth in the Grip of a Skeletal Hand," are two of Cathedral's brutal best, making this an absolute must-have for fans of the band. Gargoylian pops up on eBay every now and then and usually commands $30-40.
A New Ice Age has been released in a multitude of colors to date, with clear, white, blue, black, purple and green currently listed on the Rise Above Records website (and black and green available for order). Mine is an icy blue 12" and, musically, provides an aggressive - almost progressive - but not-too-doomy beginning of the end for the band's recording career. It's a sturdier package than Gargoylian, in terms of both vinyl and jacket, but just as frill-free. A great painting from Dave Patchett adorns the front while the lyrical content fills the backside. It will be interesting to see if either track, "Open Mind Surgery" or "Sabbadaius Sabbatum," make it onto The Last Spire in alternate form and, no matter what, I'll be sad as hell to see Cathedral say goodbye.