Soul Sacrifice

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The hard-to-find Soul Sacrifice EP captures the unique heavy metal band at a rare moment in their evolution away from dreary grindcore tendencies towards their own style of upbeat, groove-laden doom metal. Previous releases such as Forest of Equilibrium and In Memoriam found the group laying down snail-paced heavy metal in the vein of Black Sabbath on sedatives with ultra-thick, murky guitar tones and also found ex-Napalm Death vocalist Lee Dorrian growling like a rabid devil dog. Of course, once the group's label Earache had signed a major label deal with Columbia, the group re-recorded the song "Soul Sacrifice" from Forest of Equilibrium and released it with three new songs for curious American audiences. It's rather amazing to compare the lo-fi original version of the song to the glossy re-recorded version. The clarity of the once-blurry guitar tones brings a sense of color to Cathedral's once gray sound while Dorrian makes the transition from guttural grunting sounds to his signature style of hoarse, charismatic singing. It would be interesting to know exactly what went through the band's collective mind at this moment in their career because they sound like an entirely new band. The new "Soul Sacrifice" has metamorphosed into a raging rocker with a striking riff and cutting guitar tone. Dorrian also sounds great, delicately balancing between evil growling and intelligible singing. While the title track may be noteworthy, "Autumn Twilight" remains undoubtedly the true highlight of this EP. This song proves to be a true watermark for the group, showcasing their commitment to elated choruses and familiar song structuring without sacrificing any of their atmospheric mood or darkness.

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