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Cathedral

Endtyme

Earache

A smoldering funeral pyre of hell-bent hookahs hashed up for five records too many… a new, reinvigorated Cathedral emerges – indeed, Endtyme this is. Eschewing the "disco doom" (thanks, Keith Bergman!) approach that's mostly marked their (albeit spotty) career during the latter half of the '90s, Lee Dorrian and his limey merchants of post-Trouble doom n' boom inject all the sweat, volume, wattage, crunch, and general disdain for sobriety of yore into their once-failing skeleton to produce a molten brew of pondersome proportions. And it's a sweat ride, mama, reminding all the punters who've haplessly and haphazardly stuck around this long why Cathedral ruled in the first place and why the Blue Cheered boogie of their more recent work just needed more focus and a more appropriate canvas to really take flight into those craggy reaches of the chemically addled mind; and if the purple haze of the album's elegant cover doesn't provide a more apt canvas, then I don't know what would (a tar pit, maybe?). Best of all, Endtyme can regularly rock pretty hard in a, er, clear-headed manner and always approaches meltdown without succumbing to sludge-for-sludge's-sake, something Cathedral's fortunately never had to worry about. No longer a caravan beyond redemption – back on track, mates!

Earache, 43 W. 38th St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10018, http://www.earache.com