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Lee Dorrian Discusses The End Of Cathedral
The Quietus , May 19th, 2011 08:17

The end of doom legends is nigh! Lee Dorrian tells all, including information about final album The Last Spire

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The end of seminal UK doom metal troupe Cathedral's run as a live act is nearly upon us. Lee Dorrian and his behemothic troupe will leave the stage permanently after a December 3rd gig at the London Kentish Town Forum. Support will be provided by kindred spirits Grand Magus, Comus, and Gentleman's Pistols.

The band will record one final studio album entitled The Last Spire to be released in 2012 as a follow-up to last year's excellent The Guessing Game. There will be no live shows to support the album, as Dorrian claims that it's time for Cathedral to "move on" and hopes "to leave our recorded legacy to linger."

The Quietus chatted with Mr Dorrian about the end of Cathedral, the band's musical legacy, the uncertain future and the ever-crucial present: Did you feel you'd achieved all you could with Cathedral?

Lee Dorrian: Yes, way beyond what we ever thought we could achieve to be honest. For a start, when we first formed the band we seriously never saw beyond making a demo. What we were doing was purely out of love for our favorite doom metal bands, and they were so few and far between. To have had the opportunity to develop as a band and follow our own path has been nothing short of a miracle in the face of adversity. We had no plan, we just let it happen and we are utterly grateful to the people that have supported us, enabling it to come this far.

In some ways we were surprised to see you back with After Garden Of Unearthly Delights as this seemed to draw a line under proceedings - was it difficult topping this with The Guessing Game?

LD: Yeah, to be honest, after we recorded The Garden we didn't know where we could go, in terms of trying to top it. In the end we thought 'let's not try to top it, just make an album we want to make'. This has always been our philosophy anyway. In reality the band would have ended before The Garden LP was recorded. At the same time, we felt that we needed to make a couple more albums to make up for a few that we considered to be 'alright' but not killer. Our legacy means the world to us and we don't want to leave it thinking there's still things we can do to make it feel better. We're very happy with the last two albums, which makes it easier to sleep at night.

Were you surprised at how well The Guessing Game was received?

LD: Yes, we're very happy that we're still considered to be relevant after all this time, while not compromising in the way we make records and generally do what we do.

What can you tell us about The Last Spire? Is it definitely the last album?

LD: Yes – The Last Spire will be our last album. I always said that if we make it to 10 albums it would be great. I can't tell you much about it yet, as we haven't started rehearsing for it.

What does the future hold for the members of Cathedral?

LD: Who knows – no definite plans. We're just making the most of these last times together at the minute.

What are your happiest and weirdest memories that you will take away with you from being the front man for the last 21 years?

LD: So many things, not just being the front man but being part of it. When me and Gaz first got the band together, we had no idea that we would become friends with members of Witchfinder General, Trouble, The Obsessed, Pentagram, et cetera. Tony Iommi actually played on one of our albums. These are things that mean the world to us above any kind of commercial success.

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May 22, 2011 6:04pm

Great Band! One of my faves, will be missed!

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May 22, 2011 11:14pm

In reply to Scott:

Very sad knowing this is coming up, but a very celebrated band and cherished. Cheers you guys and thanks for tuning down and sharing the darkness we have followed for many years...

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Jun 1, 2011 7:59pm

Fuck this...I'm very sad about those news. Another pioneer band abandoning us. To get older sucks, throw me back there in time.

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Jul 30, 2011 10:53pm

I'm gonna miss Cathedral as i've been a fan from the early nineties. And followed all their releases which to me were always making you want to listen more Cathedral. And it never was any less than Cathedral. I'm only missing one thing i've never been able to see them live, i've missed them in Holland so i'm going for the final one on Dec the 3rd if i can get a ticket but i'm going for it, especially since i've been locked up abroad for 6 years and to find out that they are quiting. So i have got to make it to London on Dec 3rd.
Thanks for the ultimate music, the riffs the grooves and the vocals they were one.

Thanks Alfred

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Fraser McLean
Oct 26, 2011 8:44pm

Miss you guys already, love the music and look forward to the comeback tour. Don't give up.

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Oct 30, 2011 4:49pm

I will so greatly miss this band. These Artists are some of the Greatest Musicians I have ever heard. They took their sound to a whole new level & that is what made them so original. I listen to each album like it just came out yesterday, because the sounds and tones are so timeless. I saw them back in '92 in Toronto w/ Brutal Truth, Godflesh, Cathedral, Carcass & Napalm Death. What a fucking Show. Lee Dorian was wearing this white suite that had massive fringes. He did this low horse stance and bellowed out a low moan. I was like one of the only people standing before the band - It fucking Blew Me Away!!! Best Show I EVER saw! So many memories, so much time, all condensed into the musical listening pleasure of Cathedral.

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T Alv
Nov 6, 2011 2:43pm

Cathedral, the ONLY relevent band in the "metal" scene today (although I don't consider them metal) the only one with original ideas and the only one not covering old ground again and again. They're also the only doom band to stay this course unlike the emotional, miserable, wet anathema.

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paul melhuish
Nov 13, 2011 6:48pm

Cathedral could have gone on and become even stranger and more way out but still very sad that they're splitting. Hopefully it won't be the last time Lee Dorrian writes and records. i expect some proggy solo project to emerge from him in the future under another name (anyone remember 'Teeth of lions rule the divine?') I once met Lee Dorian in the bogs at a Risa Above show. What a thoroughly nice chap he was. No rock star pretention or any of that crap but just a decent down to earth bloke. Cathedral, you shall be sorely missed!

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Jan 19, 2013 11:02am

In May 2000 I saw Cathedral live in Osaka, Japan. It was an awesome show, and at the after-party Lee Dorrian was cool enough to sit a bit and chat about metal like we were the very best of friends. Very cool guy, and a legendary band.

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