Doom Metal with a sense of humor -- albeit a dark one -- may best describe Cathedral, one of the many bands spun off from Grindcore leaders Napalm Death. Fronted by early-period Napalm throat man Lee Dorrian, Cathedral debuted in 1991 with the crawlingly slow painfest Forest of Equilibrium, seemingly clearing their systems prior to releasing the more traditionally enjoyable albums that would follow. On The Ethereal Mirror (1993) and The Carnival Bizarre (1995), their riff-heavy, mid-tempo, groove-based approach nods to acknowledged influences Trouble and Saint Vitus (as well as the main influence on those bands, Black Sabbath), meanwhile upping the ante in terms of sonic density. By Caravan Beyond Redemption (1998), they'd moved in a more clearly melodic direction, and while Dorrian still growls out his vocals, his humorously self-aware asides are easier to spot. At this stage, the Doom Metal tag is no longer really fitting -- they continue to crank out evil riffs, but you can tell they're having fun doing it.
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