MOSH 130CD The Carnival Bizarre
Produced by Kit Woolven
Released on October 3, 1995
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
MOSH 130CD cover
[high resolution scan]

K ronomyth 3.0: MESSIATANIC PAROXYSMS. There is always, in the artifice of evil, the grotesque. It’s the tiny bat wings on the behemoth, the terrifying boneaters with the doleful baboon’s face or, here, a crushing metal song interrupted by Vincent Price’s antiseptic turn as Matthew Hopkins, le Witchfinder Generál. Cathedral had made small inroads with supernatural metal aficionados through their affection for classic Sabbath, reinforced here by an actual cameo from Tony Iommi on “Utopian Blaster.” The Carnival Bizarre, their third album, is by some accounts an upgrade over the first two (third albums usually are). Ex-Napalm Death singer Lee Dorrian and guitarist Gaz Jennings recruited a new rhythm section before releasing this post-thrash metal update on the old Sabbath sound. The subject matter is much blacker than Sabbath; if you like the cover artwork, you’ll dig the conversation. The trouble with The Carnival Bizarre isn’t the excess of evil but a lack of musical talent to back up their black arts. Gaz is a great guitarist, Dorrian a fair-to-middling metal singer, and that’s about it. The rhythm section adds nothing to the final product (the drums actually detract form it) and producer Kit Woolven should have locked himself in a room with a stack of Roadrunner records before mixing this album. Still, there’s too much epic riffage and stoned sorcery afoot to keep The Carnival Bizarre from being an interesting journey into the netherworld of heavy-met hell. In my limited lexicon of metal, Cathedral most reminds me of Pantera filtered through the psychedelic sludge of Sabbath, a process which introduces a host of impurities. Lyrically, well, I’m pretty sure “lepar” has two Es in it and “pharoah” is AOH, but I guess there are no spelling bees in Hell (and then again...).

MOSH 130CD back sleeve
MOSH 130CD back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. VAMPIRE SUN    (Garry Jennings/Lee Dorrian/Scott Carlson)
  2. HOPKINS (THE WITCHFINDER GENERAL)
  3. UTOPIAN BLASTER
  4. NIGHT OF THE SEAGULLS    (Scott Carlson/Lee Dorrian/Garry Jennings)
  5. CARNIVAL BIZARRE
  6. INERTIA'S CAVE
  7. FANGALACTIC SUPERGORIA
  8. BLUE LIGHT
  9. PALACE OF FALLEN MAJESTY
  10. ELECTRIC GRAVE

    All songs written by Garry Jennings/Lee Dorrian unless noted

CREDITS

BRIAN DIXON -- drums, Templars choir, Arabian percussion
LEE DORRIAN -- vocals, sleeve concept, assorted percussion
GARRY "GAZ" JENNINGS -- guitar, mellotron, keyboards, assorted percussion, Templars choir
LEO SMEE -- bass, mellotron, Templars choir
Kenny Ball -- trumpet (7)
Mitch Dickinson -- gong (3), Templars choir (4)
Tony Iommi -- additional guitar (3)
Doug Cook -- engineer
Dave Patchett -- front cover art
Leilah Wendell -- inside art
Ray Palmer -- photography
Aston Stephens and Alex -- layout

return to CATHEDRAL discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US October 3, 1995 Earache CD/CS MOSH 130CD/CS  
UK 2008 Earache CD+DVD MOSH 130CDV w. bonus DVD

 

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