Wacken - 2009

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

If you had a hangover in the early afternoon on the last day of Wacken, which I know you did, then British doom pioneers Cathedral were probably not your best choice for a well needed pick-me-up.

They started their set out with a long and slow intro played by Garry ‘Gaz’ Jennings, Leo Smee and Brian Dixon, and it felt like it took several minutes before Lee Dorrian made his appearance, and the concert could pick up some speed with Vampire Sun.
Sadly, the tempo spiralled downward from here on, which made it really hard to keep at least my interest up. There were a few glimpses of what they can do with a good up-tempo groove, most notably in North Berwick Witch Trials and the ending song Hopkins (The Witchfinder General) which gave a good feeling to the show. The problem for me was, these glimpses were too few, and felt much too far between.

Despite this, the band looked like they enjoyed what they were doing. Jennings had a very intense feel, it looked like he was completely in the zone at several points, and while Smee and Dixon were grooving in their own way, Dorrian made some attempts at entertaining us with a fitting zombie walk in Night Of The Seagulls, and finally hanging himself in the mic-chord after getting the crowd to shout “Burn her” in Hopkins.
The assembled crowd was very large, so it sounded quite impressive, but Cathedral never really saw any real action from the audience’s side, and even though we were so many, it never got crowded. Everyone was kindly standing their place; there was no pushing or shoving here.

Cathedral was one of the shows I had been looking the most forward to, as I like their music and have only had the pleasure of seeing them live once before (also here at Wacken actually).
Sadly, they left me a bit split in my feelings towards them; on the one hand, the groovy songs worked like a charm and were really enjoyable, but on the other hand, there was just too much doom in it for a place and crowd as they were standing before. The right band, the wrong setlist...

Setlist (incomplete):

Vampire Sun
Soul Sacrifice
North Berwick Witch Trials
Cosmic Funeral
Night Of The Seagulls
Hopkins (The Witchfinder General)

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