Thursday, 19th April 2018. 5:25:27pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Cathedral Park- Monument


ARTIST: Cathedral Park
ALBUM: Monument
LABEL: Self-released
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
DATE: 5-18-08

Cathedral Park- Monument

The new project from Bryn Shoop and Autumn of Portland, Oregon act Ghost Parade, Cathedral Park takes the dark romance of the duo's previous project and injects it with elements of electronic experimentation. This album's best stuff, though, is its most unadorned. Opening track "Someday" is stark and lovely, with Autumn's baritone and simmering sense of righteous anger suggesting Nick Cave gone classical. "Twilight" is likewise fascinating, with strummed guitar bringing a more organic flavor to the minor-key synthesizers and gloomy vocals, while "Live or Die" is more stately, with bells and a slowly marching snare drum giving a sense of dignity in the face of the inevitable. Cathedral Park's more avant-garde leanings are significantly less accessible, but no less intriguing. A fascination with bipolar poet and Sylvia Plath contemporary Anne Sexton works out well, as on "Noon Walk on the Asylum Lawn," an unaccompanied recitation of the poem of the same name, and "Disenchant," which begins with a recording of Sexton reading "The Ambition Bird," then transitions into keyboard loops and brooding darkwave. On the more purely sonic side, this album is filled with backmasking, which works better in some places than in others. The backward sounds on "Drive" are subtle enough to be fascinating, with multi-layered electronic harmonies and fuzzily processed vocals giving the song a dreamlike quality. "The Suburban Dream," on the other hand, merely feels jarring, the backwards vocals seemingly thrown in simply for their own sake. "Calling the Dead" takes the complete opposite approach, eschewing avant-garde posing in favor of campy death rock imagery that feels out of place on an album that's more solemn than silly. Still, even when Cathedral Park aren't entirely successful in their experimentations, they're never dull, and this album recalls the cutting edge spirit of such scene pioneers as Bauhaus and Attrition while achieving its own unique sound.

Visit Cathedral Park at www.cathedralparkproject.com.


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