2013 Favorites #25 (Tied): Cathedral – The Last Spire
I decided to start my list with my favorite bands that called it a day in 2013. One went out with a “heralded return to form” that I enjoyed, but I also felt was a little bit of a safe bet. Cathedral stopped their exploration of heavy progressive rock that had culminated in my second favorite album of 2010, The Guessing Game; instead, they went back to their roots of slow plodding doom. As one of the originators of that style, I don’t begrudge them that move, and The Last Spire is a kickass trad-doom record. It’s also a return to a path well trodden, where they always blazed ahead, dragging an audience along instead of playing to expectations. Perhaps the only thing that could have surprised their fans was this restatement of initial purpose.