Earache Records’ entry in the ’70s retro-metal sweepstakes, British quartet Cathedral does a good job evoking the stoner-friendly grind of heavy Carter-era acts such as Black Sabbath. In fact, on The Carnival Bizarre, Cathedral’s sound is so Sabbath-esque—trundling guitars, spacey interludes, torturously extended arrangements—that Sab guitarist Tony Iommi goes ahead and guests on “Utopian Blaster.” Despite the godfather’s blessing, ’70s revivalism has been done better—notably by Monster Magnet and Kyuss. Still, the convincingly brooding arrangements of tunes like “Night of the Seagulls,” coupled with the preposterously grandiose lyrics of ex-Napalm Death vocalist Lee Dorian (“Oh reaper scream a silent serenade!” he cries on “Blue Light”), give Cathedral a certain amount of Gothic legitimacy, and make Bizarre a more satisfying nostalgia trip than last year’s Sabbath tribute disc.

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