The Guessing Game

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The Guessing Game
Cathedral - The Guessing Game.jpg
Studio album by Cathedral
Released March 26, 2010
Recorded Late 2009-2010
Genre Doom metal, heavy metal, progressive rock, psychedelic rock
Length 84:41
Label Nuclear Blast
Producer Warren Riker
Cathedral chronology
The Garden of Unearthly Delights
(2005)The Garden of Unearthly Delights2005
The Guessing Game
The Last Spire
(2013)The Last Spire2013
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating 2.5/5 stars[1]
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[3]
Invisible Oranges favourable[4]
Jukebox:Metal 5/5 stars[5]
Popmatters 7/10[6]
The Quietus favourable[7]
Rock Sound 9/10[8]

The Guessing Game is the ninth full-length album by the British doom metal band Cathedral. It was released on March 26, 2010. It is the first double-album from the band.

It was voted the eighth best album of the year in the Metal Hammer Magazine Critics Poll of 2010.[9]


Describing the album as Cathedral's "magnum opus", Phil Freeman wrote for Allmusic that The Guessing Game offered the "most psychedelic, progressive material in the band's entire catalog".[2] Writing in The Guardian, Jamie Thomson praised the "fine balance between their monolithic guitar groove and a more heady blend of prog, folk, psychedelia and even the occasional burst of Bonzo Dog Band-style jazz whimsy...these sparkling sojourns to the outer fringes of 70s rock would cheer even the most jaded metaller. Doom has rarely sounded so joyous".[3] Viewing The Guessing Game as embodying an "unprecedented level of indulgence", The Quietus' Noel Gardner suggested that it serves as "a landmark Cathedral release" and "an ideal starting point to ease a Cathedral ignoramus into the band's self-contained world".[7] Noting the frequency with which the double-album format suffers from bloat, Invisible Oranges' Chris Rowella praised Cathedral for coming "damned...close" to perfecting the model.[4] Describing The Guessing Game as Cathedral's "pinnacle of...experimentation", Popmatters' Chris Colgan suggested that the album provides insight into Cathedral's diverse influences.[6]

However, not all critics wrote favourably about the album. George Pacheco wrote for that The Guessing Game is a "confounding conundrum of an album...both forward-thinking and stagnant-sounding at the same time".[1] Pacheco identified "an overwrought sense of daring" as a key concern, which left the album "fractured and flawed".[1]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Lee Dorrian and Garry Jennings, except where noted.

Disc one[edit]

  1. "Immaculate Misconception" (Leo Smee) – 2:24
  2. "Funeral of Dreams" – 8:28
  3. "Painting in the Dark" – 6:18
  4. "Death of an Anarchist" – 7:12
  5. "The Guessing Game" (Jennings) – 3:08
  6. "Edwige's Eyes" – 7:08
  7. "Cats, Incense, Candles and Wine" – 6:01

Disc two[edit]

  1. "One Dimensional People" (Smee) – 2:30
  2. "The Casket Chasers" – 6:41
  3. "La Noche del Buque Maldito (aka Ghost Ship of the Blind Dead)" (Dorrian, Jennings, Smee) – 5:46
  4. "The Running Man" (Dorrian) – 8:46
  5. "Requiem for the Voiceless" – 9:50
  6. "Journey into Jade" – 10:36
  • "Journey into Jade" ends at 6:32 and continues with silence until 9:32. At this point, begins an untitled hidden track: there is a voice recording of Cathedral artist Dave Patchett describing the theme of the artwork for The Guessing Game. At one point during this audio section, Lee Dorrian stifles a laugh in response to one of Dave's opinions about religion. There is music playing in the background.


  • Lee Dorrian - Vocals, samples
  • Garry Jennings - Guitar, acoustic guitar, percussion
  • Brian Dixon - Drums, percussion
  • Leo Smee - Bass guitar, mellotron, flute, synthesizers, auto harp
  • Dave Patchett - Cover art
  • Warren Riker - production, engineering, mixing
  • Maor Appelbaum - mastering


  1. ^ a b c Pacheco, George. "Cathedral - 'The Guessing Game'". Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Freeman, Phil. "Cathedral The Guessing Game". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Thomson, Jamie (25 March 2010). "Cathedral: The Guessing Game". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Rowella, Chris (18 June 2010). "Cathedral – The Guessing Game". Invisible Oranges. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Lye, Andy (April 29, 2010). "Cathedral - The Guessing Game". Jukebox:Metal. 
  6. ^ a b Colgan, Chris (19 April 2010). "Cathedral: The Guessing Game". Popmatters. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Gardner, Noel (20 April 2010). "Cathedral Guessing Game". The Quietus. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  8. ^ Kerswell, Ronnie (15 March 2010). "Cathedral - The Guessing Game". Rock Sound. Retrieved 4 November 2016. 
  9. ^ Metal Hammer End of Year Lists Retrieved on 2011-09-29.