The Best Prog Bands You’ve Never Heard Of (Part One)


Hello Progarchy! As a new member, I’d like to start off with a series that focuses on underappreciated prog rock groups, and Cathedral will be the first. In 1978, this quintet released one of the better American prog albums, Stained Glass Stories, which took elements of Yes, Genesis, and Gentle Giant, and combined them into one beautiful symphony.  The album consists of five songs, two of which (Introspect and The Search) are wonderful epic pieces reminiscent of some of Yes’s finest music.  Gong is a shorter instrumental piece that hearkens back to Peter Gabriel-era Genesis.  The other two songs (The Crossing and Days & Changes) also have a captivating symphonic sound that will remind listeners of Relayer-era Yes or King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King.

Overall, Cathedral did a superb job creating symphonic music inspired by their more popular British contemporaries while also maintaining their own distinct sound. The musicianship is top notch (listen to the crisp sound of Fred Callan’s Rickenbacker bass and Rudy Perrone’s dexterous handling of lead guitar) and let’s not forget the great cover art.  The beautiful pastoral setting (dare I say Tolkienian?) arouses a sense of awe and suits the music perfectly. I hope you enjoy this album as much as I did.