Lee Dorrian

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Lee Dorrian
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Lee Dorrian, owner of Rise Above Records, currently in With the Dead.
Background information
Born (1968-06-05) 5 June 1968 (age 50)
Origin Coventry, England
Genres Doom metal, stoner metal, crust punk, grindcore (early)
Occupation(s)Musician, singer
Years active1986–present
Labels Rise Above
Associated acts Napalm Death
Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine
Paul Chain
With the Dead
Septic Tank

Lee Dorrian (born 5 June 1968) is an English singer, best known as a former member of Napalm Death and later frontman of Cathedral.

Napalm Death British grindcore band

Napalm Death are a British extreme metal band formed in Meriden, West Midlands, England, in 1981. While none of its original members remain in the group since December 1986, the lineup of vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway, bassist Shane Embury, guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Danny Herrera has remained consistent of the band's career since 1992's Utopia Banished, although, from 1989 to 2004, Napalm Death were a five-piece band after they added Jesse Pintado as the replacement of one-time guitarist Bill Steer; following Pintado's departure, the band reverted to a four-piece rather than replace him.

Cathedral (band) English doom metal band

Cathedral were a doom metal band from Coventry, England. The group gained attention upon release of its debut album, Forest of Equilibrium (1991), which is considered a classic of the genre. However, the band's sound evolved quickly and began to adopt characteristics of 1970s metal, hard rock and progressive rock. After releasing ten full-length albums and touring extensively for over two decades, Cathedral broke up after the release of The Last Spire in 2013.



During his early teenage years, he was the editor of a local punk fanzine called Committed Suicide. [1] This led to him becoming a local punk promoter during the mid-late 80's, bringing bands such as B.G.K., Amebix, Antisect, Negazione, AntiCimex, Disorder, Bannlyst, Heresy, Icons of Filth, Anti System, Conflict, Concrete Sox, The Varukers and many others to various Coventry venues, such as the back room of The Hand & Heart public house on Far Gosford Street. [2] During this time he was a passionate animal rights activist [3] and involved in various anarchist groups and demonstrations. [4]

Amebix UK based punk/metal band

Amebix were an English punk rock band. Formed as "The Band with No Name", Amebix's original run was from 1978 to 1987, during which time they released three EPs and two full-length LPs. The group reunited in 2008 and disbanded again in November 2012.

Antisect English hardcore punk band

Antisect are a hardcore punk band based in London, England. Their roots are in hardcore/anarcho punk and metal.


Negazione was a hardcore punk band based in Turin, Italy during the 1980s and early 1990s.

In 1987 he became vocalist and lyricist with Napalm Death, recording one and a half albums with them, namely the second side of Scum and the whole From Enslavement to Obliteration album. During his time in the band, they were majorly championed by John Peel and recorded two sessions for his Radio One show. The band also made several significant TV appearances on BBC shows such as Snub TV, [5] Arena [6] and children's music show What's That Noise? They also appeared on the front cover of NME, [7] which was the inspiration to the lyrics of a song "No Mental Effort". This track appeared on Dorrian's final recording with Napalm Death, on the Mentally Murdered EP. To coincide with its release in 1989, friend Peel had helped to arrange a slot for them at Reading Festival. Unfortunately, the appearance had to be cancelled as Dorrian left the band due to disillusionment following their tour of Japan in July of that year. [8]

<i>Scum</i> (Napalm Death album) 1987 studio album by Napalm Death

Scum is the debut studio album by English grindcore band Napalm Death. It was released on 1 July 1987 through Earache Records.

<i>From Enslavement to Obliteration</i> album

From Enslavement to Obliteration is the second studio album by grindcore band Napalm Death, released in 1988. It is the final studio album with vocalist Lee Dorrian and guitarist Bill Steer, and the first to feature bassist Shane Embury, the band's longest-tenured member. A remastered version was released on 2 April 2012.

John Peel English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist

John Robert Parker Ravenscroft,, known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004.

Whilst still a member of Napalm Death, Dorrian founded his own record label, Rise Above Records in 1988. Initially intended as a means to get him off the dole, Rise Above was kick-started as part of the Enterprise Allowance Scheme. His main aim was to release a few hardcore punk 7" singles in extremely limited runs, just for fun. [9] However, the label went from strength to strength and is today one of the most revered underground independent record labels in existence. Some of the artists that Dorrian has introduced to the world via Rise Above Records include Ghost, Electric Wizard, Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, Circulus, Blood Ceremony and many more. [10]

Rise Above Records London, England based independent record label

Rise Above Records is a London, England based independent record label owned by Lee Dorrian.

The Enterprise Allowance Scheme was an initiative set up by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative UK government which gave a guaranteed income of £40 per week to unemployed people who set up their own business. It was first announced on 13 November 1981, and piloted between January 1982 and July 1983, funding 3,331 individuals. Introduced nationwide in 1983 against a background of mass unemployment in Britain, it went on to fund 325,000 people, including Creation Records head Alan McGee; Superdry founder Julian Dunkerton; artist Tracey Emin and the founders of Viz magazine. Anyone wishing to claim money under the scheme was required to fund the first £1000 out of their own funds, and also to produce a basic business plan.

Ghost (Swedish band) Swedish heavy metal band

Ghost is a Swedish rock band that was formed in Linköping, Sweden in 2006. In 2010, they released a 3-track demo followed by a 7" vinyl titled "Elizabeth", and later their debut full-length album Opus Eponymous. The Grammis-nominated album was widely praised and significantly increased their popularity. Their second album and major label debut Infestissumam was released in 2013, debuted at number one in Sweden, and won the Grammis Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Album. The band released their third studio album, Meliora, in 2015, to much critical acclaim and high record sales, reaching number one in their home country of Sweden, and number eight in the United States. Its lead single, "Cirice", earned them the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance. The band released their fourth studio album, Prequelle, in 2018.

Later in 1989, Dorrian formed doom metal band Cathedral, releasing their debut album Forest of Equilibrium in 1991. The album is considered a genuine cult classic and a cornerstone in the evolution of the genre. [11] Cathedral existed as a band for over 23 years before deciding to call it a day in 2012, ahead of releasing their final album The Last Spire in 2013. [12] During their lengthy career, they played as main support to Black Sabbath on their Cross Purposes tour in 1994. [13] As a result, the band became friendly with Tony Iommi, which led to him making a very rare guest appearance on Cathedral's 1995 album The Carnival Bizarre. [14]

Doom metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music that typically uses slower tempos, low-tuned guitars and a much "thicker" or "heavier" sound than other heavy metal genres. Both the music and the lyrics intend to evoke a sense of despair, dread, and impending doom. The genre is strongly influenced by the early work of Black Sabbath, who formed a prototype for doom metal with songs such as "Black Sabbath", "Children of the Grave", "Electric Funeral" and "Into the Void". During the first half of the 1980s, a number of bands from England, the United States and Sweden defined doom metal as a distinct genre.

<i>Forest of Equilibrium</i> 1991 studio album by Cathedral

Forest of Equilibrium is the debut album of the British doom metal band Cathedral, released in 1991 on Earache Records. It is considered a classic of its genre, doom metal. Forest of Equilibrium was notably inducted into Decibel Magazine's Hall of Fame in February 2006 being the 12th inductee for the Decibel Hall of Fame.

<i>The Last Spire</i> 2013 studio album by Cathedral

The Last Spire is the tenth studio album by the British doom metal band Cathedral. Intended by the band as their farewell album, it was released in April 2013 on Rise Above Records and Metal Blade Records. The album was praised for returning the band to its doom roots, with Nick Green of Decibel Magazine observing that "few bands get to write their own epitaphs in such vivid, exacting terms".

In 1995, Dorrian collaborated with Italian occultist musician Paul Chain, with whom he co-wrote four songs which appeared on the Alkahest album. [15] He appeared as vocalist/lyricist in extreme doom project Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, featuring members of Sunn O))) and Iron Monkey, releasing the one-off album 'Rampton' in 2002. [16] In 2003, he appeared on the Probot album, which was curated by his old friend and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. [17]

Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine is an English drone doom supergroup, formed in 2001 with musicians from other metal bands.

Sunn O))) American band

Sunn O))) is an American experimental metal band from Seattle, Washington, that formed in 1998. The band is known for an extremely heavy sound that blends diverse genres including drone, black metal, dark ambient, and noise rock, and for very loud live performances. Supported by a varying cast of collaborators, the band was formed by two core members: Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson.

Iron Monkey (band)

Iron Monkey is a sludge metal band that formed in Nottingham, England in 1994. The original members were Justin Greaves, Johnny Morrow (vocals), Jim Rushby, Steve Watson and Doug Dalziel. The group's sound was influenced by the doom metal and sludge metal genres and in particular by bands such as Grief, Black Sabbath and Eyehategod.

Dorrian is currently a member of With the Dead, [18] in which he is joined by former Electric Wizard bassist Tim Bagshaw, along with former Cathedral bassist Leo Smee and former Bolt Thrower drummer Alex Thomas. Their self-titled debut album was released on Rise Above Records in October 2015. [19]

Dorrian first used an extreme and ferocious death grunt style of vocal mixed with hardcore screaming in Napalm Death, but later adopted a cleaner and more varied style with Cathedral. [20]

He presented an award to Napalm Death at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards 2007. [21]

Lee Dorrian has appeared on the British television show Never Mind the Buzzcocks as a guest in the line-up round. [22] The round followed a short video segment of Dorrian performing with Napalm Death.


He cited among others Cal from Discharge and Sakevi Yokoyama from GISM. [23]


Napalm Death


Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine

Septic Tank

With The Dead


Erased – Symbol of Life Paradise Lost Guest Backing Vocals2002
Ice Cold Man - Probot ProbotGuest Vocals2004

Related Research Articles

Earache Records is an independent record label, music publisher and management company founded by Digby Pearson, based in Nottingham, England with offices in London and New York. It helped to pioneer extreme metal by releasing early grindcore and death metal records between 1988 and 1994. The label roster has since diversified into more mainstream guitar music, working with bands such as Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement, Blackberry Smoke and The White Buffalo. The company also hosted the 'Earache Express' stage at Glastonbury Festival in 2017 and will be hosting 'The Earache Factory' at Boomtown Fair 2018.

Barney Greenway British extreme metal vocalist

Mark Andrew "Barney" Greenway is a British extreme metal vocalist, who is currently the lead vocalist of Napalm Death, and was formerly a member of Extreme Noise Terror, and Benediction.

Justin Broadrick Record producer, musician, singer

Justin Karl Michael Broadrick is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer. He is best known as a founding member of the band Godflesh, one of the first bands to combine elements of extreme metal and industrial music. He was briefly in the English grindcore band Napalm Death when he was a teenager in the mid-1980s, writing and recording guitar for Side One of Napalm Death's debut album, Scum. Broadrick has also maintained a parallel career as a producer, producing records and remixes for groups such as Pantera, Isis, Mogwai and Hydra Head labelmates Pelican. Since 2012, he has been releasing hard techno music under the solo moniker JK Flesh. Broadrick has set up record labels such as HeadDirt, Avalanche Recordings, Post Mortem Productions, Lo Fibre and Heartache.

<i>Come My Fanatics…</i> 1997 studio album by Electric Wizard

Come My Fanatics… is the second studio album by English heavy metal band Electric Wizard. The album was released in January 1997 on Rise Above Records and was produced by Rolf Startin, Mike Hurst and band member Jus Oborn. It was the group's follow-up to their eponymous album Electric Wizard. Oborn described the release as a reaction to the music on the earlier album, which he had felt was not as heavy as he wanted the group to sound. The songs on Come My Fanatics… were described by Lee Dorrian, Rise Above Records owner, as breaking from the traditional doom metal style, with an unpolished and chaotic approach.

<i>Noise for Musics Sake</i> 2003 compilation album by Napalm Death

Noise for Music's Sake is a double-disc compilation by British band Napalm Death. It was released on 8 July 2003 on Earache Records. This album is a retrospective of the band's entire career. The first disc is a best-of compilation; the second disc contains rarities. The booklet includes 20 pages with interviews of band members Shane Embury and Mark "Barney" Greenway. It also includes a guide to all the songs from the second disc, and a complete "Family Tree" detailing every person who was ever in the band.

<i>The Carnival Bizarre</i> 1995 studio album by Cathedral

The Carnival Bizarre is the third album by British doom metal band Cathedral, released in September 1995 through Earache.

<i>Supernatural Birth Machine</i> 1996 studio album by Cathedral

Supernatural Birth Machine is the fourth album of British doom metal band Cathedral, released in October 1996 by Earache.

<i>Caravan Beyond Redemption</i> 1998 studio album by Cathedral

Caravan Beyond Redemption is the fifth album of British doom metal band Cathedral, released on 6 December 1998 by Earache.

<i>Pre-Electric Wizard 1989–1994</i> 2006 compilation album by Electric Wizard

Pre-Electric Wizard 1989–1994 is a compilation of songs featuring Electric Wizard frontman Jus Oborn with his previous band, which changed its name twice.

Sub Templum is an album by British doom metal band Moss. Released in 2008, it is their first for Rise Above Records and second overall. It was produced by Electric Wizard guitarist/vocalist Jus Oborn, and it features 4 songs, two of which are over 20 minutes in length.

<i>The Guessing Game</i> 2010 studio album by Cathedral

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.

The discography of the English doom metal band Cathedral consists of ten studio albums, eight EPs, a number of singles, one live album and two collections. Led by ex-Napalm Death vocalist Lee Dorrian, the band was signed to Earache Records in 1991. They briefly switched to Spitfire Records in 2002 and released The VIIth Coming. Later, they switched to Nuclear Blast and released two more studio albums. Cathedral's final album, The Last Spire was released through Dorrian's own label, Rise Above.

<i>With the Dead</i> English band

With the Dead are an English doom metal supergroup founded in 2014 by Tim Bagshaw, Mark Greening and Lee Dorrian.


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