|4.9 (4 votes):|
“Beast broken by time… “
Along Paradise Lost and Anathema, My Dying Bride stands as a monolith in the UK doom metal triumvirate in the early nineties paving the way into a new subgenre which those three would be best known for.
Although Paradise Lost and Anathema jump the shark into new genres as the ill wind of the 90s blows, My Dying Bride stood their ground in the genre, not without some changes early in their discography with As Flowers Whiter and Turn Loose the Swans with more sophisticated song structure and vocals.
The evolution continued with the eerie Angel and The Dark River to the gothic metal Bible Like Gods of the Sun which is pretty much a blueprint in how to record one.
Despite subtle changes (if we don’t count the underrated %3347 Complete) the band’s sound stayed unchanged but after albums like the Light at The End of The World and The Dreadful Hours; creative speedbumps are inevitable which continued during the 2000s.
Skip to 2012s A Map of all our Failures and Feel the Misery from 2015, it seems that the Bride got their groove back, along with some familiar faces like Calvin Robertshaw returning to the band the same year.
But, as life imitates art, the next 5 years of the band had not been fortuitous, Calvin again left the group in 2018 and more frightening, Aaron’s daughter got gravely ill, which luckily had recovered in the same year. The moment the band regrouped, their drummer at the time Shaun Taylor-Steels leaved the band as well, who was later replaced with Paradise Lost’s past drummer Jeff Singer.
Nevertheless, besides all setbacks, this may be the best Bride album in the last 20 years.
For the first time in many years, Andrew stands alone on the guitar section and it works so well in its simplify and groove that you wished that this way stays for now on. With Shaun’s violin you simply know that this is the Bride sound, just more mature and self-confident in its son structure.
Starting with the standout track Your Broken Shore which also features Aarons most sincere vocals as well as best growls in a very long time. It has been said that he had huge problems in recording booth, but in the album there is no snippet of that sign.
Jeff Singer on the drums blends well with the rest of the band and still adds its own rhythmic style that was maybe needed for this album to end up the way it is. It simply has more drive to it, the songs do not drag on even in a second, which is a common problem in any doom metal album. Sooner or later in the album you would be like the guys in Monty Pythons Holy Grail.
But not in this album.
One of personal favourites and quite interesting song for the band is The Solace, which features Lindy Fay Hella of Wardruna with hauntingly simple guitars passages that blends so beautify with her vocals that I’m one click away from starting a petition that Andrew and her start a side project.
Like the mentioned songs, they all in a way are quite basic but in this album’s case “less is so much more”. It’s hauntingly impactful and just has you in its groove till the end of the record. Best example is The Long Black Land which has this simple rhythm and its varieties which drives for 10 minutes but works in so many ways and has one the best closing parts that band has ever written.
Main candidates for Doom album of the year?
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