Wednesday, October 17, 2012
My Dying Bride : a Map of all our Failures
With My Dying Bride you should know what you are in for...frilly shirtd melodramatic goth metal. Now do you find that entertaining? If not go check out my Neurosis interview for burly man doom. I can get down with a girly adolescent vampire novel or two so let's proceed.
From the opener "Kneel til doomsday" we get church bells toiling and the melancholy menace though things pick where I suppose the chorus should be but My Dying Bride has a fluid style of riff blending that doesn't really follow typical song structure and feels ,ore like movements that verse chorus framework. They pick up the pace from the funeral dirge doom tempo into a gallop and even revving up into a last beat so they are aware it's 2012 and Black metal has become a thing since they released "Turn loose the swans".
The harsh vocals show up on the first track but the album as whole is sung in the baritone goth moan.
"the Poorest Waltz" drops back to the dreary pace you expect from these guys, however the melody on the verse I very catchy and doesn't follow the typical phrasing I except from long time vocalist Aaron Stainthrope. Though he does fall back on the typical lamentations on " a Tapestry scorned". The growls on this one don't do anything to add to the song and the god forsaken spoken word moments make it sound like a book on tape only the drums try to redeem this one.
"Like a Perpetual funeral" starts off like typical doom metal and opens up for the vocals to carry the verse with sparse accompaniment. The drummer is the bands secret weapon so not sure why he sits the first half of this one out, when he comes back in to provide a enough of a back bone for the vocals to sit against. The song builds into a wandering guitar solo but the vocal refrain is a nice touch.
On the title track I began to take note of the fact the guitar tone on this album is a lot cleaner , more like funeral doom that relying on distortion. Here it makes the verses more haunting and the more spoken sections of vocals aren't as annoying here for some reason.
"Hail Odysseus" feels like an awkward misstep when it goes into the more death metal section. Aaron's growls no longer convince me of any menace or darkness and the Gilligans island lyrical conent doesnt warrant the delivery nor the chants which do ork with the guitar accents and grew on me after repeat listens .
It feels like "in the Prescence of Abscence" is the first song where The violin caught my ear on this. This one goes the way of the weep with the drums lingering oppressively behind and pausing for fills. The drone is established in the first three minutes.
Though this one grew on me over time as well. "Abandoned as Christ" just feels better even though it's more of the same from these guys and the lyrics are the albums best.
Overall the changes made as a whole don't shake the boat too much and fall into a color by numbers of what the band does and is good at, even among fans of modern doom this is ong be an acquired taste despite what the band has done to pave the way for what we call funeral doom, the book on tape drama can be a little much so I will give this one a 7.5 with room to grow on so by the time I do my best of we will see if it moved up into an eight and the "abandoned as christ" song is so good I want to give it an eight for that alone.
While metal heads are notorious for not wanting bands to change, some of the lulls of this album are when the band falls back on the same weary doom riffs from the early nineties this burdens Stainthrope with having to carry the songs and while his voice is unique he can all to often default his bleating pleas.