My Dying Bride do what My Dying Bride do, with only a little variation. You never approach each release like you do with many other Metal bands, you know what you will be getting pretty much, it is just the quality that varies. I am not making this statement in a negative way whatsoever, mainly because it is welcome to have bands that don’t rock the boat stylistically AND especially when the level of said quality is either good or really fucking good! My Dying Bride are definitely in this category.
The last full length record, “A Map Of All Our Failures” and the following EP (from the same recording sessions), “The Manuscript”, were both incredible. Not only were they doomy, miserable and hopeless, as you’d expect, they also attained a level of beauty and elegance that the band hadn’t quite reached in a long time.
You’ll be very pleased to know that “Feel The Misery” is as good, if not slightly better. Of course, you have to invest time in it over repeated listens to digest it and fully immerse yourself within the eight songs and hour of music.
Opening with one of the darkest and heaviest songs of the bands career is a wonderful move and takes you through many sections, tempos and moods. ‘And My Father Left Forever’ would be a great way to introduce a newcomer to My Dying Bride material also.
Even higher in quality but far less accessible is ‘To Shiver In Empty Halls’. Vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe employs his Death Metal style growl here as well his melancholic baritone and some poetic whispering, giving you a run through his full repertoire. He really is one of the most unique frontmen in Metal still active today.
This record marks the return of founding member, Calvin Robertshaw and his guitar playing, intertwined with mainstay and chief songwriter, Andrew Craighan brings together one of the finest guitar duo’s this side of Aedy and Mackintosh. On the breathtakingly sublime, ‘A Cold New Curse’, the melodies overlap and hypnotise.
Lead single, ‘Feel The Misery’ (which has a fantastic promo clip), is the weakest track but not one that you’d ever want to skip as its place in the albums continuity is important.
It is always an exciting discovery and certainly one that definitely shows a bands level of songwriting prowess when the latter half of a record is the better. That is the case here, most definitely. ‘I Celebrate Your Skin’ and ‘I Almost Loved You’ are absolute masterworks and as clear as sign as any that even here, on album number thirteen, the well is far from dry.
Yorkshire really has given us some wonderful Metal over the years and My Dying Bride are a huge part of that. Long may they continue to find inspiration from grey and bleak moors from which they come.