My Dying Bride are a doom metal quartet from Bradford, England. They formed in the 90’s and have released 11 full length albums. They have a special distinction of being called the “Peaceville Three”, sharing the moniker with Anathema and Paradise Lost, all of whom were signed to Peaceville Records concurrently. We have Aaron Stainthorpe on lead vocal duties, alternating between clean singing and gut-wrenching growls. Andrew Cragian and Calvin Robertshaw handle guitar duties, with grooves provided by the rhythm section made up of Lena Abe on bass, and Dan Mullins on drums performing as an adjunct member live. To round it all off, they have Shaun MacGowan on violin and keyboards.
Their latest excursion on the doom metal trail, titled ‘Feel the Misery’, opens up with “And My Father Felt Forever” that absolutely rips the mosh-pit open from the word go. Blast beats are sure to start circle pits till the verse kicks in, and a well-done tremolo-styled guitar-picking technique takes us into a soulful ode-style vocal delivery. Bringing the signature doom metal ethos to the game, “To Shiver In Empty Halls” introduces the menacing growls and haunting guitar harmonies. The soothing bridge with emphasized leads on the keyboard introduces an interesting dynamic. To summarize, this track could be one of the epics in their discography.
“A Cold New Curse” is still in the same vein as the previous track, but makes intelligent use of melodies and gives the track a gothic feel. “Feel The Misery” is identical in many ways, with some clichéd use of a marching-band drum beat and some doomy riffs. Although I must say, that the singing does get tiring and monotone by the fourth track. I started to wonder if there is anything else on this record to chew on.
“A Thorn Of Wisdom” marks the shift that I was looking for, with an eased-out approach to songwriting and a lot more emphasis on atmosphere and melody. “I Almost Loved You” is in a similar tone, so much so that I could picture myself coming home after a tiring day and just relax to this particular track. “I Celebrate Your Skin” and “Within A Sleeping Forest” did not do a lot for me since I got the feeling that some of the riffs were marginally uninspired and forced in some way.
My Dying Bride are a solid band, with legions of fans and a great reputation within the sub-genre of Doom Metal. Having said that, this type of music does get typecast a lot for using slower tempos, lower tunings and uninspired melodies at certain junctures. But for the people who like this kind of music, those are all the things that make this band dear to them. As a record, this is not quite up to the mark, as there may have been some ideas that could be explored further but were just left half-empty.