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My Dying Bride - As The Flower Withers CD (album) cover


My Dying Bride


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.65 | 48 ratings

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3 stars As The Flower Withers is the debut full-length studio album by UK doom/ death metal act My Dying Bride. The band had been signed to the Peaceville Records label on the grounds of their now rare God Is Alone (1991) EP and subsequently released the classic Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium EP in 1992. As The Flower Withers would see My Dying Bride proving that they had what it took to make a full album of quality material.

I remember listening to As The Flower Withers with a friend in his room back in 1992. He had the album on LP and I was imidiately sold to the extremely heavy, dark and melancholic music that hit me when he put that LP on. I got a cassette copy I listened to for a couple of months until I had money enough to buy my own copy ( yep I went to secondary school in those days and the purchase of just one album meant hard work). It was actually one of my very first ( if not the first) CD purchases as I had been a vinyl only man ( well boy to be exact) up until then. So thereīs kind of a nostalgic feeling that clings to this CD for me.

The music on the album is doom/ death metal. The foundation of extremely heavy distorted guitars and a slow and heavy rythm section is complimented by growling vocals and the excellent choice of adding a violin to some of the songs. The atmosphere is gloomy and melancholic and Aaron Stainthorpeīs poetic lyrics really add to the dark experience ( some might find them pretentious but I think they suit the music well). As it turns out the album is a bit of a mixed bag for me though. There are 7 tracks on the album and only 4 of them really make my blood boil. The classical intro track Silent Dance is the perfect entrance to the album. Just beautiful. Then comes Sear Me which is a classic in My Dying Brideīs discography. Itīs such an epic and majestic track that one. I still get goosebumps everytime I listen to that song. The Forever People follows and itīs with songs like this that the album fails to captivate me. Itīs a pretty standard mid-paced death metal track and if I want to listen to something like that I can think of a dozen other bands who write and play that type of music much more convincingly. The two other tracks in this vein on the album are Erotic Literature and Vast Choirs. The latter mentioned also appeared in a premature version on the Towards the Sinister (1990) demo. Iīm not sure but I seem to remember that Erotic Literature was a CD bonus track which didnīt appear on the original LP. Donīt hang me if itīs wrong though. None of the three more regular doom/ death metal tracks are bad but they are sub par to the rest of the songs on the album. Out of the 7 tracks on the album I guess I only lack to mention The Bitterness & The Bereavement and The Return Of The Beautiful. In addition to Sear Me those two are the highlights on the album. Crushingly heavy, dark, melancholic and epic sounding doom/ death metal tracks. And again that violin just puts the icing on the cake.

The production is good for the time. Heavy and dark.

Iīm a bit biased towards As The Flower Withers because of the three sub par tracks and I canīt bring myself to give the full 4 star rating here even though I greatly enjoy the rest of the album. So for now a 3.5 star rating will do ( I might upgrade this to a 4 star rating in time). Itīs certainly a classic album but not exactly a flawless one when I listen to it with todayīs ears.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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