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My Dying Bride - 34.788%...Complete CD (album) cover

34.788%...COMPLETE

My Dying Bride

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.65 | 42 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "34.788%...Complete" is the 5th full-length studio album by UK doom/death metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released through Peaceville Records in October 1998. Itīs the successor to "Like Gods of the Sun" from 1996 and features a couple of lineup changes since the predecessor as drummer Rick Miah has been replaced by Bill Law and keyboard player/violinist Martin Powell has also left. Powell has not been replaced and the keyboards featured on "34.788%...Complete" are therefore performed by engineer Keith Appleton and producer Robert "Mags" Magoolagan. "34.788%...Complete" is the first My Dying Bride album to not feature violin.

Stylistically the material on "34.788%...Complete" is quite different from the melancholic gothic tinged doom metal style of "Like Gods of the Sun (1996)", and itīs not just the lack of sad violin parts which make the two albums very different listening experiences. Itīs obvious from listening to "34.788%...Complete" that My Dying Bride at this point felt a need to experiment with their sound to prevent stagnation, and experiment they do. The basis of the music is still heavy riffs and rhythms and in that respect "34.788%...Complete" is a doom metal album. Aaron Stainthorpe still only performs clean vocals, but his vocals are more varied here than on the preceding releases. Sometimes Iīm reminded of Nick Cave ("Heroin Chic"), but Stainthorpe also performs his usual gothic tinged dark vocals.

Itīs in the songwriting department that there have been most changes, and the band now add semi-progressive ideas and avant garde tinged moments to their doom metal. The 11:59 minutes long "The Whore, the Cook and the Mother" which opens the album is one of the tracks on the album most similiar to what came before in terms of being a heavy and epic doom metal track (although keyboards are used a bit more than what weīve been used to from the band on past releases). The atmospheric part in the middle of the track is one of the most beautiful melancholic sections in the bandīs discography, and the most beautiful thing about it is how simple it is. A very simple acoustic guitar melody with underlying atmosphere enhancing keyboards and spoken words and samples. The spoken word part is similar in style to the replicant interrogation method from the sci-fi movie "Blade Runner (1982)", with the interogator asking questions in Cantonese and Stainthorpe answering in English. Itīs one of the highlights of the album and one of the standout tracks in the bandīs discograpy.

The remaining tracks donīt reach the heights of the opener though, and although they arenīt bad quality material, the highligts are few and far between. "Heroin Chic" stands out as itīs a very different sounding track, with the use of electronics, female vocals, some dark and sexually themed lyrics, and the above mentioned Nick Cave influenced vocals by Stainthorpe, but Iīm not sure I would call it great. Itīs just...different. Some of the other tracks have moments here and there which are intriguing enough, but none of them stand out as anything special.

"34.788%...Complete" features a detailed, powerful, and well sounding production job, and the sound production suits the material well. Thereīs no arguing that "34.788%...Complete" is the odd one out in the bandīs discography (along with "Evinta (2011)"), but personally I think it was a bold move by the band to create something this different after achieving great success with the gothic tinged doom metal style of the two direct predecessors. It shows how uncompromising My Dying Bride are and have always been, and although "34.788%...Complete" isnīt the greatest album of their career and some songwriting ideas work better than others (if anything make sure you give "The Whore, the Cook and the Mother" a listen), I still think itīs an interesting release and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 3/5 |

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