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

AS THE FLOWER WITHERS

My Dying Bride

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.50 | 34 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Sothoth
3 stars Back in 1992, hearing such a bleak, sad and beautiful intro track like Silent Dance would cause me to assume one thing...that I'm about to be bombarded with blastbeats, guitars roaring in low C and ogres growling about feasting on humans. A good portion of death metal albums had that sort of "intro" situation going on:

Intro starts..."wow this sounds like it's going to be a dark gothic ambient album." Intro ends, death metal starts..."Whoa! Never saw that coming...this is a really loud album after all!"

This album genuinely surprised me in that the first 'main' song, Sear Me, starts off with a sluggish drum beat before morose guitar melodies shamble in to join the sorrow. The vocals are pretty much death growls throughout the album, and there are some blastbeats found periodically in some of these tracks, including Sear Me. The band was considered part of a doom/goth metal revival, but personally I would consider this particular effort more of an avante garde death metal album due to retaining many aspects of typical death metal while adding a lot of strange and interesting things to the mix.

The use of violins, keyboards and even woodwinds really helps provide an extra layer of atmosphere during the slower sections, particularly that oboe in The Return Of The Beautiful which just sounds utterly suicidal and depressed. The lyrics are better written than the vast majority of other death metal lyrics in the early 90s, which really isn't saying much, but it does add to the avante garde effect.

There's variety to these compositions and they are structured quite well, although a couple of 'fast drumming parts' seemed added just to remind the listener that My Dying Bride is still a death metal band. The Forever People is a straight up death metal song which was kind of a cool bridge between the gloomier Sear Me and the apt titled The Bitterness & The Bereavement.

It's definitely a noteworthy album as it helped kickstart a whole new generation of doom metal escapades, although with Aaron primarily just growling throughout this album, it's more pf an acquired taste than some of their later offerings where 'clean' singing becomes the dominant voice of the material.

Prog Sothoth | 3/5 |

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