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My Dying Bride - The Dreadful Hours CD (album) cover


My Dying Bride


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.12 | 60 ratings

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4 stars "The Dreadful Hours" is the 7th full-length studio album by UK doom/death metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released through Peaceville Records in November 2001. Itīs the successor to "The Light at the End of the World" from 1999 and features one lineup change since the predecessor as My Dying Bride is again a quintet with the addition of second guitarist Hamish Hamilton Glencross (formerly of Seer's Tear and Solstice).

Stylistically the material on "The Dreadful Hours" is heavy and melancholic doom/death metal. Lead vocalist Aaron Stainthorpeīs vocal style varies between clean and often subdued melancholic vocals and death metal growling. Thereīs good variation between slow heavy melodic riffing and mid-paced more energetic riffs. The music is generally dynamic in nature featuring both quiet parts and more loud aggressive parts. The melancholic gloomy atmosphere is always the focal point of the compositions though. The violin which was such a big part of the bandīs early releases, hasnīt been part of the bandīs sound for a couple of albums now and "The Dreadful Hours" continues the more synth/keyboard laden sound of those albums. The band use string synth sounds to compensate for the lack of violin, and it actually works really well.

The songs are structurally intriguing and generally very well written. But that probably doesnīt come as a surprise if you are familiar with the earlier material by the band. My Dying Bride have always composed unconventionally structured track. The 70 minutes long album features 8 tracks. The first 7 tracks are new compositions while the 8th track on the album is a re-recording of "The Return of the Beautiful", which was originally featured on the 1992 "As the Flower Withers" debut album by My Dying Bride. The band change the song towards the end but otherwise the version on this album pretty much sticks to the original. The dynamic and beautiful album opening title track is definitely one of the highlights of the album, but "The Dreadful Hours" is a consistently high quality release, and thereīs not a single sub par moment on the album.

"The Dreadful Hours" features a defined, powerful, and detailed sound production, which suits the material perfectly. Itīs a less dark and heavy sound production compared to the sound production on the direct predecessor, but it suits the dynamic nature of the music well. Upon conclusion "The Dreadful Hours" is one of the strongest releases in the bandīs discography. It may not be as groundbreaking as some of their early releases, but the songwriting is top notch, the performances are tight and adventurous, and the sound production professional and well sounding. Simply put, this is through and through a high quality release and a 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

UMUR | 4/5 |


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