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My Dying Bride - Like Gods of the Sun CD (album) cover

LIKE GODS OF THE SUN

My Dying Bride

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.91 | 24 ratings

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Prog Sothoth
2 stars When I purchased this album soon after its release, after the first listen I could only assume that Aaron Stainthorpe had ditched the death metal growls for good, as the band had evolved into a full fledged gothic metal group at this point. There's more punch to this album than the previous release musically, with some double bass pummeling to boot, but the tempos still tend to lumber around like some dude leaving a goth club after failing to catch the fancy of that elusive Winona Ryder lookalike. The song lengths are shorter, but still occasionally plod along well after their worth, beating reasonably good ideas into the dirt.

The overwhelming mopey feeling I get listening to this might have been by the band's design, but combined with ennui is not what I consider time well spent. The production saves some of these tunes by being crisp while retaining a heavy atmosphere, with some good crunch on the guitars and the drums mixed powerfully while not being to upfront, but man does a song like "Grace Unhearing" bog me down without at least possessing an eerie aura.

There are a few good tracks though, the most memorable to me being the truly atmospheric ballad "For My Fallen Angel". It's morose as hell, but quite gorgeous, with a crestfallen Aaron's spoken word performance lingering amongst an ambient blend of sorrowful violins and synths utilized perfectly to create a sense of despair with no percussion intrusions. "For You" is another of their more mellow tracks, at least during the verses, and combined with the gothic vocal delivery works quite well. "All Swept Away" provides some much needed 'oomph' to the proceedings and "The Dark Caress' does a great job musically adapting to the lyrics, which are among the band's best in my opinion.

Unfortunately for my tastes, the rest of the album can be an unmitigated chore to endure to an extent that I can't stand to listen to this whole thing. Before subjecting myself to this in its entirety, I had no qualms with the lack of death growling since Aaron's singing was suitably gloomy and distinct, but after hearing this I was actually missing that 'extreme' factor and wanted to throw on one of their early EPs just to give me a much needed jolt. My Dying Bride, as it eventually turned out, would bring back the growls and that sense of utter doom that some of their earlier output exhibited so convincingly. It's tough to give a low rating for an album that isn't bereft of quality tracks, including a genuine keeper in "For My Fallen Angel", but there's just too much dreck to sift through to enjoy these few gems as an album-listening experience.

Prog Sothoth | 2/5 |

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