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

THE DREADFUL HOURS

My Dying Bride

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars For a long time I've been undecided towards this MDB album. The first three songs on the album are easily the best they've ever recorded, but somehow the remainder of the album didn't convince me at all. A couple of years and a few visits later and I find myself scratching my head to remember any reason why I would have thought so. The intensity drops a notch after the blasting start but the quality never drops below good.

The Dreadful Hours continues along the lines of the previous album and confirms MDB's confidence to mix all aspects of their sound into steaming dark symphonies. If I would have to build a case to get MDB on PA then this would be the album of choice. The songs have become intricate progressive compositions that equally touch their symphonic, melodic, experimental and dark metal sides. The music flows and develops naturally, starting from point A and ending somewhere further down the alphabet while covering at least a dozen other vowels on their way. The playing and arrangements have never been better. Especially the orchestral keyboards stand out. There are few metal bands with more tasty keys then MDB.

Naturally, at 70 minutes it's at least 15 minutes too long, but the last track is a re-recording of an old classic and can be regarded as some kind of fan bonus. Merely looking at the 56 minutes of original material, I can safely say that this would be an MDB album that comes with the high recommendations from me. The first three tracks specifically are masterpieces!

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#282786)
Posted Thursday, May 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars After the succesful The light.. from 1999, previous album, the band keeping the same attitude with their new release, then , from 2001 named The dreadfull hours. The line up and musical arrangements are on same level like on previous rlease, but this time, at least to me are less convinceing, less adventurous, all are good, but as a whole something is missing. I simply loved The light album and the come back after deseppointing 34,788:Complete, this time they keep the flag high, a return to form after some electronic moments, My Dying Bride have again a good album in their pockets, but the arrangements in some places are dull, good but without that shiny moments from previous album. The album starts good, with a plus on Le Figlie Della Tempesta, great tune, the rest are ok, nothing realy impressive, at least to my ears but good for sure. The vocal arrangements are again very complex and very fine moments indeed here, ranges from melancholic and profound tone to a typical black-metal screaming and, even further, to a pure death-metal growling- harsh and evil- underlining the heaviest passages of the music. This also goes from acoustic parts with an excellent bass working of Adrian Craighan to rotten and heavy death-metal riffing to piano introductions. A quite good release by the band, but I prefer the previous album much more. The best I can give is 3 stars, maybe in places 3.5 but to me is less intristing then The light for ex. Very good band that with each album, gained more and more listners.

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Send comments to b_olariu (BETA) | Report this review (#390688)
Posted Monday, January 31, 2011 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "The Dreadful Hours" is the 7th full-length studio album by UK doom/ death metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released in November 2001 by Peaceville Records.

My Dying Bride pretty much continue the doom/ death metal style of the last album "The Light at the End of the World (1999)" on "The Dreadful Hours". I'd say there's a more dominant goth influence here compared to "The Light at the End of the World", but the music is still predominantly doom/ death metal. Aaron Stainthorpe's vocal style varies between clean melancholic vocals and growls. There's good variation between slow heavy melodic riffing and mid-paced more energetic riffs. The melancholic gloomy atmosphere is always the focal point of the compositions though. The violin which was such a big part of the band's early releases, hasn't been part of the band's sound for a couple of albums now and "The Dreadful Hours" continues the more synth/ keyboard laden sound of those albums.

The songs are structurally intriguing and generally very well written. But that probably doesn't come as a surprise if you are familiar with the earlier material by the band. 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. Out of the remaining 7 tracks it's especially the opening title track that impresses me. The quality is high throughout, but the songwriting and the sound is maybe a bit too "safe" and tried at this point.

Overall "The Dreadful Hours" is another quality doom/ death metal release by My Dying Bride. They may not invent the wheel on this album and ultimately it's not among their strongest releases, but when you have such a strong signature sound as My Dying Bride do, even the least remarkable albums are a recommended listen. A 3.5 star rating is deserved.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#449280)
Posted Wednesday, May 18, 2011 | Review Permalink
EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 8/10

"The Dreadful Hours" is the soundtrack to the last moments before a storm of evil washes away all hope.

My Dying Bride's last great album so far, "The Dreadful Hours", was yet another release that had strong roots attached to the conventional Death Doom Metal style, giving it however a twist of uniqueness that is only of this album. Followed by a decent return-to-old-style sort of album ("The Light at The End Of the World"), this 2001 release manages to become one of the key albums of the band's discography and of Death Doom Metal in general.

The unique twists are a few: the use of a clean atmosphere smothered in various effects is much more prominent, and is very often a great part of a composition; it wouldn't be surprising if the band picked up a bit of Post-Rock during the period this album was being recorded. The alternative moments to these, which obviously are the Doomy ones, are relatively much more fast paced (much alike "Light at The End Of the World") than other works of the band; the vocals are more tended towards Black Metal-ish shrieks, when they don't have the plaintive, clean nature Aaron Stainthorpe usually delivers. There also seems to be a larger use of keyboards, really great additions to especially the more atmospheric passages.

The themes presented in "The Dreadful Hours" are very similar to the ones we find in other My Dying Bride lyrics: a strong presence of God ( a savior or condemner?), as well as the figure of a poisonous, life-sucking woman who often symbolizes some deeper allegories; in other examples, she is simply an object of desire for the persona, who feels a suffered love for her. Among the lyrical highlights, the title track is about an infant as it is rejected by the parents, while "Le Figlie Della Tempesta" describes?once again?a divine female character that disillusions and tricks people with lies. "the Return to The Beautiful" has the longest and possibly most challenging lyrics of the album, with it's brief, enigmatic Latin phrases and again an evident theme of deception, darkness, but also irresistible beauty.

Even with one hour and ten minutes of total length time, "The Dreadful Hours" rarely loses its impact, starting from the first episode, the title track: a two minute, atmospheric Post Rock/Metal kind of passage opens up to another one of a relatively faster pace for My Dying Bride, binging in memorable riffs and vocals. "Le Figlie Della Tempesta" is another great highlight, with pretty much the same structure of the previously mentioned track, but perhaps darker, more desolate, and more tense; the calmer moments remind of a storm coming towards the listener's way. "Black Heart Romance" is again a really excellent example of great songwriting, where plenty of feelings are condensed in one song, without any one of them overlapping another. Then, "The Return to The Beautiful" is the fourteen minute epic finale, by some considered (including lead singer) the best track the band has ever released. The other songs, too, are not inferior in terms of quality; they are more solemn, and typical tracks you'd expect from My Dying Bride, in a good way.

"The Dreadful Hours" is a sublimely crafted piece of Doom Metal; the band does not hesitate however in finding new ways to enrich their sound, with a more frequent use of keyboards, vocal choruses, and Post-rock brushes. Still today, this is regarded as one of the key moments of the genre and of the band's discography.

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Send comments to EatThatPhonebook (BETA) | Report this review (#756930)
Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover Team
4 stars My Dying Bride is a rare breed, a band that can bring aggression and harshness to reside in a world that is also full of beauty and emotion. It is music that aches and yearns, looking for solace that it is never going to achieve, while at the same time stamping it's authority on the world beneath it. Such is the power of 'The Dreadful Hours', which has the nerve and temerity to open with the title cut which is in excess of nine minutes long. It finishes and begins, reflective, and almost apologetic for the nature of some of the music that has gone on in the middle. No sense of restraint in "The Raven and The Rose" where the band show that they can riff and bring in Hammer House of Horror keyboards and death vocals to match anyone. Vocalist Aaron can sing meek and mild, or he can rip his throat out as the occasion rises, and the band is more than ready to change the pace and the attack.

This is quite some album, and the keyboards such an integral part of the sound that it is strange to notice that they are sessioned. This is music that is not for the faint hearted, or for those who like to neatly pigeon hole what they are listening to. In many ways this is progressive music that is not afraid to mix and change, but in other ways this is an extreme metal band that just don't care what anyone thinks and wants to create a musical entity of their own choosing. Emotional, atmospheric, and at others blindingly honest and brutal, this is an impressive work.

Originally appeared in Feedback #70, Oct 02

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Send comments to kev rowland (BETA) | Report this review (#978134)
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 | Review Permalink

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