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My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures CD (album) cover


My Dying Bride

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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3 stars "A Map of All our Failures" is the 12th full-length studio album by UK doom metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released through Peaceville Records in October 2012. Since the release of their last "regular" doom metal full-length studio album "For Lies I Sire (2009)", the band have busied themselved with the experimental "Evinta (2011)" album and the 27 minute one track "The Barghest O' Whitby (2011)" EP, so itīs safe to say that My Dying Bride have been as busy as ever.

With "A Map of All our Failures" they prove that they are as consistent as ever too. The music on the album is not surprisingly melancholic doom metal featuring crushingly heavy riffs, hauntingly beautiful leads/harmony work, the occasional violin part, atmospheric keyboards and a gloomy gothic atmosphere boosted by the paatos filled clean vocals/lyrics by lead vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe, who also occasionally growl. As such there are nothing out of the ordinary on "A Map of All our Failures", but only after a few listens it becomes apparent that My Dying Bride have done it again. Produced another high quality doom/death metal release that sets the standard for others to follow.

Standout tracks to my ears are "Kneel Till Doomsday", "Like a Perpetual Funeral" and "Abandoned as Christ", but the quality is consistent throughout. The sound production is a little bit less exciting than on the last couple of albums and overall Iīd place "A Map of All our Failures" along side "Like Gods of the Sun (1996)" and "The Dreadful Hours (2001)", which in my world are some of the least interesting albums by My Dying Bride. As mentioned above that certainly doesnīt mean that "A Map of All our Failures" is a bad album by any means. In fact itīs a great album, but compared to their best material itīs slightly sub par. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is still very much deserved though.

Report this review (#918415)
Posted Sunday, February 24, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars A Map of All Our Failures is one of MDB"s better efforts IMHO. If you're an MDB fan, which I am without a doubt, everything they've done is at least worth a listen. I particularly like what Aaron Stainthorpe is doing lately, so A Map of All Our Failures is a 3 - 4 star album for me.

I like the way that Aaron's singing has developed over time. His bass/baritone has become more expressive and interesting over time. He has also pretty much done away with the growling. There is a bit of the death metal growling on "The Poorest Waltz", but I don't miss it. I think his lyrics have improved. They used to be mostly a group of violent descriptions of doom and suffering. Now there's more structure. One of my favorite tracks is "Hail Odysseus", which is clearly based on The Odyssey.

The only thing I could think of to complain about is the length of the songs. Eight songs grouped together for a little over an hour's worth of music is a bit much. However, the tempo changes in each song make them more interesting. I wouldn't put MDB's CDs on the greatest albums list, but A Map of All Our Failures is fully worthy of 3 1/2 stars.

Report this review (#1185040)
Posted Thursday, June 5, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Bit of a ballsy move to invite critical low blows with such an album title, isn't it? This is especially the case when, for the first time, it feels like My Dying Bride haven't moved forward on a release. As much as I (and others) personally didn't care for 34.788%... Complete, and as mixed a reception as Evinta received, at least both those releases constitute My Dying Bride trying something different, and there's always been a sense on their releases that they've been updating their sound one way or another between them.

Here, though, they seem to have stalled in the style of one of the more generic doom metal moments on For Lies I Sire, and don't really seem to have much of a map out. Luckily, it's still pretty good doom metal and worth a spin if you're a fan, but we've come to expect better from them over the years.

Report this review (#1702886)
Posted Friday, March 17, 2017 | Review Permalink
3 stars The strongest release since 2006's "A line of deathless kings" marking increased death/doom influences and hardening their sound. "Kneel till doomsday" has a pretty heavy black and death metal kick with not only standard growling but actually spitting. Other songs belong to the most miserable songs MDB ever created in terms of feeling. Bleak, desolation, lack of power and filled with sorrow, this music is best appreciated at dawn, in the dark and in the winter or autumn season.

The first two songs are very strong numbers, the first one showing increasing violin link, strong melody and new moments in MDB sound. "The poorest waltz" indeed is a mournful song but not sure about the 3/4 time signature, it's closer to regular 4/4. "A tapestry scorned" adds nice epic organ to the sound. "Like a perpetual funeral" is one of the most melodic and commercially viable songs on the album, while the title track has a memorable violin motive, but cellos and guitars also fit in nicely for more reflective moments.

"Abandoned as Christ" is one of the doomiest songs by MDB ever. So slow, gloomy with simple yet effective riffs.

Not an essential album but one of the better ones for doom lovers and an average one for proggers.

Report this review (#2287860)
Posted Tuesday, December 17, 2019 | Review Permalink

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