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My Dying Bride - The Manuscript CD (album) cover


My Dying Bride

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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4 stars "The Manuscript" is an EP release by UK doom metal act My Dying Bride. The EP was released through Peaceville Records in May 2013 on both CD and vinyl. My Dying Bride have a long tradition of releasing EPs and singles between their full-length album releases. Often with material exclusive to those releases. "Symphonaire infernus et spera empyrium (1991)" and "The Thrash of Naked Limbs (1993)" are probably the two most famous ones, but the 27 minutes long single track EP "The Barghest O' Whitby (2011)" is also quite unique.

"The Manuscript" features 4 tracks which are exclusive to this release. All tracks except for "Vår gud över er" were written and recorded during the sessions for "A Map of All our Failures (2012)".

The music on the 27:21 minutes long EP is unmistakably the sound of My Dying Bride, so it´s not an experimental release or a release that sounds vastly different from what you usually expect to hear from them. Doomy riffs and harmonies, heavy beats, sorrowfilled violin playing, dark gothic atmospheres and Aaron Stainthorpe´s paatos filled clean vocals and occasional brutal growls are all there and accounted for. "Vår gud över er" is a harsher and more death metal oriented epic track, than the other three tracks which are more melancholic, doomy and beautiful in nature. The violin is used extensively on the title track and on "A Pale Shroud of Longing".

The consistently high quality level of their material is incredible and that also applies to "The Manuscript". It must have been really hard to pick which tracks should go on "A Map of All our Failures (2012)" and which should be omitted, but I guess that´s a luxury both the band and their fans are fairly content with. "The Manuscript" is what I would characterize as a "must have" release for fans of the band. Not because it sounds radically different from what My Dying Bride usually treats us to, but because of the above mentioned high quality level of the music. Personally I think the four tracks on "The Manuscript" even beat most of the material on "A Map of All our Failures (2012)", and that´s pretty crazy considering the fact that three of the tracks on the EP are outtakes from said album. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

Report this review (#1020766)
Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Manuscript is definitely one of My Dying Bride's finest singles/EPs, perhaps one of the finest releases in their whole discography. Incidentally, what is the distinction between a single and an EP? Is it a matter of length? An interesting question for the purposes of our website, I think. The Manuscript is a big advancement over MDB's earlier EPs. The early releases tend to be more straightforward doom/death metal. That is not inherently a bad thing, but it makes earlier releases like Deeper Down less interesting for the followers of Prog Archives. Musical progressiveness means creating something that's different, innovative, not done before. What makes My Dying Bride interesting is what they add to the doom/death metal formula. I very much prefer the MDB releases that include violin. In the case of The Manuscript, it's played beautifully by keyboardist Shaun MacGowan. Since The Manuscript only has four songs, I won't pick favorites. As an MDB fanatic, I like anything they do. My only minor complaint is that "Var gud over er", although it's more death metal, sounds a lot like the next track "A Pale Shroud of Longing". I would change the order of the songs. Otherwise, The Manuscript would be an excellent pick for anyone with an interest in the band. Unreservedly a 4 star CD.
Report this review (#1253023)
Posted Monday, August 18, 2014 | Review Permalink

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