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THE ANGEL AND THE DARK RIVER

My Dying Bride

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal


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My Dying Bride The Angel And The Dark River album cover
3.88 | 53 ratings | 5 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Cry Of Mankind (12:13)
2. From Darkest Skies (7:48)
3. Black Voyage (9:46)
4. A Sea To Suffer In (6:31)
5. Two Winters Only (9:01)
6. Your Shameful Heaven (6:59)

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Aaron Stainthorpe - vocals, cover art, photos
Andrew Craighan - guitar
Calvin Robertshaw - guitar
Adrian Jackson - bass
Martin Powell - violin, keyboard
Rick Miah - drums

Releases information

Peaceville Records
May 22, 1995

Thanks to J-Man for the addition
and to Snow Dog for the last updates
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Remastered · Extra tracks
Peaceville 2003
Audio CD$6.48
$5.45 (used)
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MY DYING BRIDE The Angel And The Dark River ratings distribution


3.88
(53 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
35%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
44%
Good, but non-essential (17%)
17%
Collectors/fans only (2%)
2%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

MY DYING BRIDE The Angel And The Dark River reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Bring back the Brides!!!

Well, it's almost like "Up the Irons!", but it's true! Being more than a doom/death-metal pioneer band, MDB had always been deeper and far more interesting than any other genre's explorers. They wither a bit with years, but nobody's perfect, isn't it? "The Angel and the Dark River" is their most epic and progressive album, no growling this time, no gothic- metal approach (which emerged later on "Like Gods of the Sun"), just sorrowful dirges filled with...wait, I'm getting too emotional) The opener, "The Cry of Mankind", is the evegreen classic, and half-acoustic "Two Winters Only" is probably the best track on the record. Martin's violin brings this unique MDB scent to every phrase, and lengthy structured tracks create moody atmosphere of sophisticated decadance.

What kept MDB fresh in those times is their progressive attitude to music they were playing. They're not Prog, but they were far more PROGRESSIVE than some popular Prog bands nowadays. If you're still in doubts, begin with this one. "The Angel and the Dark River" alone is enough to fall in love with MY DYING BRIDE. Recommended!

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Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Angel and the Dark River is the third full-length studio album by experimental doom/ death metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released by Peaceville Records in May 1995. The album contains 6 tracks but thereīs a digipack version available with a bonus track called The Sexuality of Bereavement ( which is the version that I have). The Angel and the Dark River was re-released in 1996 with a new cover artwork, the bonus track The Sexuality of Bereavement and a bonus CD titled Live at the Dynamo with 4 tracks recorded at the bandīs appearance at the Dynamo Festival in 1995.

The music on the album continues the experimental doom/ death metal style of Turn Loose the Swans (1993) but leaves out the growling vocals. Aaron Stainthorpe solely sings in his paatos filled clean voice ( except on the bonus track where he exclusively growls). There are 6 tracks on the album ( 7 if you count the bonus track) with varying playing times from 6 - 12 minutes. The use of violin in the music is more prominant than ever and gives the music a melancholic and dark atmosphere. The basis in the music are still heavy doomy guitar riffs and slow doomy drumming. The songs are generally a bit more tightly structured than on the more adventurous Turn Loose the Swans but still not following a regular vers/ chorus format. Both The Cry of Mankind and Black Voyage include dark ambient sections. The former features a beautiful driving piano figure and stand out on the album as one of the highligts. All songs on the album are high quality compositions but Iīve always had a soft spot for A Sea to Suffer In. Alledgedly Two Winters Only is Aaron Stainthorpeīs favorite My Dying Bride song. Itīs a beautiful song with its acoustic first half and more epic ending , so I understand his preference.

The production has always somewhat bothered me. Itīs cold IMO. Professional but cold.

While The Angel and the Dark River is not my favorite My Dying Bride album itīs still an excellent album by the band. Listening to the album again to make this review after many years where I havenīt listened to the album it actually grew a bit on me. If you crave experimental doom metal of the highest caliber The Angel and the Dark River certainly applies and a 4 star rating is well deserved.

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Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars MDB's third album has always been a major disappointment for me. It has none of the excitement or the inspiration of the preceding albums. Aaron has completely given up on the gruff singing and in case of MDB this is sure no improvement as his clean singing style is rather weak, especially when applied all the way through.

Pedestrian Black Sabbath riffs and Aaron's morose talking voice dominate the songs. They create an album that sound tedious rather then gloomy. Nothing seems to raise above average and it fails on all counts. The music isn't sophisticated nor good enough to work as an atmospheric mood-rock album, and it isn't heavy and intense enough to move the listenener, neither emotionally, nor physically. Only Your Shameful Heaven tries to create a bit of tension but the tedious vocals make it fails miserably.

The Angel And The Dark River sounds dull, as if the album was created from leftovers that didn't make it onto the preceding albums. Strangely enough the album is rated quite highly on AMG, and on PA as well so far. So probably it works well for fans of doom and stoner. But as you might have come to understand already, I'm not a fan of any particular genre or band, I'm only a fan of good albums. And this sure isn't one from what I can hear.

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Review by EatThatPhonebook
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars 8/10

"The Angel And The Dark River" is another My Dying Bride milestone that would influence a great deal of the Doom Metal to come.

My Dying Bride's career had a sudden twist, with the release of their sophomore LP, "Turn Loose The Swans", for some people the masterpiece of the band. But the third album, "The Angel And The Dark River", got just as much recognition: now, fans are sill debating which of these two early records is the magnum opus of the act. Anyway the debate goes, this 1995 release still keeps incredibly high levels from every point of view, and has risen up to be considered one of the key albums of Doom Metal.

Compared to the ethereally gloomy atmosphere of "Turn Loose The Swans", "The Angel And The Dark River" is almost more bright in terms of sound: the levels of despair and hopelessness are not at all as extreme as they were with the band's second album. The music in this third LP generally is much more fast-paced, more dynamic and lively. There seems to be a much stronger focus on the songwriting itself: the amount of effects used (that is, keyboards, guitar effects and what not) is minimal, although some peculiar elements that were present in the previous efforts, like the violin or the lamenting clean vocals, still persist and are a great part of the album. But another great, noticeable change is the almost complete absence of Death Metal growls (with the exception of the last track), a factor that made My Dying Bride such a unique band at it's origins. However, "Turn Loose the Swans", because of its slight change in direction, shows how the band had reached a sort of independence from the point of view of artistic freedom, even if it was really early in their career.

The themes present in "The Angel and The Dark River" are more or less the same we see in other Doom Metal bands and in other My Dying Bride releases, including loss of hope, desperation, but also more religious elements, like the strong presence of God in the lyrics. This sort of gloominess though on this album is much more human and rational than the more extreme tones of TLTS, and feel also more credible.

With seven tracks, My Dying Bride once again bring a solid album structure together: the twelve minute opener "The Cry Of Mankind" is already a track where the change in direction is pretty obvious, because of the lively guitar riff that Agalloch probably kept in mind eleven years later, while writing songs for "Ashes Against The Grain". This riff is the heart of the piece, and is accompanied by the rest of the instruments, including a piano. The last few minutes of the track are somewhat Dark Ambient driven, another aspect that is new for MDB. "From Darkest Skies" is an even more emotional piece, where there are strong alterations between feelings: if one part sounds resigned and lost, the next one is angry and revengeful. "A Sea To Suffer In" is of a noticeably heavier nature, because of the overwhelming crunch the guitars have, enriched by the intense melodies and the extremely urgent feel. Then "Only Two Winters" is half clean, half electric: in the first part, a gorgeous, deep guitar melody that holds even a bit of nostalgia in it, in the second part, a sort of catch-up to the heaviness. "Your Shameful Heaven" is the most violent song yet, proof of how progressively strong the sounds get as the album flows. And then, the album finishes with "The Sexuality of Beaverment", the only song where there is a return to the "Turn Loose The Swans" feel, especially thanks to the growls, and the slow rhythms. Overall, this last piece is a great closer and gives an epic end to the previously mentioned progression.

"The Angel And The Dark River" has now received a status as a Doom Metal classic: it has terrific songwriting, that overcomes the need of atmosphere and studio effects, and an intriguing, gloomy romanticism, that is unique only of this band.

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Latest members reviews

4 stars The DNA profile of My Dying Bride.... This is an arch-typical My Dying Bride album in my view. Well, the arch-typical My Dying Bride I really like. The music here is slow, doomy, gloomy, melodic and symphonic. Symphonic doom is the genre I would use on this album. Just the usual facts fi ... (read more)

Report this review (#309033) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, November 09, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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