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My Dying Bride

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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My Dying Bride Like Gods of the Sun album cover
3.23 | 46 ratings | 7 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Like Gods of the Sun (5:40)
2. The Dark Caress (5:59)
3. Grace Unhearing (7:19)
4. A Kiss to Remember (7:31)
5. All Swept Away (4:17)
6. For You (6:37)
7. It Will Come (4:29)
8. Here in the Throat (6:20)
9. For My Fallen Angel (5:55)

Total Time 54:07

Bonus tracks on 2003 remaster:
10. It Will Come (Nightmare mix) (5:36)
11. Grace Unhearing (Portishell mix) (7:04)

Line-up / Musicians

- Aaron Stainthorpe / vocals
- Andrew Craighan / guitar
- Calvin Robertshaw / guitar
- Martin Powell / violin, keyboards
- Adrian Jackson / bass
- Rick Miah / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Andy Green

CD Peaceville - CDVILE 65 (1996, UK)
CD Peaceville - CDVILED 65 (2003, UK) Remastered with 2 bonus tracks

LP Peaceville - VILE 65 (1996, UK)
2LP Peaceville - VILELP419 (2012, UK)

Thanks to J-Man for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MY DYING BRIDE Like Gods of the Sun ratings distribution

(46 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

MY DYING BRIDE Like Gods of the Sun reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Like Gods of the Sun" is the 4th full-length studio album by UK doom/death metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released through Peaceville Records in October 1996. Itīs the successor to "The Angel and the Dark River" from 1995 and features the same sextet lineup who recorded the predecessor. It would however be the last album to feauture drummer Rick Miah and keyboard player/violinist Martin Powell.

The material on "Like Gods of the Sun" continue the dark and gothic tinged doom metal sound of "The Angel and the Dark River (1995)", and as the case also was on the predecessor "Like Gods of the Sun" solely features clean vocals. At this point it seemed the growling vocals had been completely abandoned and a choice had been made to continue only singing clean vocals (in retrospect we now know that would change later in their career, but back then this was the reality). "Like Gods of the Sun" feels like the natural successor to "The Angel and the Dark River (1995)" and the two albums share an overall similar sound. Dark, gothic, and heavy doom metal with clean vocals, melancholic violin themes and atmosphere enchancing keyboards/piano.

While "The Angel and the Dark River (1995)" and "Like Gods of the Sun" share a similar sound, there are also great differences between the two. The former is often quite an adventurous album with experimental ideas and unconventional song structures, while the latter is in many ways a much more formulaic and predictable release. "Like Gods of the Sun" features well defined vers/chorus structures and itīs the time in My Dying Brideīs career they came closest to sounding mainstream. Mainstream in this context should of course be understood as underground mainstream, as itīs doubtful youīll ever hear My Dying Bride on the radio.

My Dying Bride still incorporate sections and ideas you wouldnīt hear on a normal 3 minutes long vers/chorus structured track, so in that respect "Like Gods of the Sun" isnīt easy listening material. The tracks are relatively catchy upon initial listen, although itīs not an album featuring many standout tracks. The two tracks bookending the album (the title track and "For My Fallen Angel") stand out the most. The title track because itīs the most memorable and most well composed track on the album (an album where many tracks feature rather awkward abrupt changes between sections), and "For My Fallen Angel" because itīs a track featuring only keyboards/synths, violin, and a spoken word passage by lead vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe. Stainthorpe continues his dramatic almost crying gothic tinged clean vocal style of the predecessor, but he takes it even further on this album.

"Like Gods of the Sun" features a dark and heavy sounding production, which is professional and well sounding, but actually doesnīt suit My Dying Brideīs music that well. Itīs too massive and details are lost, and donīt get me started on the clicky drum sound... upon conclusion "Like Gods of the Sun" is an album with both good qualities and some that arenīt that great, and to my ears itīs probably the least interesting album in the bandīs discography. They sound too comfortable and not willing to experiment and push boundaries like they did on all three preceding releases (and would do again on the next album). This is the sound of stagnation. Itīs overall still a quality release though, and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Like Gods of the sun is MDB's fourth album and for the second time in a row it features only clean vocals. It can't be compared to its predecessor though; this album rocks far more and is much more accessible then any other MDB album so far.

The sound is heavier then Turn Loose The Swans or The Angel and the Dark River, it's still dark and gloomy but decidedly less dreary. A first reason is the upgraded tempo, not that MDB embraced speed metal but they maintain a mid-paced tempo on most songs, sounding almost as if they suddenly embraced grunge! Almost, as the inclusion of the sad violins, keyboards and even some organ on the superb opener makes the music too majestic to be grunge. Still, Alice In Chains and Sabbath fans that are interested in hearing a gothic take on their kind of music should lend their ears.

A second reason why I find this album an improvement over the previous two albums is that the songs work a lot better for me. The riffs are catchier, the songs flow better and there is more diversity. Simply put, every song is more recognizable. In its entirety, the album slightly overstays its welcome though. Despite some great parts, the 4 songs at the end are a bit uneven.

Aaron's clean vocals work really well on this material. They're still an acquired taste but they sound much steadier and more involved then on the preceding album. And he's not alone, the entire band sounds inspired and enthusiastic this time. It's something of an achievement really, to be doom and still convey a sense of fervour and hunger through the music.

This album was not met with uniform enthusiasm upon its release and still doesn't rate high in most MDB fans' ranking. So I would rather recommend this album to other lovers of doom and goth-rock who have avoided MDB so far because of the feared gruff vocals. While the album is not uniformly excellent, most songs have always moved me a lot. 3.5 stars

Review by 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.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Having excised the death metal DNA from their sound on The Angel and the Dark River, My Dying Bride would go on to continue that album's gothic-tinged doom metal sound on this release. This time around, however, things seem to have evolved a little, with a wider emotional palette present; in particular, the music no longer seems to be entirely succumbing to melancholy, with the compositions starting to show a bit of defiant grit to them that was absent before. For those who specifically look to My Dying Bride for the purpose of hearing the most miserable metal music on the planet, this may be disappointing, but for my part it is a welcome shift in their sound which stops this from simply being a bland remake of The Angel and the Dark River.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars MY DYING BRIDE had been riding high since their critically acclaimed debut "As The Flower Withers" with their unique mix of early Celtic Frost darkness and Candlemass doom metal heft however most of all what really allowed them stand out from the pack was the additional gothic touches that included a haunting violin. They would soon hit musical perfection on the following second and third albums "Turn Loose The Swans" and "The Angel And The Dark River" which transformed them into one of the most interesting metal bands of the 90s. While the band hit the ground running with a completely unique style, experimentation was also a factor and on each album as they would shift the dynamics slightly and change around the dominating roles of the instruments without sacrificing the plaintive doom metal dirge feel that they made theirs alone.

On the third full-length release LIKE GODS OF THE SUN, a new formula was implemented to create an entirely new way of mixing their classic elements together. While "Turn Loose The Swans" had moments that dropped the guitar, bass and drum metal aspects and instead focused on the lugubrious violin wails and synthesized atmospheric bleakness, "The Angel And The Dark River" on the other hand added more metal oomf to the process and avoided such downtime. On LIKE GODS OF THE SUN however, the metal elements got turned up a few notches which is immediately noticeable on the opening title track that let's loose the heavy distorted guitar riffs without a violin to be heard, however while subjected more to the background still remains a vital part of the band's overall sound as the atmospheric backdrop makes landfall.

The 90s was a strange time when everything alternative was en vogue and it has always fascinated me how the immense popularity of a particular style flexes its gravitational pull and makes established bands do very strange things and it seems MY DYING BRIDE was not immune for despite having produced some lauded albums, still found themselves adopting some of the alternative metal playbook elements on LIKE GODS OF THE SUN. First of all, the tracks are much shorter. There are no sprawling epics that delve into long meandering violin fueled cloud drifts as in the past. The song structures are concise and to the point with the chugging riffs while retaining a doom metal vibe implement alternative metal and even thrash metal delivery. Ever so graceful in how the changing things up can make or break an album, MY DYING BRIDE nevertheless pulls it off quite successfully with the heavier guitar heft being smoothed out by the admittedly less frequent but fully functional combo effect of the violin and synthesized ambience.

For all its emphasis on a greater metal bombast which very well could've resulted from the band's tour with Iron Maiden, MY DYING BRIDE ends the album letting the listener know that they are essentially the same band with the only track "For My Fallen Angel" that eschews the metal elements altogether and focuses on an ambient synthesized swirl that supports a mournful violin solo performance with Aaron Stainthorpe's vocals parked on poetic narration instead of the usual gothically tinged romanticism that graced the rest of the album. While the band focused on more metal heft on this album, they did not however return to the death metal growls nor implement the aggressive riffs of the past. LIKE GODS OF THE SUN nicely weaves together the band's classic sound with an alternative metal presentation that happen to find a few thrash influences in the mix. Overall, this is another stellar album however a clear sign that the sheer perfection of the past masterpieces had expired. While clearly a step down in epic quality, a step down from perfection is nevertheless still a great album.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Coming from two very strong albums like Turn Loose the Swans (1993) and The Angel and the Dark River (1995), the expectations for My Dying Bride's new album were high. Released in 1996, Like Gods of the Sun actually turned out to be a major disappointment for fans and it is to date regarded one of t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2635460) | Posted by lukretio | Friday, November 19, 2021 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After the magnificient "The angel and the dark river", the band returns with a less inspired album which is worse in in almost all aspects. Music ideas are not as good, the material is less memorable. That does not mean that there aren't strong cuts, such as the first track (title track) remi ... (read more)

Report this review (#2287317) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, December 14, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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