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My Dying Bride

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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My Dying Bride Songs of Darkness, Words of Light album cover
4.13 | 68 ratings | 4 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Wreckage of My Flesh (8:45)
2. The Scarlet Garden (7:49)
3. Catherine Blake (6:32)
4. My Wine in Silence (5:53)
5. The Prize of Beauty (8:02)
6. The Blue Lotus (6:33)
7. And My Fury Stands Ready (7:45)
8. A Doomed Lover (7:54)

Total Time 59:13

Line-up / Musicians

- Aaron Stainthorpe / vocals
- Andrew Craighan / guitar
- Hamish Glencross / guitar
- Sarah Stanton / keyboards
- Adrian Jackson / bass
- Shaun Taylor-Steels / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Andy Green

CD Peaceville - CDVILEF 110 (2004, UK)

2LP Infinite Vinyl Series ‎- IVS007 (2004, US)
2LP Peaceville ‎- VILELP518 (2014, Europe)

Thanks to J-Man for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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MY DYING BRIDE Songs of Darkness, Words of Light ratings distribution

(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (16%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

MY DYING BRIDE Songs of Darkness, Words of Light reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Ok I admit. I'm losing all my wits from album covers with decapitated naked women. There can be no other explanation for my high ratings of specifically those MDB albums with nudity content. This particular one is my MDB favourite and rates 4.5 severed heads.

The opening is majestic: thundering drums, heavy orchestral chords and sinister vocals open The Wreckage of My Flesh. Clean vocals, harmonic guitar and dark symphonic keyboards take over. The song maintains a slow doom metal pace but the music is very melodic and varied. Never overtly virtuosic but competent and precise, with almost 9 minutes it takes a couple of listens till it fully sinks in. On top of that, Aaron's clean vocals are as much an acquired taste as his black and death growls; they are very plaintive, monotonous and nasal but suit the music just fine.

The Scarlet Garden features all MDB ingredients and their typical epic song build up. Starting with a slow doom opening with heavy riffs and morose vocals, a second theme with clean guitar picking takes over until a heavier part answers again, a faster rocking section with death vocals sits in the middle. The clean guitars take over but do not simply repeat their first appearance. Beautiful strings are added taking the song into a splendid ending. If you though I was describing an Opeth song, you're not far off. MDB sure inspired Opeth, the similarities are evident. Bear in mind though that MDB never reach the level of musicianship that Opeth does. MDB's approach is more minimalist and bleak.

One of the most gripping songs is My Wine In Silence. It takes a clean start with guitar plonking that sits somewhere between The Cure and post-rock. The mesmerizing atmosphere is broken with an alternate theme with shrieking vocals over a dead-evil riff with clean guitars, giving it a very terrifying and spine chilling effect. The second part reprises the two main themes but with heavy doom guitars. MDB had always been very clever at arranging their songs with more then the basic metal components. On The Prize of Beauty the organs are the eye-catcher, it's a bombastic epic that combines mid paced death metal and more melodic slower parts.

If you were still waiting for some catchy verse-chorus doom metal, you'd better give up. MDB steer their music in whatever direction the songs demand. The two closing tracks are magnificent adventures, with creepy Lord of The Rings atmospheres, uncanny orc voices and dark vapours of doom. Probably completely over the top for normal people but MDB manage to avoid becoming a vulgar pastiche. They don't force themselves to sound any different then the music that boils up in their dark decadent minds. The three closing minutes of A Doomed Lover are a continuous repetition of two instrumental harmonic themes but the effect is simply stunning and equals the devastating power of the closing minutes of Opeth's Blackwater Park.

Songs of Darkness is an astounding MDB album that balances out perfectly between their melodic, morose and dark epic tendencies. It has both heavy progressive doom death and subtlety, beauty and grimness. It's more digestible then the first albums and an excellent introduction to the band. Recommended to people that would find a mix of Opeth and Sabbath fronted by Gollem an alluring idea.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Songs of Darkness, Words of Light" is the 8th full-length studio album by UK doom/ death metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released in February 2004 by Peaceville Records. "Songs of Darkness, Words of Light" marks the debut of keyboardist Sarah Stanton. While The "Dreadful Hours (2001)" was a solid release, it wasn´t exactly a release that made my blood boil but thankfully "Songs of Darkness, Words of Light" puts the band back on the right track.

The music on the album is doom metal with both clean paatos filled vocals and death growls. Add to that poetic/ goth romantic lyrics. As such this is the style of music My Dying Bride have played throughout most of their career. Each release by the band have had their own unique sound though and "Songs of Darkness, Words of Light" is no different in that respect. Compared to "Dreadful Hours", "Songs of Darkness, Words of Light" is generally a darker and less goth tinged album. Aaron Stainthorpe´s growls have never sounded as inspired than they do here and I sense some real emotion behind his delivery. I´m generally not the greatest fan of his growling style, which I on occassion have found lifeless and lacking in emotion, but he has defitinely gotten his act together on this album, even adding a blackened sneering touch at times.

The tracks are well composed and I find myself both moved and entertained. The contrasts between the light and dark sections in the music work really well on this album. The atmosphere is melancholic and it suits the heavy and doomy music well. The keyboards are generally tasteful and on occassion add a symphonic touch, but they seldom dominate the music which is a successful choice IMO.

I enjoy the more dark direction and heavier more brutal style on "Songs of Darkness, Words of Light" and as the sound production follows suit and provides a powerful dark sound to the music everything just click on this album. The band excel in intriguing song structures and details to keep the listener entertained and I´m actually pretty impressed by the high quality level of the compositions. Tracks like "The Wreckage of My Flesh" and "Catherine Blake" are excellent to say the least.

"Songs of Darkness, Words of Light" is IMO one of the better My Dying Bride albums in their quite large discography and I can highly recommend a purchase of the album. I´d say a 4 star rating is fully deserved.

Review by Warthur
4 stars After the masterpiece of The Dreadful Hours, My Dying Bride consolidate on the foundations laid there and treat us to Songs of Darkness, Words of Light. It's still very much in the death-doom ballpark, but the streak of viciousness revealed by the light black metal influences on the previous album is still there, entwined in a complex emotional ballet with a reinvigorated gothic dimension to their music. Whilst I do not think it is quite the masterpiece that its predecessor was, it is nonetheless an interestingly intricate album which does a great job of building on the precedent set and makes a fine companion piece to it.

Latest members reviews

4 stars The album that made me return to My Dying Bride again. I am a big fan of their first albums. I am not a fan of those albums where My Dying Bride got lost and tried to be something they are not. But this album is their comeback album as far as I am concerned. The album title is pretty des ... (read more)

Report this review (#296281) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, August 26, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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