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My Dying Bride

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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My Dying Bride Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium album cover
3.28 | 15 ratings | 6 reviews | 27% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium (11:39)
2. God Is Alone (4:51)
3. De Sade Soliloquay (3:42)

Total Time 20:12


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Peaceville Records
March 1992

Thanks to J-Man for the addition
and to Eetu Pellonpää for the last updates
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MY DYING BRIDE Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MY DYING BRIDE Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium is an EP release by UK experimental doom/ death metal act My Dying Bride. The EP is the band´s first release on the Peaceville Records label, being signed to said label on the grounds of the their God is Alone (1991) EP. The video for the title track was my introduction to My Dying Bride. The video was in heavy rotation on the MTV Headbanger´s Ball show in the early nineties. A show I followed with an almost religious interest back then. I remember I was quite breathtaken by the extremely heavy/ doomy and sad nature of that song and I instantly became a fan.

There are three tracks on the 20:12 minute long EP. The 11:39 minute long title track fills up the whole of the A-side and the two shorter tracks God is Alone and De Sade Soliloquay fill up the B-side. All three tracks have seen a release in other versions before being released on Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium. The title track was released in a shorter and not as developed version on the Towards the Sinister (1990) demo tape while the other two songs are available on the God is Alone EP from 1991. Also in other versions. The title track is the real treat here IMO. For the first time we´re invited into the doomy and sad world of My Dying Bride complete with extremely heavy distorted guitar riffs, growling vocals and to complete the sound the addition of violin ( a feature they would further investigate on subsequent releases). The song structure is actually quite interesting too as the song shifts style a couple of times throughout the playing time. The other two songs are more ordinary mid-paced death metal tracks. neither God is Alone nor De Sade Soliloquay impress me much. The latter mentioned is the most interesting of the two though.

The production is allright but nothing impressive.

Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium was a groundbreaking release in the doom/ death metal genre but doesn´t hold too many progressive elements IMO. The band would add those to their music on later releases. As only half the EP is of interest to me and the title track, even though it has good qualities, isn´t the best My Dying Bride have to offer ( a bit imature), a 2.5 star rating is warranted.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The title track of this EP stands for me as the most representative example of symphonic gothic metal qualities. Nearly twelve minutes long dramatic composition is enriched with violins and elements from classical music, and stands as perhaps my most favoured song of this group. The structural parts flow in solid and logical manner, illustrating powerful vision to romanticised views to myths and oppressed anxiety.

Sadly the two other tracks added to this CD EP from the vinyl single lower the overall quality of this release quite dramatically; "God is Alone" is in my opinion quite uninspired run-through of boring guitar riffs and growls among basic drum battering, and "De Sade Soliloquay" being more slower piece with unpleasant rhythm alterations and minor musical content without interesting feeling. However the fine elements making this group pleasant for me are shining on the grandiose title epic, making this a worthy disc if not acquired from some compilations. Also graphic artist Dave McKean does debut as the group's album cover illustrator here, his collaboration continuing on the few forthcoming classic releases.

Review by Warthur
4 stars My Dying Bride's first release for Peaceville is this EP, rerecording some material from their early demo and independent releases. God Is Alone and De Sade Soliloquay are probably the most traditional death metal songs that My Dying Bride ever put out through Peaceville, and are competent but not enormously interesting. The real treat here is Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium, an early expression of the band's death-doom style, with its extended running time and mournful violin contributions making it clear that this right here was no simple rehash of early Paradise Lost but an intriguing new take on death-doom in its own right. On balance, I'd say that this EP constitutes a four star title track backed up by some three star B-sides.
Review by siLLy puPPy
4 stars SYMPHONAIRE INFERNUS ET SPERA EMPYRIUM is the very first release from MY DYING BRIDE released as an EP way back in 1991 as well as their first on their long lasting Peaceville Records label. While the 12 " vinyl edition released in 1991 consisted only of the 11:38 title track, the CD edition released the following year contained the tracks "God Is Alone" and "De Sade Soliloquay" which were released as a two sided 7" vinyl single limited to 1000 copies the year before. Due to startling originality of the inclusion of the melancholic session violin contributions of Martin Powell on the title track, MY DYING BRIDE gained instant recognition as a major innovator in the nascent death-doom metal sound that only Anathema and Paradise Lost were also developing at the same time period.

It's no doubt that MY DYING BRIDE caught the attention of the world with the track "Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium" as it remains one of their most masterful compositions of their entire career exquisitely melding the elements of doom and death metal along with neoclassical darkwave with the addition of the soul piercing violin and highly sophisticated compositional conceptualization. With its humble intro it almost sounds like we're going to the Renaissance fair with its medieval violin setup but soon the down-tuned doomed distortion of heavy guitar riffs enter as does the death growls of Aaron Stainthorpe. The track deftly walks the tightrope of the classical and metal worlds with grace but also carefully paces the fusion effect with pure down and dirty death metal outbursts however the violin never strays too far for too long and always brings the listener into the eternal cauldrons of dread.

The remaining tracks are less symphonically complex and are rooted more in heavier death metal with elements of doom percolating through. "God Is Alone" and "De Sade Soliloquay" are perhaps the heaviest tracks that MY DYING BRIDE has ever released as they are blistering fast in tempo and eschew the violin trademark sound that pretty much defines them on every full length album that follows. These were siphoned from the cauldrons of their earliest demo material therefore sounds as primeval and raw as could be expected. SYMPHONAIRE INFERNUS ET SPERA EMPYRIUM is an excellent debut from MY DYING BRIDE and only one of two where Stainthorpe exclusively utilizes his death growls (the other being the following full-length "As The Flowers Wither." While the title track has gotten around on many of the compilations, the other two have not and can only be found on this EP as well as the collection of the first three EPs "Trinity." This debut release showed great talent that has been successfully in staying relevant for decades after this first hit the market.

Latest members reviews

3 stars This EP gets a 3-star rating from me. My Dying Bride is one of my favorite bands. Their music is a very interesting combination of death metal trappings with violins, keyboards, and sophisticated song structures. That being said, "Symphonaire" is a merely adequate example of the band's music ... (read more)

Report this review (#982002) | Posted by thwok | Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This EP caused a huge stir in the extreme metal scene when released back in 1992. I remember I got it and fell for it big time. From there on, I have followed My Dying Bride as more or less a fan. I also happens to think that My Dying Bride deserve to be included in PA. The title track on ... (read more)

Report this review (#258680) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, December 31, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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