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My Dying Bride - The Light At The End Of The World CD (album) cover


My Dying Bride


Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.96 | 47 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars 6/10

"The Light At The End Of The World" is a decent return to a style that is more traditional of My Dying Bride.

My Dying Bride are one of the most well known and respected Doom Metal acts of all time. With such a high reputation, this band has managed to consistently release some great albums over the years, in particular their third album "Turn Loose The Swans" and it's follow up, "The Angel and The Dark River", both of these released in the mid nineties. After a few, more disappointing albums, the band return to shine, in the eyes of many fans, with 1999's "The Light at The End Of The World".

This release of theirs is quite unlike what they have ever done; this is thus far the darkest, most unsettling and disturbing album the band has released. The desperation of previous albums seem to be almost a joke compared to this extremely emotionally difficult album. The sound itself hasn't drastically changed, but there is a more frequent use of subtle synthesizers, more extreme vocals (which seem to be more Black Metal influenced this time around), and a bit faster-paced melodies. While it may not be the Doomiest album of the band, it is the grimmest and most pessimistic, despite only slight stylistic changes.

The concepts brought up are not estranged to other Doom Metal material, nor to other My Dying Bride lyrics: pain, suffering, revenge, hopelessness, and quite a few religious themes are what the lyrics portray, and there are some interesting stories depicted too; in the title track, the story is of a man who is forced to guard an everlastingly deserted sea from a lighthouse on an isolated island. He begs his divinity for one night only with his woman, which he does get; but the following day, he will stay eternally in solitude on the island, without ever seeing a man or woman. The lyrics of the other songs are not as epic, but a couple still have an intriguing nature: "She Is The Dark" incarnates deceit and pain into a woman, while "Edenbeast" is about a feast of sin that takes place in Eden, possibly a metaphor of the presence of corruption and greed in the most unexpected places.

The songs on this release are extremely evocative, especially in the first half of the album; songs like "She Is The Dark" and "Edenbeast", other than having dark, haunting melodies, also bring to the listener the feeling of being in front of an abandoned, dark plain, where man's sins and defects are laid down and exposed. However, it is sad to see that some of the songs, during the second half of the album, are not nearly as powerful as they should: "Christliar" has an interesting structure, but does not give any emotional impact whatsoever, just like the compressed intensity of "The Fever Sea", the title track (despite it's majestic lyrics) or "Into The Lake Of Ghosts". They are not really bad tracks, they simply aren't able to accomplish the task (that is admittedly hard to do) to stay as haunting as the emotional concepts in the lyrics.

"The Light At The End Of The World" is a unique album for My Dying Bride, being also their first album, after those more experimental albums preceding it, to return to the more traditional style. However, this return isn't as successful as I would have liked; "The Dreadful Hours", the following album, will have done the job in a much more satisfactory way.

EatThatPhonebook | 3/5 |


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