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MY DYING BRIDE

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United Kingdom


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My Dying Bride biography
Founded in Halifax, West Yorkshire, England in 1990

MY DYING BRIDE is a band that never stirs up much discussion in the progressive rock community. We often make the assumption that they are the average gothic/doom metal hybrid and nothing more. But if you were to listen to their music, you would here the beauty and details that make MY DYING BRIDE much more than that. Anyone dismissing this band that is even slightly into progressive metal is making a huge mistake.

They were formed after guitarist Andrew Craighan and drummer Rick Miah left their former band ABIOSIS to join vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe and guitarist Calvin Robertshaw. At this point MY DYING BRIDE was now formed.

They went into the studio for the first time on November 24/25 of 1990 to record their first demo "Towards the Sinister". The demo consisted of four original songs from the band, and showed their potential soon to come on their debut full-length album.

Shortly after the release of the demo, they released their first single/EP in 1991 titled "God Is Alone". It was only released as a 7" vinyl and was limited to a small 1,000 copies. The EP was released on a small independent French record label, Listenable Records. The release of the EP marked a huge step forward for the band, as they were soon approached by Peaceville Records. The band has recorded with Peaceville ever since.

The band marked their first release with Peaceville with their second EP, "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium". It was released in 1992, and consisted of 3 songs. This was their first release with Adrian Jackson on bass, which left Andrew Craighan playing just guitar. At this point MY DYING BRIDE was now a 5-piece band.

The band kept the same lineup as the EP with the release of their 1992 debut full-length album "As The Flowers". The album gets positive reviews in general, but not nearly as favorable as the next albums to come from MY DYING BRIDE. They released their third EP "The Thrash of Naked Limbs" in early 1993 following their debut album. This EP marked another change in their line-up, as violin and keyboard player Martin Powell had become an official band member. He played on the band's previous works, but more so as a session musician than an official member.

MY DYING BRIDE became a common name in the metal community with the release of "Turn Loose The Swans", which released in October of 1993. This album sounded much different from their debut full-...
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The Thrash Of Naked Limbs ( 12The Thrash Of Naked Limbs ( 12" )
PEACEVILLE 2017
$15.09
$19.83 (used)
Towards The Sinister (Limited Red Vinyl)Towards The Sinister (Limited Red Vinyl)
Peaceville Import 2019
$29.99
Trinity + 2 Bonus TracksTrinity + 2 Bonus Tracks
PEACEVILLE 2017
$7.45
$5.00 (used)
Harvest Of Dread (Box Set w/ Book)Harvest Of Dread (Box Set w/ Book)
Peaceville Import 2019
$48.09
$58.79 (used)
Line Of Deathless KingsLine Of Deathless Kings
Snapper Music 2012
$7.69
$9.33 (used)
Turn  Loose The Swans ( + 2 Bonus Tracks )Turn Loose The Swans ( + 2 Bonus Tracks )
Reissued · Extra tracks
Peaceville 2017
$7.38
$4.58 (used)
As The Flower WithersAs The Flower Withers
Extra tracks
PEACEVILLE 2017
$7.89
$8.03 (used)
For Lies I SireFor Lies I Sire
PEACEVILLE 2017
$12.92 (used)
Feel The MiseryFeel The Misery
PEACEVILLE 2017
$11.98
$3.70 (used)
A Map Of All Our Failures ( CD )A Map Of All Our Failures ( CD )
PEACEVILLE 2017
$8.14
$12.58 (used)

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MY DYING BRIDE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MY DYING BRIDE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.66 | 52 ratings
As The Flower Withers
1992
4.13 | 77 ratings
Turn Loose The Swans
1993
4.00 | 72 ratings
The Angel And The Dark River
1995
3.31 | 39 ratings
Like Gods Of The Sun
1996
2.86 | 39 ratings
34.788%...Complete
1998
3.96 | 48 ratings
The Light At The End Of The World
1999
4.02 | 55 ratings
The Dreadful Hours
2001
4.10 | 67 ratings
Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light
2004
3.64 | 39 ratings
A Line Of Deathless Kings
2006
3.72 | 37 ratings
For Lies I Sire
2009
3.44 | 35 ratings
Evinta
2011
3.26 | 31 ratings
A Map Of All Our Failures
2012
3.74 | 23 ratings
Feel The Misery
2015

MY DYING BRIDE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.42 | 15 ratings
The Voice Of The Wretched
2002
3.28 | 9 ratings
An Ode To Woe
2008

MY DYING BRIDE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.20 | 5 ratings
For Darkest Eyes
1997
5.00 | 2 ratings
For Darkest Eyes
2005
5.00 | 2 ratings
Sinamorata
2005

MY DYING BRIDE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 5 ratings
The Stories
1994
3.43 | 11 ratings
Trinity
1995
2.65 | 9 ratings
Meisterwerk I
2000
2.69 | 8 ratings
Meisterwerk II
2001
3.57 | 7 ratings
Anti-Diluvian Chronicles
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Introducing My Dying Bride
2013
4.03 | 5 ratings
The Vaulted Shadows
2014
3.13 | 4 ratings
Meisterwerk III
2016

MY DYING BRIDE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.17 | 9 ratings
Towards the Sinister
1990
2.32 | 6 ratings
God Is Alone
1991
3.49 | 17 ratings
Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium
1992
3.14 | 14 ratings
The Thrash of Naked Limbs
1993
2.14 | 3 ratings
Unreleased Bitterness
1993
2.39 | 10 ratings
I Am the Bloody Earth
1994
2.38 | 11 ratings
The Sexuality of Bereavement
1994
2.74 | 10 ratings
Deeper Down
2006
3.31 | 7 ratings
Bring Me Victory
2009
3.28 | 16 ratings
The Barghest O' Whitby
2011
2.00 | 1 ratings
Excerpts From Evinta
2011
3.92 | 10 ratings
The Manuscript
2013
3.91 | 4 ratings
Hollow Cathedra
2015

MY DYING BRIDE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Sexuality of Bereavement by MY DYING BRIDE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1994
2.38 | 11 ratings

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The Sexuality of Bereavement
My Dying Bride Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by thwok

3 stars I love MY DYING BRIDE. I think they're the absolute cream of the "doom metal" crop. Therefore, almost anything they put out will get some automatic cred from me. The major shortcoming of this single, for some folks is going to be that the material is available elsewhere. I like this single. The title song is one of MDB's weaker ones. On the other hand, I like this remix of "Crown of Sympathy". It is definitely different, and not necessarily preferable to the original. However, on it's own it offers more variety. The first half of the single is somewhat repetitive.
 The Dreadful Hours by MY DYING BRIDE album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.02 | 55 ratings

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The Dreadful Hours
My Dying Bride Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars Always one to experiment, MY DYING BRIDE perhaps went a little too far with their misstep into the unknown for the fanbase with "34.788%...Complete" which found the band adding all kinds of wild new ideas. While some like alternative metal suited the band's signature goth doom sound to a T, others such as trip hop didn't quite jive and although many including myself found the album to be descent, the overall consensus was that MY DYING BRIDE had hit their stride on "Like Gods Of The Sun" and were in free fall decline, however after the clarity of returning to their signature sound was once again a priority, the band bounced back with "The Light At The End Of The World" which proved they had more than enough life in them and while the album was a fine return to form and an admirable comeback, it wasn't up to par with the high notes of "Turn Loose The Swans" and "The Angel And The Dark River."

On THE DREADFUL HOURS, the band's seventh studio album and first of the 21st century, the fiery creative passion that had made MY DYING BRIDE such a sensation in the early years had returned and released one of the band's finest albums with eight outrageously delectable tracks that not only were connected to their past goth-tinged death doom days but found yet more ways to incorporate new musical elements into their, by this time, classic unmistakeable stylistic approach. The band's core remained the same with Aaron Stainthorpe displaying his amazing range of vocal styles with the usual plaintive romantic crooning as well as an increased use of the death growls however on THE DREADFUL HOURS he expands his extreme metal vocals to include a more blackened growl approach which reminds me of Behemoth's Nergal.

Guitarist Andrew Craighan provided the sole guitar parts on the previous album after the departure of Calvin Robertshaw and joining the crew on this album is guitarist Hamish Glencross, who with Craighan provide a more deadly twin guitar attack as they not only tackle the usual plodding doom riffs but engage in heavier high tempo death metal segments as well as adding palm muting thrash techniques to their doom riffage. The rhythm center of bassist Adrian Jackson and drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels also exercise greater liberties in their playing as each instrument takes on a more expansive role. The bass duties have become more complex and the drumming more experimental as well. While no violinist has returned, the two session keyboardists Jonny Mauding and Yasmin Ahmed dish out tasteful doses of piano tinklings, atmospheric overcast and mood modification mostly set to mournful depression.

With eight tracks that range from five minutes to over fourteen, MY DYING BRIDE cranks out one of the most diverse set lists (well not counting 34.778%) of their career with every element finding the perfect place to express itself. One of the major differences from the past is the incorporation of post-rock elements as heard on the opening title track which sounds more like an Isis album until it erupts into a death-doom frenzy. The compositions have become more complex and progressive as segments segue into others and various riffs, drumming patterns and bass lines slowly shapeshift into something completely new while the haunting atmospheric backdrop nudges it into a new comfort zone. The chemistry of this team is certainly off the charts as it has provided a new energized passion that keeps all the various tracks quite distinct from each other with countless different instrumental spontaneity erupting throughout.

The beauty of MY DRYING BRIDE is that they so successful captured their own distinct sound so early on in their game that have the ability to pretty much adapt any musical idea to the goth death-doom paradigm. Basically Stainthorpe provides the backbone to the band's style with his charismatic vocal style with an extra anchor in the atmospheric department, however the guitar, bass and drums are pretty much allowed to do whatever they want provided they stay within the confines of the melodies. Such is the case for all of the tracks which to the casual listener will sound like business as usual but to the careful listener will find new rhythmic flows, creative instrumental interplay and a greater focus on shifting timbres, dynamics, tempos and vocals. This is perhaps my favorite MY DYING BRIDE album as it perfectly balances all the various elements which include the goth death doom metal, darkwave ambient and alternative metal with the usual sombre poetic vocal deliveries of Stainthorpe. MY DYING BRIDE not only made a comeback from their nadir but hit one of the highest notes in this apex of their entire career.

 The Light At The End Of The World by MY DYING BRIDE album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.96 | 48 ratings

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The Light At The End Of The World
My Dying Bride Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars After the less than positively received experimental album "34.788%?Complete," MY DYING BRIDE quickly worked on damage control and did what any band would do when their fast sailing career hits a rock and starts to sink, namely retreat, go back to what worked and repeat! The band wasted no time getting back into the studio and releasing the sixth album THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE WORLD the following year with a more classic MY DYING BRIDE sound on display as if shouting out to the fanbase "hey! we were just playing around but we're back!" And back they were not only with long sprawling epic compositions that displayed the full power of the gothic doom metal that had pushed them through the 90s but with the added bonus of bringing back the death metal aspects with moments of aggressive outbursts accompanied by Aaron Stainthorpe's grating death growls.

It seems that the experimental album scared off a couple band members who weren't jiving with the new direction. Drummer Bill Law jumped ship to be replaced by Shaun Steels (formerly of Anathema) and guitarist Calvin Robertshaw stepped down as guitarist but stuck around to become the tour manager which left the band officially as a quartet however keyboardist Jonny Maudling of Bal-Sagoth was recruited as a session player. Robertshaw does appear briefly on the album as the second guitarist on "Sear Me III" which is a thematic continuation from the two previous "Sear Me's" on earlier albums which served as an extra indicator that MY DYING BRIDE was back in their comfort zone which is exactly where the rabidly hungry gothy death doom crowds wanted them. With Robertshaw out, it left Andrew Craighan as the only guitarist but he does double duty on THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE WORLD where he covers all guitar parts and does quite well i might add.

Stylistically THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE WORLD pick up where "Like Gods Of Sun" left off and pretends the album in between never happened however this is MY DYING BRIDE and despite returning to a more familiar approach never simply repeats the formula without some tweaking here and there. First thing that is noticeable is that despite the return to former glory, there is still no violin and no piano parts to be heard. Instead, the atmospheric dynamics are handled by the ambient swirls of the keyboard parts and authentically mimic and replace the mournful wails fairly well. It would have seemed unimaginable that such dreadful dirge could be lamented without the sad stringed vibrato and fastidious flexing of the bow but Maudling does an excellent job of layering the atmospheric overcast in such a fashion that it convincingly usurps its once unthinkable absence. While Stainthorpe returns to his classic plaintive goth-tinged crooning once again, this time around his style branches out more with more octaves covered and of course the return to aggressive outbursts of death growls however they only occur infrequently.

Also returning to the old formula is how the tracks sprawl out into slow plodding epics with trodding doom laden guitar riffs that take on two roles: one, chug and two, sustain. Both distorted power chords that sustain and the expected chugging doom march both are quite prevalent, however there are many twin guitar counterpoint attacks as well with more licks and solos sneaking through as well as the rare but satisfying sudden death metal attacks. In fact, this is a really a more guitar oriented album than the earlier ones that focused more on the violin and piano for much of their running time. As with most MY DYING BRIDE albums, this one too is quite consistent in its quality with each track standing out from the rest but never drifting too far away stylistically speaking. This comeback album was certainly what the doctor ordered and set the band back on track to crank out another batch of stellar albums. This is one band that dodged that proverbial bullet and the doom metal world was all the better for it.

 34.788%...Complete by MY DYING BRIDE album cover Studio Album, 1998
2.86 | 39 ratings

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34.788%...Complete
My Dying Bride Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

3 stars All great bands who experience some level of success face the same conundrum if they manage to stick around long enough to face it and that is the classic dilemma of simply following the same formula of the era that launched them into the limelight of their classic period or to sally forth into new experimental battlefields and tackle hitherto unexplored nooks and crannies of the musical world. While MY DYING BRIDE had already developed their classic sound before they released their debut album "As The Flower Withers," they successfully walked the tightrope of retaining their unique stylistic approach while changing things up slightly on all of their first four albums. However after the release of "Like Gods Of The Sun," big changes took place mostly by the departure of the one member, Martin Powell, the major component of the bands signature sound with his stellar violin and keyboard playing. Powell left MY DYING BRIDE and joined Anathema.

Instead of replacing him, MY DYING BRIDE decided to take the opportunity to leap into the world of the unexpected and crank out something unlike anything they'd done before and in the process, the electrifying violin of their previous albums had been completely dropped and would not return until 2009's "For Lies I Sire." If that wasn't enough drummer Rich Miah also jumped shipped and his shoes were filled by Bill Law. Like it or not big change was in the air and MY DYING BRIDE simply took the bull by the horns and cranked out the most out of character albums of their career with 34.788%?COMPLETE which fully embraced the quirky 90s values and steered their gothic doom metal vessels into the the seas of alternative metal, trip hop and the avant-garde. While boldly sailing into the unknown, this album has remained their most controversial moment which in many ways demonstrates the complacency of the metal fans in how they usually frown upon such departures from what came before.

There is no doubt that 34.788%?COMPLETE is a strange album indeed, not only for MY DYING BRIDE but for metal in general. Despite a radical new approach, this album for the most part is unmistakably performed by the doom metal pioneers who came before even without the violin as the synthesized atmospheric backdrop usurps the role albeit in a less effective way. While "Like Gods Of The Sun," opted for shorter more digestible tracks, 34.788%?COMPLETE jumps back into the sprawling epic approach of their earlier albums with most tracks having around the eight minute mark and the opening "The Whore, The Cook And The Mother" extending all the way to twelve. While the first chugging riffs and new vocal style of Aaron Stainthorpe buried under the muddy distorted riffs may sound like a completely new band, the compositional style renders clues with familiar musical flow, alternations between heavier passages and subdued ambient breathing time. This is MY DYING BRIDE, just a very strange version as if this was released in an alternate dimensional reality.

Perhaps the most identifying feature of 34.788%?COMPLETE is the liberal use of production techniques that allow electronica influenced reverberations, echoes effects and synthesized timbres decorate the otherwise heavy plodding doom riffs. Another different feature is the more dynamic use of the dual guitar attack of Andrew Craighan and Calvin Robertshaw as one relentlessly delivers heavily accented doom stomps while the other offers licks that implement pig squeals and even an occasional solo. Perhaps no other feature seems as alien as the trip hop techniques adopted from 90s acts such as Portishead and Massive Attack. While the eight minute track "Heroin Chic" is the standout in how it takes a simple electronic beat and structures minimalistic counterpoints around it while Stainthorpe and guest vocalist Michelle Richfield offer a strange back alley ritualistic salute to the drug scene, the truth is that the overall musical construct of the compositions retains a rather nonchalant trip hoppy free floating vector.

MY DYING BRIDE seemed like they could do no wrong with several albums delivering some of the most sophisticated take on doom metal that fans had ever heard however the response to 34.788%?COMPLETE was not a positive one as it alienated most fans expecting the next subtle step away from "Like Gods Of The Sun." Personally i don't find this album to be the horrible monster that it's made out to be. After all, MY DYING BRIDE were masters of adapting their goth doom sensibilities to the most extreme opposing musical forces and that is still the case with 34.788%?COMPLETE. The problem with this album is that it lacks consistency. While the initial tracks establish an acceptable new strain of their goth doom / alternative hybridization, the album derails in the middle with the admittedly irritating "Heroine Chic" which serves as an eight minute blackhole that completely extinguishes any acceptance of what could have been.

The track is followed by the mediocrity of "Apocalypse Woman" but regains steam with the bass heavy and return to doom guitar prominence splendor of "Base Level Erotica," which sounds most like a more familiar MY DYING BRIDE of yore complete with Stainthorpe's plaintive goth-tinged vocal style. For my money, 34.788%?COMPLETE is actually a decent album with a few fatal flaws. With a running time of approaching a full hour's length, the two aforementioned tracks should have simply been nixed from the final cut since they inconveniently slice through the alternative doom prowess established during the first part of the album and continued with the ending tracks "Base Level Erotica" and "Under Your Wingers And Into Your Arms." Yeah, experimentation is never guaranteed even for the most successful bands who feel they can take any liberties that they wish. 34.788%?COMPLETE was a bold move indeed and mostly works for me. If the two overlong middle tracks were removed this would be a 4 star album for me but as it is only a 3.5 since the remaining tracks are really strong examples of the unlikely mix of alternative goth doom.

3.5 rounded down

 Like Gods Of The Sun by MY DYING BRIDE album cover Studio Album, 1996
3.31 | 39 ratings

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Like Gods Of The Sun
My Dying Bride Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

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.

 The Angel And The Dark River by MY DYING BRIDE album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.00 | 72 ratings

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The Angel And The Dark River
My Dying Bride Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars MY DYING BRIDE came to the attention of the world by not only serving as an example of one of the very first death doom bands that took the plodding riffs of doom metal and married them with death growls and uptempo freneticism, but they singlehandedly went one step further and adopted Gothic rock elements as a canvas to paint their rueful metal art upon. After several EPs and a couple albums that forged a new branch in the metal universe, the band returned in 1995 with their their album THE ANGEL AND THE DARK RIVER and changed their formula around once again this time dropping the death metal attributes completely and focusing on the dirge driven melancholy of molasses-flow doom riffs and soul piercing violin riffs. Aaron Stainthorpe completely dropped any death metal pretenses and performs an entirely goth-tinged plaintive vocal run and except for a final show of extreme metal thunder on "Your Shameful Heaven," THE ANGEL AND THE DARK RIVER pretty much drifts by like a lazy afternoon of darkened clouds in the sky.

The band had caught the attention of the metal underground right from the start but this is the moment when their unique metal craft was noticed by Steve Harris of Iron Maiden who loved the album and invited the band to open for their three month European tour which ultimately revealed their brand of doom goth metal to much larger audiences. While eschewing the death metal elements, MY DYING BRIDE also refined their sound which took all of the different aspects of the previous album "Turn Loose The Swans" and incorporated them all into a more cohesive whole. Where loose piano arpeggios ran free before, now were incorporated into the overall structure that found twin guitar counterpoints stretched to melancholic limits with violin sweeps and atmospheric overcast. While previous albums were composed by various members of the band, THE ANGEL AND THE DARK RIVER was constructed solely by guitarist Andrew Craighan which gives it a more uniform feel.

THE ANGEL AND THE DARK RIVER consists of six lengthy tracks ranging from six and a half minute mark all the way to the longest which is the opener "The Cry Of Mankind" which finds piano arpeggios, guitar, bass and violin counterpoints providing the proper red carpet treatment for Stainthorpe's magnificent goth tinged threnody of lyrical lamentation allegedly inspired by the incessant rainy weather in the north of England. Each track constructs completely unique and self-contained melodic developments that drift and seep into the consciousness before shifting gears and taking turns providing guitar-free moments as well as crunchy grooves that add some climactic heft to the bereaving banter of the sextet's multi-pronged musical attack. This is not the kind of music that bombards the senses, it's the kind that seduces the listener into willingly accepting the poison that extinguishes the light and quashes hope.

While i've strived to find a single flaw in THE ANGEL AND THE DARK RIVER, i can't help but be floored by its sheer perfection of designing the most elegant form of goth doom metal that incorporates moments of English folk and electronic darkwave which unify to create one of doom metal's most memorable moments matched only by the band's previous album "Turn Loose The Swans." I find it hard to choose between the two. The previous albums may have more dynamic variations that ranged from the gothic doom to bombastic death metal but this one has the most consistent overall disposition without sacrificing any of the idiosyncrasies which allowed the band to stand out from the pack. Packed with unique guitar riffs, darkened folky violin genius and a barrage of ever-changing percussive drive, MY DYING BRIDE created their second masterpiece in a row with THE ANGEL AND THE DARK RIVER.

 Turn Loose The Swans by MY DYING BRIDE album cover Studio Album, 1993
4.13 | 77 ratings

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Turn Loose The Swans
My Dying Bride Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars MY DYING BRIDE established a very unique metal style all the way back in 1990 when they formed and merged the disparate sub- genres of doom and death metal with Gothic rock. Along with Paradise Lost and Anathema, MY DYING BRIDE was a pioneer in establishing the marriage of doom and death metal but took a slightly different fork in the road when they created one of the most interesting avenues of the newly fused metal hybrid. After a series of EPs and their debut album 'As The Flower Withers,' MY DYING BRIDE immediately stood out for their inclusion of the violin which set a completely new tone in the metal universe and one which allowed the musical flow to evolve quite differently with the deathened growls and plodding doom riffs going along for the ride.

While the EPs and debut album instantly caught the attention of the underground metal scene, it was the band's second album TURN LOOSE THE SWANS that took it all to the next level and popularized the band's signature style that was completely unheard by the early 90s extreme mental crowds and had established a cornerstone of inspiration for various strains of doom / Gothic metal hybridization ever since. While the previous releases had taken more liberties in the death metal department with high tempo outbursts, TURN LOOSE THE SWANS slowed things down considerably and vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe restrained from the relentless growls and added more plaintive clean vocals as well as poetic spoken words. Likewise with the extreme metal speed toned down, the role of the violin became a major staple of the band which allowed melancholic atmospheric build ups to keep the musical flow steeped in lugubrious longevity.

Violinist Martin Powell was now a full member but also brought more cards to the table. He was also a keyboardist and added a whole new dimension to the band's established death doom sound with more liberties in orchestration and layers of atmospheric funereal melancholy which likewise allowed the music to develop at a slower pace with varying dynamics entering the scene. While diminished from the previous releases, the heavier passages with death growls are still present but now used more as crescendoes after long bouts of atmospheric doom build up reaching the logical apices. The album establishes its atmospheric prowess right from the beginning with the opening 'Sear Me MCMXCIII' which avoid any guitar, bass and drum metal aspects and instead ushers in a sequence of depressive piano arpeggios augmented with Stainthorpe's disconsolate Gothic vocal touches and a tear-inducing violin backdrop.

The album is actually bookmarked by this metal-free style as the closer 'Black God' follows suit in an even darker manner which includes the lovely feminine touch of Zena's vocal charm in conjunct with Stainthorpe's poetically spoken somberness. MY DYING BRIDE's second release TURN LOOSE THE SWANS has been describes as Bram Stoker's Dracula for the ears which is like a musical melodrama that takes on new Gothic heights in a metal context. The album was considered to be a landmark creative development in the hybridization of death-doom and Gothic metal but most of all cranked out an incredible plodding collection of orchestrated metal masterpieces with the longer tracks such as the transcendental 'The Crown Of Sympathy' stealing the show with its innovative progressive meanderings through different musical segments and stylistic juxtapositions. No sophomore slump here. This was only the beginning of a surprisingly long-lasting career and a metal masterpiece at that.

 Trinity by MY DYING BRIDE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1995
3.43 | 11 ratings

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Trinity
My Dying Bride Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Trinity" is a compilation album by UK doom/death metal act My Dying Bride. The compilation was released through Peaceville Records in September 1995. The original version features material from the band's first three EPs: "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium (1992)", "The Thrash of Naked Limbs (1993)", and "I Am the Bloody Earth (1994)" and the A-side track from "The Sexuality of Bereavement (1994)" single. The 2004 re-release features "Vast Choirs" and "Catching Feathers" from the "Towards the Sinister (1990)" demo as bonus material (and a different cover artwork).

The idea to release "Trinity" was great as the three EPs were either out of print, or released in a limited number of copies, which made it hard for the fans to purchase them. There are also quite a few listeners who don't bother with EPs because of the relatively short running times, and that's a problem you don't experience here as "Trinity" (the original version) features 9 tracks and a full playing time of 64:16 minutes.

The quality of the material is a bit up and down though. "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium (1992)" is a pre- album release, and it's obvious at this point, that My Dying Bride were slightly immature as songwriters, and that they were still searching for a unique identity. The title track from the EP is where you'll hear most nods toward the sound on the debut album. Especially the sections which feature violin. Ultra doomy riffs, melancholic violin themes, and growling vocals in front. The two shorter tracks from the "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium (1992)" are pretty standard quality mid-paced death metal tracks, which are both decent, but not really great.

Out of the three tracks from the "The Thrash of Naked Limbs (1993)", it's the title track and to a lesser degree "Gather Me Up Forever", which are worth the price of admission. The ambient and atmospheric "Le Cerf Malade" isn't that interesting and honestly I think it's a typical EP filler track.

"I Am the Bloody Earth (1994)" originally featured three tracks but Transcending (Into the Exquisite) which is a remix by Stevie Dachau featuring elements from various tracks from "Turn Loose the Swans (1993)" is omitted on "Trinity". Instead the title track and Crown of Sympathy (Remix) are accompanied by the A-side from "The Sexuality of Bereavement (1994)" single. A track which was also included as a bonus track on the limited edition digipack version of "The Angel and the Dark River (1995)" (but recorded during the sessions for "Turn Loose the Swans (1993)"). Transcending (Into the Exquisite) isn't the most interesting track, so it's no big loss that it has been left out of this compilation. Crown of Sympathy (Remix) isn't very interesting either though, as it more or less sounds like someone just put the drum track through a chorus effect and not much else. I much prefer the original version from "Turn Loose the Swans (1993)". Both "I Am the Bloody Earth" and "The Sexuality of Bereavement" are pretty decent quality tracks though.

So there are both some quality material on the compilation, some more standard quality material and even a couple of pretty redundant tracks. "Trinity" does serve it's purpose well though, as it helps increase the availability of hard to get non- album material and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Anti-Diluvian Chronicles by MY DYING BRIDE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2005
3.57 | 7 ratings

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Anti-Diluvian Chronicles
My Dying Bride Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "Anti-Diluvian Chronicles" is a compilation album by UK doom/death metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released through Peaceville Records in May 2005. The compilation was released as a 3-disc digipack featuring a poster and a booklet with an in depth interview with lead vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe. Each disc features more than 70 minutes long music, making "Anti-Diluvian Chronicles" quite the comprehensive release. Although it features remix versions of some tracks (some of which also features newly recorded parts), and a couple of live tracks too, it is more than anything just a representation of the bandīs music from their early days until 2004-2005, featuring a tracklist which covers most of My Dying Brideīs releases up until then. In that respect itīs quite different from the bandīs earlier compilation albums, which focused more on rare and hard to get material. "Anti-Diluvian Chronicles" is more of a "best of" compilation, although that expression may be a bit vulgar when speaking of My Dying Brideīs music.

The compilation is build in reverse chronological order, which means that the tracks on disc 1 are the most recently released material (in 2005), while the tracks on disc 3 are material from the earliest part of the bandīs discography. You can always argue about the choice of tracks for the compilation, but overall I think the chosen tracks serve their purpose well and provide a fine representation of what My Dying Bride is about. Although itīs always preferable purchasing the regular studio albums, and the few remix tracks, changes to tracks, and live versions on this compilation donīt change that, "Anti-Diluvian Chronicles" is still what I would label a successful compilation album with great quality material by a unique sounding artist and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Meisterwerk II by MY DYING BRIDE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2001
2.69 | 8 ratings

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Meisterwerk II
My Dying Bride Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Meisterwerk II" is a compilation album by UK doom/death metal act My Dying Bride. The compilation was released through Peaceville Records in June 2001. Itīs the second part of a two series compilation. "Meisterwerk I" was released in November 2000.

"Meisterwerk II" features a combination of album tracks, rare demo/single/limited edition bonus track recordings, and the video for "For You" from "Like Gods of the Sun (1996)". Like the case was on "Meisterwerk I", the regular studio version tracks are a bit redundant, and itīs the rare recordings that are of most interest. The versions of "Vast Choirs" and "Catching Feathers" from the "Towards the Sinister (1990)" demo, "Follower" which is a bonus track from the Japanese version of "34.788%...Complete (1998)", "Some Velvet Morning" from the Peaceville Records "X" compilation, and the Portishead cover "Roads" from the Peaceville Records "X" compilation. Those five tracks and maybe the video for "For You", are the attractions here.

Iīm sure most listeners can do without the regular studio versions of "Sear Me MCMXCIII", "She Is the Dark", "Two Winters Only", and "Your River", which on their own are quality material, but here work more like redundant filler. Therefore "Meisterwerk II" isnīt the most necessary compilation release, and upon conclusion the end product would have been much more interesting if Peaceville Records had compiled the rare recordings from "Meisterwerk I" and "Meisterwerk II" on one release and left out the regular studio recordings. As "Meisterwerk II" is now a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

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