My Dying Bride have been around now for longer than you’ve probably been alive, and except for one time in the mid-90s when they got a little dance-y or something until everyone called them out on it, they’ve pretty much done the one thing.
That one thing has been a trademarked form of crushing, deathy, melodramatic doom with slow, enormous riffs that ring out for minutes at a time, while Aaron Stainthorpe vocalises various forms of anguished crooning, growling, wailing and moaning with violins and other orchestration sawing away in the background. That might make them sound like a bit of a one-trick pony, but is Cannibal Corpse a one-trick pony, always writing fucked-up death metal songs about zombies and shit? Does one accuse Scorsese of one-trick ponyism after his 40th movie about mobsters, with De Niro playing a slowly unravelling psychopath? No, one does not, for to do so would be to overlook or ignore the subtle nuances and stylistic flourishes these artists bring to their best work.
Even if they have a definite formula they rarely mess with (again, 34.788%… Complete will always be their albatross and, really, probably should have been called 99.998%… Complete when you think about it), MDB can throw out a good curveball, like how The Solace sounds like a metal band riffing out to an Enya jam or how the drummer does a couple of huge build-ups to a tension break that never comes in The Long Black Land. OK, so that might not be much nuance, but the thing is that when it comes to My Dying Bride, no one cares about that, just as we don’t care that Cannibal Corpse hasn’t started writing songs about partying and Scorsese hasn’t made a space western.
We expect lots of Stainthorpe doing a self-styled Gothic-y Shelley-esque poetry performance where he sounds both sad and angry at the same time, while immense riffs and twisty melody lines go on around him, and that’s what My Dying Bride do on The Ghost of Orion. One of the songs is quite short, one has no vocals, and the rest are really long, dramatic, dark and mournful, albeit with a few more harmonies than in times past. It’s exactly what you want My Dying Bride to be, and if it isn’t then you don’t like My Dying Bride.
- Your Broken Shore
- To Outlive the Gods
- Tired of Tears
- The Solace
- The Long Black Land
- The Ghost of Orion
- The Old Earth
- Your Woven Shore