Artist: My Dying Bride
Album: A Map Of All Our Failures
Genre: doom metal
The British doom metal band My Dying Bride are amongst the founders of the death/doom metal genre, and while they have stayed true to their origins, they have at the same time managed to evolve and create densely rich and layered music. Their newest release A Map Of All Our Failures might be one of the best death/doom releases I have ever listened to. Not only did this band manage to create a hauntingly beautiful record, their latest release also contains a level of maturity and an amount of layers which you can only find in a band that is as rooted in their music as My Dying Bride in death/doom.
From the church bells opening “Kneel till Doomsday” until the final chord of “Abandoned As Christ”, this release has grabbed my attention and kept me listening. Moreover, as the music is too rich to fully grasp when listening for the first time, I found myself listening to this album over and over for about a week, and at every session I discovered new textures and layers within that massive carpet of sound. I concluded that this album is to be enjoyed like, and with, rich and full-bodied red wine.
The elaborate lyrics are perfectly embedded within the rich music of My Dying Bride and showcase all the failure which lies in the history of humanity. While the death/doom genre might easily lure musicians into cliché lyrics of death and despair, these masters still keep their content at an intelligent level.
The opening track “Kneel Till Doomsday” combines heavy, deep doom with death riffs and furious growls, and grasps the listener at both legs for a trip through history. “The Poorest Waltz” is a typical doom song, but it bursts with creativity. The heartfelt violin solos by Shaun Macgowan on this track are of a level that is comparable to the band's earlier work, for example “For You” from Like Gods Of The Sun. “A Tapestry Scorned” combines a violin sound that sends shivers down your spine with very rich vocal work by Aaron Stainthorpe. This vocalist understands the full range of his instrument: from whispering over spoken word to rich sonorous singing and death screams.
The fourth track “Like A Perpetual Funeral” takes the tempo down to the level of funeral doom. The title track “A Map Of All Our Failures” is one of the richest compositions of the album. Although being a down-tempo track as well, the guitar lines and violin lines, as well as the emotion radiating off Aaron's voice, make this song so powerful it makes my heart ache and eyes burn.
“Hail Odysseus” is more reminiscent of a steam train stomping its way through a desolate landscape. “Within The Presence Of Absence” is again My Dying Bride at their best – swooningly romantic with a leading role for the violin. The final track of this grand oeuvre is “Abandoned As Christ”, which features a piercing guitar sound that almost seems to whisper “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”
Listen to a track from the album here:
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