MY DYING BRIDE – ‘A Map of All Our Failures’ REVIEW; Release Date October 15, 2012
British Doom Metal has a somewhat better in my opinion than some of the stuff that comes out of America. Just seems to have a lot more thought put into the song structures and lyrics to give it more depth and feeling, My Dying Bride, (Label Peaceville Records) Bradford Based band here in the UK (only 15 minutes away from where I live actually) is no exception. And after listening to a few of the tracks a week or so ago on a promo, it looks as tho it would shape up to be an all mighty Fucking soul wrenching album. Going since 1990, they have held it together despite having over 10 members departing in the past, but have produced ten previous Studio Album’s, making this number 11. This Album in particular is just that extra special, and have done something that will please their fans, Limited editions will be available with a bonus track, not to mention a DVD featuring a 70 minute long Documentary, ‘An Evening with the Bride’. Not a new idea, but die hard fans will love it.
Aaron Stainthorpe, Vocals, has a very firm grasp of what he wants to do and how he goes about doing it. Not so overpowering you have to search for the lyrics to know what he is saying, but actually very clear. But he can go on a bit, groaning away, then again, it adds to the atmosphere quite well. And in recent years, even on this album he has softened up a lot.
Andrew Craighan and Harmish Glencross, guitarists, have done some phenomenal work, although in technical terms the songs are fairly easy, they have made good use of simple riffs/leads and feedback, most notable on track 4, ‘Like a Perpetual Funeral’,
Lena Abe on bass, again working with the guitar harmonies in a very clever way, great use of just about all the notes available, feedback again, and in general, its nice to hear a bass that don’t drown out everything and adds a really nice balance to the whole album. Very clean tones and straight forward beat catching.
Shaun McGowan, Violin and keys, has added that much needed atmosphere in some of the ….. lighter songs in the album, Very Lestat’esk (From the movie, Queen of the Damned). Simple and to the point. Its a fantastic little instrument, and fits very nicely. Track 5 is probably the best example of this, which just happens to be the title track, ‘A Map of all our Failures’.
On Drums we have Shaun Taylor-Steels. Originally one of the first pioneers of the Doom Metal Genre back in the late 80’s, early 90’s in his previous band ‘Anathema’. Apparently he announced he was leaving the band back in 2006 after the album A Line of Deathless Kings due to health concerns. But he’s come back for this album, so he must have either got well again or just plained ignored his health, who knows? But it is good to have him back in the saddle as he does provide that ‘Extra’ touch and far superior to Dan Mullins, who appeared on the last album in 2009, ‘For Lies I Sire’. Shaun can discover both sides of the extremes, light or super powerful. Just adds to that emotion of the album.
As a whole, the album is very powerful and is literally full of poetry. Typically English, you can tell they have a good telephone manor. A little slow in places, and it can last some time, but in others it is worthy of moshing out. Everything works very well together and has been produced with precision. While it embodies the purity of the instruments they use, not much use in the way of FX, it still feels as tho it lacks something. If I had to place a finger on it, it would have to be either an Orchestra or Choir, even if it was only a small ensemble, it would give it that extra kick it needs.
In conclusion, go and buy it, it is a very good album to listen to if you want a little English culture thrown at your ears. It Works, full of emotion but lacks a little more background atmosphere. Overall 8/10, a very strong album from quite possibly the best Doom Metal band the UK has to offer.
By Stuart Marsland
Sources: MyDyingBride.net, Mydyingbride.org, Peaceville Records, Metal Archives and Wikipedia