My Dying Bride

(Copyright © 1999-2020 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
As The Flowers Wither , 6.5/10
Turn Loose The Swans , 6/10
The Angel & The Dark River , 7/10
Like Gods Of The Sun , 5/10
34.778% Complete , 4/10
The Light At The End Of The World , 5/10
The Dreadful Hours , 6.5/10
Songs of Darkness Words of Light (2004), 5/10
A Line of Deathless Kings (2006), 5/10
For Lies I Sire (2009), 4.5/10
Evinta (2011), 5/10
A Map of All Our Failures (2012), 4.5/10
Feel the Misery (2015), 5/10
The Ghost of Orion (2020), 5/10

If English is your first language and you could translate my old Italian text, please contact me. I My Dying Bride, assestati attorno al cantante Aaron Stainthorpe e ai chitarristi Andrew Craighan e Calvin Robertshaw, sono una delle formazioni di punta del doom metal Britannico. Il loro stile era fin dall'inizio un rock gotico che si esprime in suite baroccamente orchestrali come Symphonia Infernus Et Sphera Empyrium (l'EP del 1992) o le "cantate" medievali del coevo album As The Flowers Wither (Peaceville, 1992), in particolare Sear Me, o The Crown Of Sympathy sul doppio Turn Loose The Swans (Peaceville, 1993), con il violinista Martin Powell.

Un nuovo vertice di sperimentazione e` rappresentato da The Angel & The Dark River (Peaceville, 1995). Nelle sei fosche visioni di questo lavoro (durata media: otto minuti) il gruppo raggiunge forse la perfezione formale del doom metal. La musica di The Cry Of Mankind e` marziale e wagneriana: la dizione da zombie e` sepolta sotto una spessa coltre di suoni, solcata da un carillon del pianoforte. Il cerimoniale agonizzante continua con A Sea To Suffer In e gli altri spasmodici martiri, sempre puntellato da riff epici di chitarra. Il nadir emotivo di queste cantilene catatoniche, Black Voyage, e` anche il momento piu` lirico, grazie al violino. Monotono e monocorde fino alla paranoia, il sound dei My Dying Bride costituisce comunque il punto d'arrivo di tutta la corrente "doom", un punto d'arrivo che ha poco in come con il resto dell'heavy metal.

Il gotico sinfonico di Like Gods Of The Sun (Mayhem, 1997) abusa pero` dei suoi stessi codici espressivi. I requiem di For My Fallen Angel e It Will Come ripetono stancamente le stesse nenie e la poesia di A Kiss To Remember non commuoverebbe un vampiro. Nell'era di Black Tape For A Blue Girl e Lycia i My Dying Bride suonano terribilmente antiquati.

Pochi come i My Dying Bride hanno tentato di rinnovare l'heavymetal in maniera cosi` profonda.

Perso il violinista Martin Powell, venne l'infelice parentesi elettronica di 34.778% Complete (Peaceville, 1998).

A new lineup, with only one guitar after the departure of Calvin Robertshaw, and with new drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels, and with keyboardist Jonny Maudling, returned to their classic doom sound on The Light At The End Of The World (Peaceville, 2000), although only the eight-minute She Is the Dark is worth of the old fantasias.

Meisterwerk is an anthology.

In the new century the band remained centered around vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe and guitarist Andrew Craighan. The Dreadful Hours (Peaceville, 2001), that adds second guitarist Hamish Glencross and keyboardists Jonny Mauding and Yasmin Ahmed to the lineup, fared much better. The songs last, on average, eight minutes each, and the sound is the epic, monumental, guitar-driven doom & gloom, especially in Le Figlie Della Tempesta and in the 14-minute closer, The Return To The Beautiful, while the nine-minute The Dreadful Hours bridges doom and post-rock.

Songs of Darkness Words of Light (2004), featuring new keyboardist Sarah Stanton, was like an inferior version of the previous album: same pathos, same instrumental fluency, but few memorable passages, and therefore these long compositions mostly are a mess. Certainly the atmosphere is the darkest of their career, but it ends up feeling repetitive without enough magic to sustain it. The Wreckage of My Flesh and Catherine Blake are the two songs to save. Maybe this album should have been a three-song EP.

A Line of Deathless Kings (2006), without drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels (replaced by a session drummer) mostly disposed of both the growling vocals and of the heavy darkness. The problem remained the same: weak material that could have been compressed in an EP. Save only And I Walk with Them and maybe L'Amour Detruit.

For Lies I Sire (2009), with new bassist Lena Abe' replacing original bassist Adrian Jackson, new dummer Dan Mullins replacing Shaun Taylor-Steels and new keyboardist and violinist Katie Stone replacing Stanton, marked the return of the violin in their sound, but was even more The eleven-minute Death Triumphant is typical of the redundant theatrics that now bogs down their music.

The double-disc Evinta (2011), with new keyboardist and violinist Shaun MacGowan replacing Stanton, was an experiment in ambient music with classical ambitions: prominent piano and violin, even soprano vocals (Lucie Roche) and spoken-word vocals. Elegant, somber and melancholic music, but stretched too long for their musical skills. The 27-minute piece of the EP The Barghest O' Whitby (2011) is a worthy addition to the experiment.

A Map of All Our Failures (2012) returned to the generic, bloated doom metal of For Lies I Sire.

The Vaulted Shadows (2014) compiles two EPs, The Barghest O' Whitby (2011) and The Manuscript (2013).

Hamish Glencross quit and Calvin Robertshaw rejoined for Feel the Misery (2015), another album catering to the old fans with lengthy and darkly lyrical suites like To Shiver in empty Halls, And My Father Left Forever and Within a Sleeping Forest.

The Ghost of Orion (2020), with new drummer Jeff Singer (ex-Paradise Lost) replacing Shaun Taylor-Steels and guitarist Neil Blanchett replacing Calvin Robertshaw, was mostly composed by guitarist Andrew Craighan. The violin is more prominent than in the previous decade, and the vocals are as clean as they have ever been. The album collects the uneven singles Your Broken Shore (both clean and growling vocals) and Tired of Tears (only clean vocals) and mediocre songs and interludes that feel like filler. The notable exception is ten-minute The Old Earth, easily the standout. The album was followed by the four-song EP Macabre Cabaret (2020).

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