My Dying Bride – Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
My Dying Bride was formed in 1990 and has since released 12 albums and 7 EPs. The band consists of: Aaron Stainthorpe on vocals, Ade Jackson playing bass, Andrew Craighan and Hamish Glencross playing guitar, Shaun Taylor-Steels playing drums, and Sarah Stanton playing keys. My initial thoughts upon reading the band name was that this band was cheesy Goth. The CD cover consists of a winged naked woman with bloody scratches covering her body and the top half of her head missing. She sits in a wooded and gloomy area, which sets the mood perfectly for the sound this CD reveals. After giving a breakdown of each song I will further elaborate on my cheesy Goth comment. As a side note, all of the songs on this CD are lengthy. The shortest song is 5:53 and the longest is 8:45 with the others being somewhere in between those two points.
1. The Wreckage Of My Flesh: This is the longest song on the album, weighing in at 8 minutes and 45 seconds. The song begins with a movie-like drumbeat that you would hear during a battle of some sort. A guitar note resonates and repeats for quite some time and it sounds good. A gloomy mood and sound is set but the vocalist, for some reason, finds it necessary to make high pitched growling sounds as if trying to mimic Cradle of Filth. That doesn’t last long, thank goodness, and he begins singing. Finally the quick paced drumbeat subsides and becomes steady as the guitars change up also and an epic sounding keyboard enters. The entire song sounds very gloomy and border line corny Emo Goth, but luckily it doesn’t make it that far. I love the instrumentals; it’s just the singer that hints at the entire cheesy effect.
2. The Scarlet Garden: The song begins on a distorted and catchy guitar note. Drums enter and the vocalist begins his uninteresting set. Most of the lyrics deal with death and I’m sure this will be a reoccurring theme through out many of the songs. The lyrics are too gloomy to be taken seriously for me. Again, the instrumentals are awesome in this song also.
3. Catherine Blake: Yet again, badass instrumental work. The band has proven to me thus far that they have good talent and catchy tunes. They’ve delightfully filled my head with a good sound, except the vocalist. I cannot get over his corny obsession with death, terror, horror, and other Halloween type topics. It’s not so corny when other people do it but this guy seems to suck at it. Anyhow, a voice erupts every now and then and speaks a sentence or two through out the song. This voice sounds like the voice at the beginning of The A-Team show or a voice you’d hear in a really terrible horror flick and it adds heavily to the stupid ass cheese effect. Other than that kind of shit it’s a good song.
4. My Wine In Silence: The song begins with a soft distorted guitar and a slow drum set. Is this a happy song? If you asked the band I’m sure they would say so. It still has that gloomy feel to it. The sound of the song is clean and well structured as are all the others to this point. My beef still remains with the vocalist. I think he sucks terribly and I’m sick and tired of his screeching, moaning, and priest like voice. I’ve never seen this band live, but I picture this vocalist asshole meandering around on stage with his eyes closed acting as if he were putting forth great effort and emotion into each song. Sounds to me like he forgot to put in any sort of skill.
5. The Prize Of Beauty: Great intro, heavy and hard distortion on the guitars with a great drum beat to back it. This is the kind of shit I get moving to. A single guitar plucks away for a short time and then the beat continues and the vocalist destroys yet another song. The tempo becomes rapid as the drums and guitar increase. A good stomp beat. Church organs add to the musical thrill and it sounds cool. I can’t deal with this singer still. The song ends to the sound of what sounds like an orchestra and a piano. Great range and much change are displayed within 8 minutes of play. A song well done.
6. The Blue Lotus: Well damn. As the song begins on another badass sounding guitar of great distortion and great drumbeat the lyrics are set forth and they sound pretty good. Not many whining, moaning, or stupid screeching. There are a few lyrical parts that suck due to resembling the moaning and whiney sound I hate from every other song, lyrically, on this album, but other than that I enjoy this song but instrumentally and lyrically. The remaining minute or so of the song at the end has a great instrument only session that sounds, simply put, fucking awesome. Be sure to check it out.
7. And My Fury Stands Ready: Great instrumentals again. This seems to be the recurring theme. The vocalist sounds like a crypt keeper of some sort, but in a stupid way. I can tell you how lame this guy is; you have to hear for yourself. The song is dark and gloomy, as are almost all of the others, and slow and mind numbingly boring near the middle of the song. This is the first song I’ve become bored with even though they are all lengthy tracks. Finally that stupid corny horror movie voice penetrates the speakers and mouths off a few cheesy ass sentences and back to the good music and heavy distortion of guitars we go.
8. A Doomed Lover: Probably my least favorite track. It’s a boring song with boring vocals (not surprisingly) and is long and drawn out. This is the only song I truly didn’t like instrumentally.
If this CD were purely instrumental it would be a great compilation. Unfortunately, the singer sucks ass and destroys much integrity on each track. The sound of the songs is hard and heavy, but not too fast. Most every track is very catchy and enjoyable, besides hearing the vocalist. If they drop the vocalist for someone with some actual talent and skill they could be a damn great band. Maynard Keenan (Tool, APC) would be a fucking awesome singer for this kind of music in my opinion. Getting back to my original statement of “cheesy Goth like band”, I still feel they are a bit lame. My opinion changed greatly after hearing the entire album but there is still a silly Goth element to be had with this band. The CD screams of a dramatic and gloomy Goth group and obviously it’s what they’re aiming for. Fair enough, I say, and a job well done. The CD is certainly worth a listen simply for the instrumental elements. On a scale of 1-10 I give this entire album a 7.
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