My Dying Bride
13 May 2013
by Daniel Cairns
Whilst peers like Paradise Lost and Anathema have gone through a litany of musical changes, experimenting with Depeche Mode style electronics and glorious anthemic rock songs, My Dying Bride have mercifully continued to wallow in their Keats-meets-Castlevania misery, writing melodic dirges for those moments at four in the morning when you’re not miserable enough for Khanate, but still feel a bit naff anyway.
It’s not like My Dying Bride were ever incapable of doing anything different. Their one attempt at branching out a bit, the severely underrated 34.788% was met with the kind of fan backlash which makes you wish metal fans would just bugger off down a well forever. So for the past 15 years they’ve stuck steadfastly to the melodramatic, lyrical doom that’s served them so well. They’ve managed to maintain a pretty high quality too, as their last EP The Barghest O’ Whitby and this one, The Manuscript proves.
It’s business as usual really. They’ll make no new fans off The Manuscript, but they won’t lose any either. Aaron Stainthorpe creaks away over melodic, mournful symphonies like he’s laconically, miserably slouched himself on a leather couch in a dimly lit room in a gothic mansion, with only candle-light, the dying embers of a once raging, warm fire, and glints of moonlight dancing languidly on the surface of the half-finished merlot he’s been nursing, providing any semblance of illumination while reading a book. For shits and giggles let’s imagine the book is the Players Guide to Banjo Kazooie.
There’s nothing wrong with it really. Nothing mould breaking either, and My Dying Bride will never suddenly find themselves inspiring a Harlem Shake style craze (although I would give absolutely everything to see them start the “Yorkshire sulk”) but sod it. In a shitty unpredictable world, it’s nice to have something reliable like My Dying Bride to remind you that everything is truly utterly meaningless, any and all struggle is futile and we are all but slaves to the whims of a cruel, unpredictable mistress called mortality who could cruelly yank away the choke chain of existence clasped around our necks at any moment.
Sounds like: A long, lyrical and very smartly dressed sigh
Standout tracks: Vår Gud över Er, Only Tears to Replace Her With