My Dying Bride

My Dying Bride are one of the first doom metal bands, think early Anathema or Paradise Lost. They are also (and will probably continue to be until they break up) one of the best doom bands I have heard.

Current Line-Up
Aaron Stainthorpe Vocals
Ade Jackson Bass
Andrew Craighan Guitars
Hamish Glencross Guitars
Shaun Taylor-Steels Drums
Sarah Stanton Keyboards

My Dying Bride formed in June 1990, recording a demo Torwards the Sinister and then a 7 inch for a French record label. They signed with British label Peaceville (who are known for signing these sorts of bands) in 1991. Their first ep, Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium was released and then their first full length As the Flower Withers. At this point their sound was of the same death metal influenced doom sound as their mates Anathema, Paradise Lost and Katatonia among others. However My Dying Bride were always more death metal influenced, and their first album has many moments where the doom elements break into grindcore sounding speed moments. My Dying Bride were more bare bones than their counterparts in other doom bands, using the simple sounds of guitar, bass, drums, vocals and violin, with time to time some keyboards. They balanced out their doom passages with fast and heavy de-tuned Earache sounding passages.

By their second full-length Turn Loose the Swans was released they became more elegiac and in many ways darker. Many fans consider Turn Loose the Swans the bands greatest. It featured slower and more doom oriented songs and the combination of grunting vocals (which were used exclusivly on As the Flower Withers) and clean vocals. On their third full length The Angel and the Dark River they had matured greatly, moving away from both the death metal aspects and the Anathema like doom. They had really found their own sound, and in my opinion it is their best. Many fans consider it to the best as well, depending on your taste. It features my personal favorite song of theirs "The Cry of Mankind". Aaron also used exclusivly clean vocals for this album, which he would continue to do until recently.

Since their fourth album Like Gods of the Sun the band has released album after album of quality, each one a masterwork of despairing darkness. To tell the truth I can't say a bad thing about any of them except amazement that a band can keep playing good music constantly and consistantly over 8 albums and 15 years, it really is truely amazing.

A few other notes about the band. Unlike Anathema who changed their sound to a more alternative and psychedelic sound, or Katatonia who also moved to a alternative sound, My Dying Bride has stuck to their guns, being one of the only first wave doom bands still playing something that really sounds like metal. This will please fans of metal obviously.

The band itself is very talented, partciularly the drummer (or drummers, I'm not sure how much the line-up has changed), as they always find ways to make the songs much more interesting, using nice fills and etc. The drums very often remind me Joy Division, which is a good thing. Ultimately when you buy a My Dying Bride album you will find that they are albums, each song bleeds into the other. Their albums create a mood of over-bearing darkness, more so than most bands I have heard. The most amazing thing is that they do this consistantly. I never am failed to be impressed by this excellent band. If you were to want to check them out I'd suggest either The Angel and the Dark Rive or any album after that, and then move back to their first two albums which have the more death metal influence which can be a bit harder to swallow, though they're still good.

I can't say enough good things about this excellent band, except that the emotion and intensity contained in their interplay of tragic guitar and violin lines, with Aaron's dark despairing vocals and the depressive atmosphere built up in every second of space on each cd is beyond belief and must be heard if you love dark music.

Discography

Albums
1992 As the Flower Withers Peaceville
1994 Turn Loose the Swans Futurist
1996 The Angel and the Dark River Fierce
1997 Like Gods of the Sun Fierce
1998 34.788%...Complete Mayhem
1999 The Light at the End of the World Peaceville/Snapper
2001 The Dreadful Hours Peaceville/Snapper
2002 The Voice of the Wretched live Peaceville/Snapper
2004 Songs of Darkness, Words of Light Peaceville

Compliations
1995 Trinity Fierce
2001 Meisterwerk 1 Peaceville/Snapper
2001 Meisterwerk 2 Peaceville/Snapper

DVD:
2002 For Darkest Eyes Peaceville/Snapper

(Source allmusic.com, mainly for dates and discography cause I don't remeber all of that very well, though I do the music.)

Band website: www.mydyingbride.org

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