My Dying Bride
Turn Loose the Swans


4.0
excellent

Review

by rasputin USER (196 Reviews)
October 24th, 2007 | 146 replies | 21,265 views


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the founding albums of doom metal, and a beautiful, haunting album in itself.

3 of 4 thought this review was well written

Turn Loose the Swans is the debut album by My Dying Bride, and is a taste of the dominance that this band will show in later years in the genre of doom metal. Along with classic albums like Dance of December Souls (Katatonia) and Forests of Equilibrium (Cathedral), Turn Loose the Swans is one of the foundations that the whole genre is built on. It is an excellent album to listen to, and a wonderful addition to any metal collection.

The album begins with the song Sear Me MCMXCIII, which is a very atmospheric piece. It features slow and mournful singing from Aaron Stainthrope, and utilizes strings and a keyboard to create a emotion-filled introduction to the album. It is a very nice way to begin, and sets the tone for the rest of the album.
The next song is Your River, a personal favourite of mine, and a classic track. Again, this one is very atmospheric, and you can feel the tension building up throughout the song until it explodes at the end with a very catchy, yet heavy riff. Stainthrope shows off his harsh vocals for the first time (which he doesn’t do enough of anymore). The song ends with the lyrics:
'Where now? Feed me! Hold me! Save me! Save
yourself! Where now? Which way? Dear god,
show me. Take your own. Struggle free! Arise!
You're Ruined! Stand down! Your kin, piled
thick around you. Save yourself!'
This track will haunt you long after you have listened to it.

The next two tracks, The Songless Bird and The Snow in My Hands follow the same sort of formula, oozing with atmosphere, fading in and out between melodic harmonies and aggressive tones. Special mention must be made of Stainthropes's voice. He has the perfect voice for doom metal, and his harsh vocals are very good. He manages to create a balance between the two vocal styles which gives this release an edge over rival album, such as Katatonia’s Dance of December Souls. Stainthrope’s voice just fits doom metal a lot better than Renske’s. So we're 4 songs into the album, and we've already had 30 minutes worth of music. With albums of this type, you'd expect there to be some sort of short filler to give us a break from the music, but no, we are thrown into two even longer tracks and one shorter one to finish off the album. This can make album hard to listen to, especially if you aren't that patient or don't have a fondness of doom metal. On the other hand, it makes the album a whole lot more powerful and involving, as long as you are willing to give it that extra bit of attention.

The first of these two longer songs, The Crown of Sympathy chugs along at a steady pace, slowing down, and then speeding back up. This is probably the dullest song on the album. It is the longest, and just doesn’t have any brilliant moments which the other tracks all have. Being 12 minutes long, you'd want it to be interesting. Next comes the title track, and immediately sucks you in with an immersing guitar riff backed with strings, before Stainthrope begins the song with a very evil and menacing tone. Turn Loose the Swans is a very strong track, and probably the heaviest on the album. This song, along with Your River, epitomizes what My Dying Bride was trying to achieve with the album: a balance between atmospheric dread and Armageddon. Turn Loose the Swans is the defining Doom Metal song; it literally spells out doom, musically.
Following the title track, we have the final song, Black God. This is a beautiful and somber piece of music, which finishes off the album nicely. At first glance, I thought this was just another song, as it is almost 5 minutes long, but it is just a very long outro. The outro is so important for an epic album likes this, as it sets the mood that one would feel after finishing the album. This gives it that extra something that is missing from a lot of today's music. Black God is just sublime. I cannot give it enough praise. It is probably my favourite track behind Your River and Turn Loose the Swans.

Overall, this album is superb, and achieves everything it sets out to do. I cannot recommend it enough, as it is definitely one of the best doom metal albums I have ever listened to, perhaps only exceeded by Forests of Equilibrium by Cathedral.

Recommended Tracks:
Your River
Turn Loose the Swans
Black God



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user ratings (265)
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4.2
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Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
October 24th 2007



14538 Comments


Still getting into the habit of writing reviews, any constuctive criticism is welcome.

Altmer
October 24th 2007



5652 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

tbt's are boring and blagh to read. your style is not fluid enough. you just posit a bunch of information, really.

that said this album rules

masscows
October 24th 2007



2236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is sooo good

review is a little meh

rasputin
October 24th 2007



14538 Comments


I try to keep a balance between tbt and general reviewing, but thanks, I'll try and move away from tbt. It's late and I'm sleep deprived, it could have waited until tomorrow but I felt like writing it now. Maybe not such a good idea :P oh well.

freudianslipknot
October 24th 2007



803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Just one or two errors. It's Stainthorpe not Stainthrope. Also, As the Flower Withers is their debut album - this is their second. I really enjoy this album - classic doom really - although I agree with your rating - it just drags a little here and there.

Willie
Moderator
October 24th 2007



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is one of the finest albums to ever be released under the Doom banner....

I think your first review was slightly better, mostly due to what others have already said. It looks like you made more of an effort to not have random line-breaks within your paragraphs this time, but there's still a few. What you might want to do on your next one is write it, and then leave it for a day. Come back to it fresh the next day and then edit it... you'll catch a lot more stuff that way. It's what I do, at least...

smokersdieyounger
October 24th 2007



672 Comments


Review is ok, you should explain the sounds more, use comparison's and not just to music, how does this record mkae you feel??

Explain Doom a little more, I've nearly bought this record loads of times.

rasputin
October 25th 2007



14538 Comments


thanks a lot guys, I'll try and get another review out in the next few days including everything you've mentioned.

freudianslipknot: my bad, thanks for correcting the mistake.

freudianslipknot
October 25th 2007



803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off



Willie
Moderator
November 20th 2007



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is a great album... no one into doom should be without it.

Angmar
April 10th 2008



2689 Comments


Pretty good album, but I find it hard to believe you think Crown of Sympathy is the weakest song, as it is easily the best by a long shot.

charlesfishowitz
April 10th 2008



1794 Comments


^agreed...The Crown of Sympathy is the best song on here....and so sad..at least, i think so.

masscows
April 10th 2008



2236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sear Me MCMXCIII is my favorite song on this album, which I find strange because it isn't metal in the slightest. The other songs kind of blend a little aside from the vocal melodies, though I really love the contrast of the doom and death parts.

I need to listen to this more probably.

rasputin
April 11th 2008



14538 Comments


Your River is my favourite. I'm thinking I might do a re-write of this, it's my second review and definitely seems a little dated

Tarantino's Tarantulas
April 11th 2008



819 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Seconded on Your River.

Willie
Moderator
April 11th 2008



15908 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Your River is my favourite. I'm thinking I might do a re-write of this, it's my second review and definitely seems a little dated
I'm partial to the title track, myself... I love the violin parts near the middle of the song that transition into that heavy death part...
I went back and updated quite a few of my older reviews about a month or two ago... I felt better ;)

rasputin
April 11th 2008



14538 Comments


I'm partial to the title track, myself... I love the violin parts near the middle of the song that transition into that heavy death part...

I went back and updated quite a few of my older reviews about a month or two ago... I felt bette

It's the ending that does it for me, so aggressively intimate :D
If I can find time, I want to re-work this review and my Dance of December Souls review. They both could do with a do-over.

kveldulf57
June 1st 2008



49 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think that Your River is not only the greatest song of this album but the best this band ever recorded. Generally its a must have for every doom death metal fun! Its as classic as it gets!

fireaboveicebelow
June 2nd 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

eh, not really. I guess that's why you said generally

BallsToTheWall
October 20th 2008



44164 Comments


Out of the best My Dying Bride albums, do any of them feature femnale vocals?



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