My Dying Bride
34.788%... Complete


2.0
poor

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
May 31st, 2008 | 49 replies | 9,177 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The "experimental" album that failed.

My Dying Bride are widely recognized as being one of the forerunners of the doom movement and have probably done more to keep doom on the map then any other one band. While most other doom bands of the nineties started abandoning the genre for other musical avenues, My Dying Bride stuck to their guns and released consistently good albums while doing so. Coming off a fairly successful album (Like Gods of the Sun) that saw them shorten their song lengths but strengthen their compositional skills, no one could have predicted how bad this album was really going to turn out.

While no one factor could ever be blamed for making an album terrible (unless you’re Watchtower), a very disapproving finger could still be pointed in the direction of the vocalist, Aaron Stainthorpe. I am a huge fan of this band, but it’s no stretch to say that Aaron isn’t the strongest of vocalists in the first place, but on this album he is mostly terrible. I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but his vocals on here often sound like he is Elmer Fudd depressed that he can’t kill any wabbits. His vocals are extremely nasally, monotone, and occasionally out of key as well, and they’re made worse by the next factor. In keeping with what was apparently an album of experimentation, a lot of Aaron’s vocals have the smallest amount of distortion or other processing done to them which only serves to make them more grating. Other bands have proven, though, that if the music is good enough the vocals can usually be overlooked, but this music isn’t good enough.

The music feels uninspired due to its repetitive nature and lack of any meaningful dynamics. A good example of this comes on the opening track where the heavier section consists of basically one riff with an additional melody introduced on a few occasions. That wouldn’t be so bad except the song is twelve minutes of the same thing apart from an excruciating four minutes in the middle that consists of single, quiet guitar notes over which are various spoken-word samples. Another issue that is apparent from the opening track is the boring percussion. This is the first and only MDB album to feature Bill Law on drums, and the lack of the previous drummer is apparent. Whereas the previous drummer was able to add fills and rolling double bass despite the slow nature of the music, this guy generally sticks to the most basic of beats causing the songs to feel as if they’re dragging even slower then they really are.

Later songs don’t do anything to fix any of these problems either. The vocals are still horrible, the songs are still repetitive, and the drums are still boring as hell. Another problem that might not hit people until a few songs in is the total lack of anything heavy or aggressive. Yes, this is still the era where Aaron wasn’t growling anymore, but the music always had enough chunky riffs to make up for it, but they just don’t exist on this album. Of course, heaviness isn’t a requirement but the lack of any real interesting melodies or other substitute makes its absence noticeable. When you add the extremely thin production on this album and you’re not left with much to like, but they do give you a song that is easily the worst they have ever put out called “Heroin Chick”.

“Heroin Chick” is the culmination of everything that is wrong with this album. The percussion is merely tapping with some minor cymbal work and sounds like it was programmed or at least looped. Aaron’s vocals are the most monotone and annoying that I’ve ever heard from him. He simply speaks some of the stupidest lyrics I’ve heard with female vocals in the background. The guitar part is also minimal, and forgettable; basically there isn’t one redeeming factor to this song that also happens to be eight minutes long. When the band nosedives into something this horrendous, anything after is going to sound ok by comparison and that is the case with the track immediately following, but then reality sets back in and the final two tracks hit all the ruts of their predecessors.

If I were the band I would have this album pulled from circulation because I know that if this had been my first introduction to MDB that I wouldn’t have ever tried to listen to them again without a lot of convincing. It’s possible that this album is a blessing in disguise because it was bad enough to shake the band up enough to return to their roots and what they do best, but basically I’m just reaching for something nice to say because this album is horrible and holds no redeeming factors for all but the most dedicated fans.



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user ratings (119)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
May 31st 2008



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I realize by the rating spread that there are those that disagree with my rating, maybe it will prompt discussion or an opposing review (doubt it though). Just remember the neg is for "Was the review well written" not "Is this guy an asshole for not liking everything your favorite band shits out".

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

fireaboveicebelow
May 31st 2008



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I've heard of only one person who actually liked this. Good review

Zoo
May 31st 2008



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Quality review. This really is their only bad album.

HeadCharge123
May 31st 2008



475 Comments


I can't get into doom metal at all really, it just grates with me so I won't even bother checking this band out.
Last time I tried I was put off big time. On the other hand, the last time I tried was about a year ago. Back then my favourite band was Bring Me The Horizon lmfao.

Ohh and btw - Good review (:This Message Edited On 05.31.08

Crimson
May 31st 2008



1935 Comments


Never been a huge fan of the MDB that I've heard before, even though I do like a fair bit of doom. which album would you say is their best?

Zoo
May 31st 2008



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Their first two albums are definitely the best. I like The Dreadful Hours more between the two of them.

Hawks
May 31st 2008



34582 Comments


I was going to check this out because i've never heard this one before, but now i dont think i will.

Digging: Equilibrium - Erdentempel

Altmer
May 31st 2008



5652 Comments


turn loose the swans is the best

(and no I don't have this)This Message Edited On 05.31.08

Willie
Moderator
May 31st 2008



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Their first two albums are definitely the best. I like The Dreadful Hours more between the two of them.
The Dreadful Hours is actually their seventh album (or around there) it's just that who ever put it on the site didn't put a release date so it's at the bottom. "As the Flower Whithers" and "Turn Lose the Swans" are their first two albums. Either way, Turn Lose the Swans is still their crowning moment.

Zoo
May 31st 2008



3759 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Ha, yes you're right. I wasn't thinking.

SHOOTME
May 31st 2008



2393 Comments


Incredible...

86 reviews and you still manage to keep 100% approval.

Pebster49
June 1st 2008



2991 Comments


nice review...I was actually thinking about getting this too, lol.

Thats because Willie does a kick ass job on all his reviews, dur...

Willie
Moderator
June 1st 2008



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Incredible...

86 reviews and you still manage to keep 100% approval.
You couldn't imagine the amount of sexual favors I have to perform to keep that rating!!! It's worse cause I'm heterosexual too! Those staff members are the worst...



SHOOTME
June 1st 2008



2393 Comments


lolz

If only I had the appetite for that many sexual favors...

rasputin
June 1st 2008



14517 Comments


haha, Willie can't help being good. Haven't heard this, wasn't going to bother anyway. Good review, pos'd.

Willie
Moderator
June 1st 2008



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

ha ha, Willie writes all his reviews at work cause he gets paid to mainly do nothing so he has the time ;) Right now Willie is drunk and not writing any reviews

SHOOTME
June 1st 2008



2393 Comments


Willie has a wonderful life, sometimes while Willie is drunk.

Willie
Moderator
June 1st 2008



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

All the time Willlie has a wonderful life, but his girlfriend passed out while watching Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back with him, so now he's here... who the fuck just steals a monkey?

SHOOTME
June 1st 2008



2393 Comments


that, along with the other comments, brought the lolz for showz.

Sorry for the last part of that sentence, that was kattunlover-ish.

Willie
Moderator
June 1st 2008



15881 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Nevermind...This Message Edited On 06.01.08



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