After an hour of barely standing in a subtle thunderstorm, I question the length of impact previous events have taken towards the future. In this time we fear not life, but the flowing silence of shared pain between our mother and father. We barricade ourselves in holes of temperament just as we see the others pass by with beckoning smiles on their ugly faces. This could be a new dawn; a rite of spring. Could this be what people mean by joy, or is this a masquerade of dispossession? There is no such thing as living, only this moment that shall last as long as my mind is my might. Only this memory…nothing else is real. It’s a funeral procession of winds…catatonic lungs…no smell but this raw cloud of self-disgust and a poor lamentation…Yet as I sit there in a cacophonous restlessness the world around me has absolved into a barren, placid lake where the smoke acts as embers as they swirl and dance and enter my lungs so generously. The sky is empty and retains a harsh, blood red like that of a ruby moon. I can only sit along the edge of this sea that swallows the sun in a bleak, hopeless horizon…and the fire is dead.
That's just the first song. The emotional capacity of this cd is limitless. It's quite hard to find a capable band to take on such an erotic, enduring, and deeply dark substance of music. Even the artwork is brilliant.
Musically, it's more or less a diverse mix of tempos and atmospheres. You have songs such as The Raven and the Rose; relentlessly crushing for 6 minutes straight until it breaks down into a soft piano arrangement, and continues into a classic doom outro of melancholy guitar leads. There are also songs like Le Figlie Della Tempesta (Italian for daughters of the storm) that are almost reminiscent of The Cry of Mankind; long, epic, trance-like. My Hope, The Destroyer opens up with a soaring, brooding keyboard passage that bursts into a badass guitar rhythm, which breaks into another keyboard progression with tribal drum beats under them. There's a complete absence of violin however, which could upset some old school fans. As far as the other instruments go, they play off each other professionally and flawlessly. 100% original material here.
Lyrically, this is arguably the best Aaron has come up with in his career. He's started to branch out his topics as well, which has proven very interesting here. The Dreadful Hours is about a tragic son continually beaten by his father, who eventually beats him to death as the mother comes in begging for the son to wake up. The Raven and the Rose is about a happy girl who enjoys life, and a miserable boy can't stand it and murders her with a sickle. Then after Le Figlie Della Tempesta, which appears to be about the sirens, he continues on with his usual theme of love…or lack of. It's a bit odd how much better he gets at writing about this topic. He seems to prefer singing on this over his raspy scream for the most part, though his voice can get pretty ***ing creepy so it's not a bad thing by any means.
To say this is just another doom album would be disturbing. There is a feeling of achievement you can notice the band has reached, as they have reached a level of seduction that most bands cannot branch out to. Even if you've never enjoyed other My Dying Bride albums, this just might be your cup of tea, as it sets itself apart from the rest of the discography. Hell, even if you don't particularly like doom metal, this is still a worthwhile listen as it is one of a kind.
Mother, will you take me down, I have become so afraid
Mother, please, please take me down, I'm sorry your boy is not brave
We do not want you, nobody loves you
Father of the dark, tonight will greet you
Welcome to The Dreadful Hours