Review Summary: After the ill received 34.788%...Complete, My Dying Bride return darker than ever.
My Dying Bride is an English death/doom metal band formed in 1990. After their previous album 34.788%...Complete
, which demonstrated a foray into a more electronic style of music that was not generally popular with fans, they released The Light at the End of the World
, which marked a return to the more traditional My Dying Bride doom sound and style of lyrics.
The Light at the End of the World
was, and is a very important album in My Dying Bride’s discography. After alienating much of their fan base with their previous album 34.788%...Complete
, which saw the band experimenting with a more electronic and pop influenced style. The album was not very well received, and soon after, My Dying Bride return to their usual death/doom sound of old with The Light at the End of the World
. The album also features a lot more of a melodic vibe, yet all of the dreary despair that My Dying Bride are known for is still there. There are also completely no violins on this album, something that may have still disappointed many old fans; however, the album does not suffer much because of that.
One of the key aspects of My Dying Bride is Aaron Stainthorpe’s brilliantly sorrowful vocals. My only irk with the vocals would be that they can be very droning at times, which can cause the music to become slightly boring, however, this should only be a problem for newcomers, and they are a perfect fit for the doom style. As mentioned before, this album also marked the return of his growled vocal style, which had not been heard since the 1994 release The Sexuality of Bereavement
. Stainthorpe’s growls have improved since then, and they feature much more range and add great intensity when they are used.
The guitars are also perfect for the music, as they are very chuggy and are quite heavy throughout the album. They brilliantly complement Stainthorpe’s vocals, as they themselves sound very depressing as well. The repetitiveness however may also put off newcomers, as it could become monotonous and boring, yet for much of the album this is not the case. The drums and the bass make for a decent rhythm section, however there is never really much standing out apart from the odd drum fill or audible bass line.
The album features some of My Dying Bride’s strongest ever material, such as the opener ‘’She Is The Dark’’ and the title track, the former being surprisingly aggressive for MDB. The melodies over the chugging guitar lines bring together a haunting and melancholic atmosphere. However, the atmosphere is not always utilised to its full extent, such as in the song ‘’Christliar’’, opening up with quite awkward sounding vocals. The song has an interesting structure, but this does not help to stop it from being one of the weaker songs on the album. Being 10 minutes long without the great atmosphere and emotional impact of previous longer songs such as ‘’Edenbeast’’ or the title track, it hard to keep interest for the full duration. Luckily, the album ends on a high note with the brilliant ‘’Sear Me III’’ which features more of Stainthorpe’s poetic lyrics, and is full of majestic beauty and sorrow.
This is a brilliant album and a great way to prove to their naysayers that they still have it. My Dying Bride have never sounded this haunting and sorrowful. My only problems with this album would be that the songs can drag on, with three of them being over 10 minutes, but long songs should really be expected with doom metal. The lack of violin could be a gripe for some people, and there are also moments on the album, such as "Christliar’’ that sound awkward and recycled. It doesn’t have the same emotional intensity and atmosphere as the other songs on the album, such as ‘’She Is The Dark’’. I’d recommend this to any fan of doom or death metal if they have never heard it before. This album is close to being a classic, although some of the flaws mentioned do hold it back.