My Dying Bride
The Ghost of Orion


3.6
great

Review

by Trey STAFF
March 5th, 2020 | 92 replies


Release Date: 03/06/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Despite everything, My Dying Bride have released another solid addition to their discography.

A lot has happened in the five years since My Dying Bride released Feel the Misery. After almost three decades, the band left their longtime label to sign to one with a wider reach, Nuclear Blast. They replaced their drummer not once, but twice, ending up with Jeff Singer of Paradise Lost's In Requiem fame. They also had longtime founding member/guitarist Calvin Robertshaw leave for the second time in his career – he was originally with them through 34.788%...Complete before returning for Feel the Misery. The most significant event, though, was that vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe’s daughter was diagnosed with cancer. This put the band in limbo as Aaron put all of his time into her, and even briefly considered not participating on the album at all. This gave the band’s remaining founding guitarist, Andrew Craighan, nothing to do but write without any outside influences. In the end, Aaron’s daughter eventually went into remission, and the band managed to deliver The Ghost of Orion.

So, what happens when you give a guitarist complete control of the songwriting without having to worry about anyone else’s input? Most likely, you end up with a guitar-driven album like The Ghost of Orion. My Dying Bride have never been known for an over-abundance of keyboards, but they’ve definitely been present on previous releases – not this time. This time, with the exception of occasional violin parts, The Ghost of Orion is dominated by guitar riffs, harmonies, and melodies. In fact, their ebb-and-flow are the backbone of the entire album. What’s more, thanks to their move to a bigger label, the production is one the band’s best; giving the songs a full, crisp, sound that wasn’t always available on previous releases. Of course, the defining element of any My Dying Bride release, the feature that lets you know without a doubt who it is you’re listening to, is the unique vocals of Aaron Stainthorpe. If you’ve heard one of the pre-release singles (“Your Broken Shore” and “Tired of Tears”), you should already be aware there has been a significant change in the way Aaron delivers his lyrics. On The Ghost of Orion, Aaron’s vocals are layered at almost all times. The foundation of his delivery is the melodic spoken-word delivery he has always been known for, but over the top is a harmonized melodic style that could actually be called singing. Between the abundance of guitar melodies, and the layered harmonized vocals, The Ghost of Orion is easily one of My Dying Bride’s most melodic releases.

Unfortunately, everything is not as great as it could be. The main issue with The Ghost of Orion is just how homogenous it is. Over the course of the album, there is a glaring lack of dynamics of any kind. Whereas previous releases could be counted on to move through different tempos, moods, and tones, The Ghost of Orion never really does. Effectively, there are two tempos (slow and non-existent), and since the guitars make up almost all the melodies, the tonal range and array of sounds is fairly limited. Also, despite this being one of the most developed vocal performances of Aaron’s career, it didn’t expand to the point of including actual vocal hooks. These issues make for an album that is still excellent while it is playing, but as soon as it ends there’s very little that stands out – and the things that do are hard to trace back to any particular song. The average doom song isn’t exactly known for catering to the instant gratification crowd, but even by those standards these songs take quite a few listens to click. In the meantime, they’re excellent while they’re on, but there’s very little that is going to stick the first few times the album ends.

The Ghost of Orion could have been a disaster. From the beginning there was a chance Aaron Stainthorpe wasn’t even going to be on the album, and even once he was back it could have been a rushed production. Instead, the band have returned with one of the best sounding albums of their career, accompanied by one of the most accomplished vocal performances. The guitar-driven melodies, too, are excellent and remind me of The Angel and the Dark River. If there is a problem with the album, though, it’s that everything is just a little too similar in tone and tempo, and it takes more than a few listens for individual songs and elements to start clicking. Despite this, The Ghost of Orion is My Dying Bride’s best sounding album from a production standpoint, featuring some of Aaron’s most accomplished vocals, and guitar melodies that harken back to the days of The Angel and the Dark River, and it is a welcome addition to the My Dying Bride discography.




Recent reviews by this author
Testament Titans of CreationThe Birthday Massacre Diamonds
Mitochondrial Sun Mitochondrial SunPsychotic Waltz The God-Shaped Void
Leprous PitfallsRay Alder What The Water Wants
user ratings (99)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
March 5th 2020


18808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

Your Broken Shore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1DI7447ia0



Tired of Tears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBEU0jZYohA

Digging: Make Them Suffer - How to Survive a Funeral

TabulaRasa6
March 5th 2020


527 Comments


I misread the album as "The Ghost of Onion."

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2020


20283 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review Willie, haven't heard these guys since the 90s, but this will be checked for sure.

Digging: The Gathering - if_then_else

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2020


12697 Comments


This review just bumped this up my to listen list.

Great work Trey,

"My Dying Bride have never been known for an over-abundance of keyboards, but they’ve definitely been present on previous releases – not this time. This time, with the exception of occasional violin parts, The Ghost of Orion is dominated by guitar riffs, harmonies, and melodies.
"

Consider interest piqued.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2020


8781 Comments


Album stream:
http://musicmp3.ru/artist_my-dying-bride__album_the-ghost-of-orion.html

Great review, My Dying Bride had too much on their plate indeed, will definitely check this album out.

About the sound work, excluding their debut, My Dying Bride never had real issues, even their first bunch of EPs in the ‘90s was well produced.


A petty correction

They replaced their drummer not once, but twice, ending up with Jeff Singer of Draconian Times fame.

Lee Morris played drums in Draconian Times, Jeff Singer drummed for Paradise Lost and In Requiem.

heck
March 5th 2020


4642 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

im drunk but this is good review bud

Willie
Moderator
March 5th 2020


18808 Comments

Album Rating: 3.6

--Great review Willie, haven't heard these guys since the 90s, but this will be checked for sure.--

There's definitely a 90s vibe to this. I hear a lot of The Angel and the Dark River on this, except this has death metal vocals and no keyboards.



--This review just bumped this up my to listen list.--

Give it a few listens, at least. It is a grower.



--About the sound work, excluding their debut, My Dying Bride never had real issues, even their first bunch of EPs in the ‘90s was well produced.--

I'd have to disagree. There's a few albums that are way too thin sounding, and even the fuller sounding releases are kind of muddy.



--A petty correction--

That's not a petty correction. I didn't bother to investigate because I thought I remembered correctly.

cloakanddagger
March 5th 2020


392 Comments


Great review Willie, just done a review for this myself, although it hasn't been posted yet. Agree with a lot of your points on this one though, it does sound fairly same-y a lot of the time but on repeated listens it does grow on you. The production definitely helps with that too, and Aaron's vocals on this are superb.
Tbh these guys have been around for 30 years, they could put out material half as good as this and I'd still be impressed.

TheNotrap
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2020


14360 Comments


Great review, I loved the way you contextualized the album / band and the last paragraph, which is enough to clearly understand your point of view.

Honestly, I've never been a fan of these guys. I might skip this.

Digging: Convocation - Ashes Coalesce

Egarran
March 5th 2020


16812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

To Outlive the Gods is on youtube and it's glorious

Digging: Descend - The Deviant

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2020


26638 Comments


Solid review, firm mindpos. Haven't heard anything this band's done since The Dreadful Hours, but this is going to get a listen soon

Digging: Boris - NO

manosg
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2020


11958 Comments


Was really looking forward to this review. Glad to see that this is a guitar-oriented album, and the three songs on YT are awesome, so this is very promising.

Gonna jam A Map of All Our Failures until tomorrow.

Digging: Falconer - From A Dying Ember

DarkNoctus
March 5th 2020


11095 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listened to this a few times - quite taken aback by how subdued it is, where 'feel the misery' tried to be epic and massive a lot more. i don't think i'm keen on the way aaron's vocals are always layered, either, i don't find it as expressive.

Pikazilla
March 5th 2020


11349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Feel the Misery is vastly superior to this, Noctus. This is probably on the same level as Map for me. Solid album, but not in the same league as Misery or Kings.

Egarran
March 5th 2020


16812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I got Kings>Map>Lies>Misery

Pikazilla
March 5th 2020


11349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oof



I got Kings>Misery>This>Map

Pikazilla
March 5th 2020


11349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lies is probably the only album by them that is as bad as that 34.6678654534534535% thing imo

bloc
March 5th 2020


61780 Comments


Bride must have died of boredom

Digging: Fluke - Puppy

Pikazilla
March 5th 2020


11349 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry no palm mutes to be found on here

DarkNoctus
March 5th 2020


11095 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

honestly i find feel the misery to be underwhelming, a map is my favourite MDB album haha



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy