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My Dying Bride – ‘A Map Of All Our Failures’

For almost exactly two decades (counting from the release of their epoch-defining debut, ‘As The Flower Withers’) Bradford’s My Dying Bride have stood at the very pinnacle of the death-doom genre, not only as its progenitors but its constant innovators and re-inventors.

‘A Map Of All Our Failures’ – their 11th studio album – proves that they are not content to rest their laurels, but consistently seeking to push the genre to new and even more extreme limits:  retaining their renowned darkness of touch, evident from the very outset on the suitably piledriving riff to opener ‘Kneel Till Doomsday’, MDP more than ably demonstrate that they are not afraid to draw other influences into their trademark sound:  ‘A Tapestry Scorned’, for example, veers more towards folk/pagan metal territory – and, indeed, that’s a characteristic feel for the album as a whole, as there is that right mix of traditional doom and the new environmentally-conscious darkened edge of the extreme noise movement.

However, that’s not to say that they’ve moved too far left of field to alienate existing fans:  far from it.  The aforementioned first track summarizes the album in its glorious six-odd minutes by switching from daemon-inducing doominess to highly technical death metal (albeit extremely briefly) with ease, all against a soundscape crammed with piteous pathos.

Of the other tracks, the monumental ‘Like A Perpetual Funeral’ is typically lugubrious while the title track is simultaneously majestic and mournful, a brooding thoughtful and thought-provoking epic, beautiful and at the same time fearsome in its intensity.  ‘Hail Odysseus’ is so dark and almost despairing in its intricate atmospherics that it completely countermands the apparent joyfulness of its title, but does so in such a darkly attractive way that it sucks you in ever deeper into its subtle maelstrom.

There are moments were it is hard to find words to describe the experience of listening to this album (just as with most of MDB’s output) – but, music, at its best is designed to leave you breathless and speechless, revelling in its magnificence.  This album succeeds in doing just that.

10/10

Tracklist:

  1. Kneel Till Doomsday
  2. The Poorest Waltz
  3. A Tapestry Scorned
  4. Like A Perpetual Funeral
  5. A Map Of All Our Failures
  6. Hail Odysseus
  7. Within The Presence Of Absence
  8. Abandoned As Christ

‘A Map Of All Our Failures’ is released today (Monday October 15th) on Peaceville Records.

My Dying Bride play the Jägermeister stage at the Damnation Festival in Leeds, alongside Electric Wizard, Primordial, Gama Bomb, Textures, Devil Sold His Soul and Hawk Eyes, on Saturday November 3rd (www.damnationfestival.co.uk), followed by the following dates in December:

7th – Academy, Islington, London

8th – Nouveau Casino, Paris

9th – Rockfabrik, Ludwigsburg

11th – Viper Club, Florence

12th – Magazzzini Generali, Milan

13th – Z7, Pratteln, Switzerland

14th – Batschkapp, Frankfurt

15th – Eindhoven Metal Meeting, Eindhoven

 

Support on all December dates comes from Talanas.

For more information, visit www.peaceville.com/mydyingbride

About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff