Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Review of "A Map of All Our Failures" by My Dying Bride

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Buy this album

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 Absense
8. Abandoned As Christ

My Dying Bride has been the leading force in the death/doom metal genre since their inception in the early 1990’s and have gone on to forge a legacy of greatness in the field over the past 2 decades, since 1992’s debut release, ‘As The Flower Withers’.

2009’s ‘For Lies I Sire’ set and subsequently met new heights of expectation placed upon the legendary Yorkshire doom troupe, but ‘A Map of all our Failures’ is a considerable step up for the band and further voyage into the darkest depths of humanity, religion, folklore, love and death.

My Dying Bride’s distinctively sumptuous dual guitar melodies effortlessly flood into juggernaut doom metal riffs, with the vocals of Aaron Stainthorpe weaving a rich tapestry of tragic tales into the accompanying soundscapes. ‘A Map of all our Failures’ is perhaps best and most effectively summarised by guitarist Andrew Craighan, who describes the album as “a controlled demolition of all your hopes”.

The album recording and mix was completed at Futureworks Studios in Manchester UK, with long-standing production maestro Mags at the helm. Artwork appears courtesy of Rhett Podersoo at Machine Room.

My Dying Bride will also be embarking upon a European tour in December in support of the album, as well as a local appearance at the UK’s esteemed Damnation Festival in November.

A very menacing riff begins the album and first track, “Kneel ‘till Doomsday.” The guitars are very grim on this and it has the kind of doom sound that should be more apparent in the present insurgence. The slower riff is my favourite on this track, especially with the violin over top. I really like the vocals, they’re mostly clean but evil sounding and the screams are even more so. The next track is, “The Poorest Waltz,” and the lead guitar on this track and the way the vocals flowed and sounded on this track were really relaxing. The violin piece is nice as well and it is all around a really great mellow track. The parts on “A Tapestry Scorned” where the guitar and vocals are synched up was really awesome. This is definitely a slower track but picks up a bit three minutes in just as doom metal does. The growling vocal parts are really evil sounding and the violin adds to the overall darkness. The drumming, keyboard and spoken word bit is really gruelling.

The vocals on the next track, “Like A Perpetual Funeral,” are very well done. The guitars are very slow and the feedback gives it an eerie sound. This is another nice mellow track and I liked the solo, it was a slow solo but a solo nonetheless. Really amazing violin follows on the next track, “A Map of all our Failures,” which is the title track. It adds to the slower parts and gives them more oomph. The second half of the track the guitars are more present and the harmonized lead bit was really relaxing.

I really dig the guitars in “Hail Odysseus,” the way they have a chugging style. The lead on this track is especially amazing and the vocals are great with a mix of clean and growls. “Within the Presence of Absense” starts with a very beautiful accompaniment of lead guitar and violin, which is followed by the lead and vocal bit which follows suit. It is a very mellow track. The ambient keyboard is really chilling and adds to the feel and violin at the end is nice as always. Ending the album we have the very slow, chilled out track “Abandoned As Christ.” It has a great lead on the second half of the track, the backing vocals in this are atmospheric and add to the main vocals.

I know I am a horrible person for not knowing My Dying Bride, I have just never heard their stuff until now. I regret not listening to them until now as this album is some of the best doom I have ever heard. It’s really relaxing with the violin coming into play and the vocals are the same way with his style. Definitely check this out as it is probably one of the best doom albums to come out this year and there has been many.

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