My Dying Bride – Songs of darkness, words of light

With each new release, My Dying Bride seem to become more and more professional. This release offers 8 excellently produced tracks in the typical MDB style. Emotional sounding guitar layers, melodic keyboards, slow drums and varied vocals (ranging from dramatic speech to ?black metal? style grunting) produce a multilayered and melodramatic carpet of depressing doom metal of the highest calibre. Because of their immense success, MDB can easily be rated amongst the most successful doom metal acts ever.

Because of (or perhaps ?despite? is a better word) the incredible production, the well arranged tracks and the overall variation there was something that unnerved me from the moment I started listening to this record. At first I could not establish what it was that unnerved me, I thought it was perhaps the result of my own nostalgia of listening to the band, or the emotional content of the music (it is DOOM metal after all!). But that did not seem to be the problem.

After listening to the album a couple of times, I started noticing that it might be the emotional content after all. In fact, it seemed to be a lack of emotional content somehow. But that sounded like a strange conclusion, since the album is obviously full of features of emotional expression. However, although the production on this album is better than ever, it struck me that there did not seem to be any real new elements in the music, no creative progress. The tracks just sound like old MDB tracks, the vocals and texts just sound like old vocals and texts. Evidently MDB simply copied its earlier self.

By copying its own earlier self, MDB has somehow lost its creativity and lacks a certain honesty or integrity in their expression, its restriction to innovating its production has turned it into an unnerving and ?kitchy? product. A smooth and edge-less parody of its old self.

MDB?s success will lead to its demise, but eventually all flowers wither.

artist: My Dying Bride
label: Peaceville
details: 2004 CD Peaceville/Snapper CDVILE 110