Aaron Stainthorpe - vocals
Jackson - bass
Shaun Taylor-Steele - drums
MY DYING BRIDE: "A Line of
deathless Kings" my
Recorded at Academy Studios, Yorkshire, mixed at Chapel Studios,
Lincolnshire, and mastered at the Abbey Road Studios.
Reviews by Sam Peacock and Matthew Haumschild
review by Sam Peacock_
have to sympathise with My Dying Bride’s frontman Aaron Stainthorpe.
For years he’s been unsuccessfully lusting after pale-skinned,
raven-haired seductresses, whilst tramping across the bleak, windswept
moors of West Yorkshire, and languishing on his four poster bed amidst
sputtering altar candles - wearing a ruffled velvet shirt and supping a
goblet of red wine. Surely, after a decade and a half of darkly romantic
yearning, the guy deserves a break? Surely A Line of Deathless Kings
will be the album in which we finally see Aaron enrapture a voluptuous
Gothic maiden and live happily ever after, without his bride either a)
dying or b) deserting him for a man with a bigger Candlemass
course it isn’t. One look at ALoDK’s song titles, Love’s
Intolerable Pain, L’amour Detruit, and - in case you were
still in any doubt about Mr Stainthorpe’s lack of success with the
ladies - I Cannot Be Loved, it’s clear that he’s still a man
mired in the depths of relationship-related agony. Which is bad news for
him but good news for the rest of us, as on this, My Dying Bride’s 9th
album proper, he turns in one of the performances of his career. During
opener To Remain Tombless his voice radiates sorrow and despair,
and towards the close of Deeper Down it’s the very essence of
resignation and weariness. Stainthorpe actually sings properly on this
album, and the death growls that crop up briefly and occasionally –
though they’ll no doubt be welcomed by old school fans - sound rather
silly and out of place next to his otherwise mature vocal delivery.
music, thankfully, is up to the band’s usual high professional
standards – crushing, colossal, and desolate riffs and snaking,
soaring leads courtesy of Messrs Glencross and Craighan – just listen
to the beautiful lead tone that threads through L’amour Detruit.
The band have buried the interesting but badly-received experimentation
of 34.788%…Complete in a very deep and dark vault, and ALoDK
has only the briefest of electronic touches.
A couple of the tracks fall a little flat – Love’s Intolerable
Pain and Deeper Down (a strange recent choice for a single)
being two of the album’s uninspired chuggers – and Aaron’s prog-like
spoken-word passages do veer dangerously close to the absurd. When it
all comes together, however, as for example on album highlight Thy
Raven Wings – a really well written, shorter composition in which
delicate leads weave and huge riffs crash around a haunting
double-tracked vocal melody – they sound like a band at the top of
their game. Long may the Bride continue to roam the moors of West
|Sam Peacock 27.11.2006|
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review by Matthew "Newbreed99" Haumschild___
It seems as if this band won’t ever go away. I’ve known the name “My Dying Bride” as a band almost as long as I had ever heard of Dream Theater. MDB has been together since 1992, which is an awfully long time for most metal bands, I can only name maybe 7 or 8 bands, that are metal that have been out since then, and the ones I do know of are rather quite large. Like, Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, Sepultura ect. After sitting down and listening to MDB, I wonder how this band has lasted. The music isn’t brilliant or inspirational by any means, but apparently, they’ve influenced the bands that are now coming out of Finland, like To/Die/For, HIM, New Dawn Foundation, the romantic-gothic bands, as I like to refer to them as. And because of their influence for the style of music I really love, I had to hear what the fuss was about.
After listening to the first track, And I Walk With Them, I began to think that maybe this wasn’t the right introduction to this band. Perhaps it was the way it was recorded, but the guitar sounded a little tinny to me. Meaning, that I couldn’t hear or feel any bass. Then the vocals entered in without any effects that I could hear. But, they sounded like a poor pitiful man trying his best to be gothic. It seemed like a very bad impersonation. The minute I heard the song the first time I wanted to change the track. The lyrics are a little cheesy and it makes me wonder what the band is really going for with this song or this album. However, after a while, the sounds were blending a little better and indeed they were sounding very gothic, I just tried to ignore the lyrics. The tone of the singer started to blend with the music better than in the beginning and grew more tolerable to listen to. The lyrics, however, were still bad though. I would have the say that the song doesn’t get interesting until half way through.
Listening to a few more tracks, the album was making me sleepy. It would have to be the singing. Deeper Down is the perfect example of this. In this song, the drummer is drumming very fast along with chugging guitars, but because of the way the song was mixed, the vocals were way above the other instruments and despite the fast music, the words were sung very slow with a great sense of melancholy. Which was strange to me, for a fast song, it made me tired. It wasn’t fast all the way through the song; the temp went back to a mid-paced throughout the song. That is one thing I do like about this song, the arrangement is near perfect for gothic.
Thy Raven Wings made me depressed the quickest I’d ever been by any song. It’s a slow song, sung slowly played in a minor chord. It almost reminds me of an early Paradise Lost song. The singing was very mesmerizing as well as all the other elements making up this song. For a true to the bone gothic song, this is brilliant. Extremely melancholy, sad, downbeat, it’s everything one could hope for in a gothic song. I feel impending doom coming down on me when I listen to this track.
I was very disappointed the minute I heard the beginning of, The Blood, The Wine, The Roses. I thought this was the worst possible introduction to this track. I didn’t take it seriously at all. As I kept listening, it seemed as if the singer was really drunk as he was singing because I couldn’t understand one word that was singing. The guitars and the drums were playing at a nice mid-pace, however the guitar riffs themselves were mediocre at best, they didn’t grab my attention at all. I’m not sure if I would have ended the album like this.
I thought the mix was a little inconsistent and I would have made the snare sound completely different. The snare made the album sound like it was recorded 10 years ago using old equipment. And I realized that the whole mix was like that. As if they went to the same studio Paradise Lost went to, to record, “Icon” only the music wasn’t nearly as good. I do like it was recorded using analog equipment, which is a nice change from the usual Pro-Tools garbage. The problem was, there wasn’t enough compression in the final mix. The bass was virtually non-existent. It’s as if there wasn’t a bass player at all. If the producer had added more compression to the mix, used a different snare or different sound for it, and used different effects on the vocals, it would have sounded great.
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