My Dying Bride – Songs of Darkness, Words of Light …   1 comment

* Please welcome another new writer to the Doommantia team. Grimdoom is here to deliver reviews of some older albums which is something this site desperately needs. Here is his first, a review of My Dying Bride’s “Songs of Darkness, Words of Light.” Expect to see dozens of reviews from Grimdoom over the coming weeks……. Ed

With a title like ‘Songs of Darkness, Words of Light’ one could get several ideas of what to expect. While clever is a word that comes to mind after listening to this, it seems to fall short of properly expressing the true genius that lies within. This album is such that you can listen to pieces of it or as a whole, but its better as a whole. To quote Xathagorra Mlandroth (of Catacombs & Hierophant (US) fame) “Doom is meant to be experienced, not just listened too…” this album is the epitome of his words.

Envision if you can, a bleak darkened landscape, post dusk and as black as pitch. The moon’s gentle light is masked behind a virtually endless cloud barrier with one tiny pathetic ray of light acting like a spot light on the one living thing within its reach; a man near death. Looking as though time has raped his very soul, this wretched and beleaguered being crawls; desperate and bloody towards what he thinks will bring him redemption. Beyond the point of no return and utterly lost in the seemingly endless wasteland before him does he suddenly realize the futility of it all. This is quite possibly one of the best Doom Metal albums of all time.

The album’s name couldn’t have been more àpropos as it’s very easy to lose yourself in this epic tapestry of misery and woe. The production, top-notch by all accounts, forces the songs to be at their most painful and stomach churning levels. The guitars are a perfect mix of heavy to melodic, weaving in and out of bleak and suspenseful passages of depression and self-doubt. There is perhaps a little more open chorded to palm muted playing but it adds to the drama. There are several dreary leads and one solo (almost).

The bass is standard for the course, not really doing much but accentuating and segwaying here and there. It does add to the over all musical vibe but in minimal quantities. The drums are brilliant and couldn’t have been better. They are minimalistic, yet all over at the same time. As if kicking the listener while he’s down, forcing the hopelessness and utter chaos of movements into an already battered and broken body.

The keyboards are good enough. While any could argue that Martins’ involvement would’ve made a greater impact, Sara does an admirable job of moving the slow impending horror that is the atmosphere along. More than complementing the guitars that without a doubt steal the show.

The vocals are perhaps some of Aaron’s best and utterly devastating in their delivery. His voice (at least from the growling standpoint) has been getting worse with each passing year (see the Sinamorata DVD for more verification if necessary) but actually work exceedingly well on this album. The first song “The Wreckage of My Flesh” starts out with Aaron randomly shrieking for the first few measures before ceasing all “grim” aesthetics and singing. His voice is truly wretched and fits the music better than any one else’s could. The lyrics are passionate and perhaps a little more on the fictional side of things. This is not to say that they are lacking anywhere, but the few songs that are non-fiction are perhaps more discernible as a summary of personal situations and thusly very powerful. While not peaking (thankfully) his poetry does standout more so than usual.

This is the best My Dying Bride album. Had this not been released its predecessor ‘The Dreadful Hours’ would claim the title. While it’s not as heavy as TDH it darker, more spiteful and sinister. The music is intense, harsh and yet beautiful. This is an album to commit suicide by and to have played at your funeral. Where they got the idea(s) for this masterwork of Doom is beyond the average mans comprehension but thank god they did. This is what EVERY Doom/Death, Doom Metal band should aspire too. This is easily one of the most damning things you could ever hope hear and a great place to start if your new to the band and/or style. Truly, a beautiful piece of bitterness, longing and death. This is a 10 out of 10 without question!
Review Written By Grimdoom

My Dying Bride Official
My Dying Bride @ MySpace
My Dying Bride Forum


Posted May 26, 2011 by doommantia in My Dying Bride

One response to “My Dying Bride – Songs of Darkness, Words of Light …

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  1. Welcome Grimdoom! \m/ \m/ \m/

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