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The Angel And The Dark River - My Dying Bride

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Genre: Hard Rock & Metal - Death Metal / Artist: My Dying Bride / Audio CD released 1996-04-01 at Peaceville

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      06.05.2001 05:35
      Very helpful



      Now people who've read my other opinions may realise I am a metal fan and that I also have my gripes; the main one being that metal vocalists tend to think that screaming and shouting in such a way that they destroy both their voice box and the lyrics is appropriate, I however am in disagreement. My favourite metal is that where the vocals are sung, musically and with a tune in a (normally) understandable fashion which we all can enjoy. Right, this album has, shock horror, sung lyrics, no really it does and that's one of the main reasons that I like it. Details details: Well My Dying Bride tend to do metal which is probably classified as gothic or dark or something but in fact I've never heard anyone who really sounds remotely like them (although Type O Negative have their moments). They play slowly, not so slow as to be silly but much slower than most metal and most pop for that matter, it's about the speed of something like Phantom of the Opera, maybe a bit slower. As a consequence they cannot get away with the things some metal bands cover up by playing fast, drumming fast and loudly and screaming: These guys are really musical. Each song has a decent tune, understandable lyrics and good musicianship behind it. Now I'd be the first person to admit that this won't be up everyone's street, even if you're a metal fan. If you like other My Dying Bride albums then you'll love this, it's their best album by a mile. For those of you who don't know them they play a range of instruments and meld them all together very well indeed. The expected guitar(s?) and bass are there along with slow played drums but as well as this there's keyboard and violin(s) which really steal the whole album. The vocals are dragged which creates a very melancholy effect- 'music to slit your wrists to', well it would be but you'd probably give it up as too much effort if you had this on the stereo. Really this is depre
      ssing music, not in a way that will make you depressed as such but it's slow and about sad things and bad things happening to people and the keyboards play washy chord sequences and the violins wail throughout. In general I'm in favour of other instruments than the two guitars, bass and drums in metal bands lineup, keyboards add a depth of musicality I'm all in favour of and the violins on this album take this even further. I think that's another one of the things I like about this album, the depth and range of sounds. Although each song definitely belongs on the album, they are a group of songs produced at the same time by the same people, they vary enough to keep you interested. There are patches where the vocals revert to the kind of growling that you hear in other metal but because this is all slower and almost softer they get away with them more easily and it doesn't sound too bad. The first track on the album starts with a short keyboard riff repeated and picked up by the guitars and then the drums kick in. Not with the usual kick for rock but with a 'here are the drums' kind of understatement, no huge roll or lots of crashing just 'drums are needed now so here they are'. The riff is continued throughout the song and the vocals work around it. The song winds down and there is a long mellow section of the riff and some wind/ surf type sound effects and then the track ends. The album continues in this vein and the riffs are all solid, some of them are even good. It's hard for me to assess the quality of the musicianship, there's certainly nothing wrong with it, they do the job and create the sounds they are going for, there are no wrong notes or off beat bits but I've nothing to compare it to to tell you how well they play the music (compared to anything else :-) ). Another thing about this album that makes it is the fact that all the instruments blend together into a sound as opposed to
      hearing each instrument doing it's bit. The vocals don't come into this category they are driven over the top of this sound but that doesn't matter it works as a package. Because each song is played slowly they tend to be a bit long (8min+) and so there's only 7 of them on the album. The best song on the album is hard to outline although the best section is the violin intro to track 6, just violins brilliant. You'll either hate the entire album or pick your own best track I guess, it's one of those albums. In conclusion (I sound like I'm writing an essay- eeek) if you like slow metal and are looking for the guys who started it or like metal and/or heavy music and are looking for something a bit different then try this album. If you're going to try My Dying Bride then this is the album that does them the most credit. Musically, inventively and originality wise this is a really good album, try it out.


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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Cry Of Mankind
      2 From Darkest Skies
      3 Black Voyage
      4 Sea To Suffer In
      5 Two Winters Only
      6 Your Shameful Heaven

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