The godfathers of the death/doom metal genre, My Dying Bride, are set to release their 13th album called ‘Feel the Misery’ via Peaceville Records. The album marks return of original guitarist Calvin Robertshaw after 15 years hiatus. As the band has put it – this album is about “…the crushing of hearts and the solemn farewells to friends and lovers…”.
Well, would we expect some praising of life and joy from My Dying Bride? We wouldn’t. Starting with ‘And My Father Left Forever’ it’s clear straight away – we are in for a trip through darkest places. It’s the trademark – the vocals of Aaron – that are so gnawing and bringing the darkness out. It’s the guitars that set dark and impending atmosphere. And while listening to the opening track, you might think that nothing changed since their last release – you will be proven wrong very soon.
The dynamics this album has are striking. Throughout 8 songs you hear the guitars switching styles from aggressive metal sound to spacy post-like things to thrashing notes of ‘To Shiver in Empty Hands’. the same goes to vocals – the range they go from deep growl to classic metal to doom-ish lament is just striking. A song like ‘A Cold New Curse’ is something new for My Dying Bride, especially recently, but they are good in layering things and still maintaining their recognizable sound.
The title track is almost classic metal, and it surprised the fans. And if you haven’t had enough – you can listen to ‘I Almost Loved You’, a ballad with morose vocals, but absolutely beautiful keyboard lines. We’re pretty sure this song can be used as hymn or mourning song. And if you are looking for some doom with gothic flavor, you can listen to ‘I Celebrate Your Skin’. This track can teach young bands how to go doom and properly blend growling vocals into melodic songs. Overall the album is an example how bands can stick to a genre, still be respected by old fans and grow. This is the type of record that will leave no place for duality – you will either like it and accept it or you won’t.
(8/10) (Peaceville Records)