By Steve Earles
And so, 23 years after forming in Bradford, England, astoundingly My Dying Bride still not only maintain their own high standards but actually exceed them. How many bands that formed in 1990 can say that, if they still exist, and even if they do, it’s doubtful that many of them exist for all the right reasons that My Dying Bride do, to create heartfelt music that comes from a place of sincerity and truth.
It’s interesting to note that over two decades ago, My Dying Bride released their debut E.P, Symphonarie Infernus Et Spera Empyrium on Peaceville, the start of a long and fruitful relationship with one of the world’s finest metal labels (look at Peaceville’s back catalogue for proof: Opeth, Darkthrone, Gallhammer, Pentagram, Cradle of Filth, it’s an astonishing musical library). And now Peaceville are releasing another My Dying Bride E.P, entitled pleasingly The Manuscript.
Now, three of the tracks were recorded at the same time as My Dying Bride’s last full length A Map Of All Our Failures, and thus mix raw heaviness with beautiful melodies and searing emotional songs. It’s a master-class not only in heavy metal but in song-writing and musicianship. Andrew Craighton and Hamish Glencross are superb guitarists yet always serve the song. Lene Abé’s bass is sublime, and Shaun MacGowan Ade’s a haunting element of orchestration and atmosphere to the sound. And of course, there are the vocals of Aaron Stainthorpe, a man that uses his words to mine and chart the depths of human emotion.
A wonderful soul-searching blast of heaviness from one of Britain’s greatest metal bands.