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Another adventure through dark terrains - 90%

chaos_aquarium, July 10th, 2009

As of 1996, My Dying Bride had released three albums, all of which were considered masterpieces. So the release of “Like Gods of the Sun” proved to be a very important moment in their career for various reasons.

First would be the nature of the music on the album. Gone were the beautiful and lengthy doom epics, in their place were shorter songs with a heavier goth influence and more easily listenable song structures. The elegance found in their previous release was replaced with a much darker and gloomier approach to loss. This could be seen by many as My Dying Bride’s attempt at making it mainstream. The flaw in this theory would be that the music is still, well, dark and depressing.

Along with this, “Like Gods of the Sun” would be the last album to feature violinist Martin Powell, a defining member of the band. Powell went out with a bang at least. His performance is certainly the highlight of the album. From the sick sounding violin on the opus “Grace Unhearing” to the somber tone found on, “For My Fallen Angel”, this album proves to be Martin Powell’s crowning achievement.

The album opens with the title track, “Like Gods of the Sun”, and it is one of the strongest songs on the album. By retaining its doom roots (the crushing riffs) while embracing its gothic influences ( the theatric and dramatic sounding keys) it achieves excellence. The following track, “The Dark Caress”, is a very strong track with a good main riff and well placed violin lines.

It is not until the album highlight, “Grace Unhearing “, that the album truly hits its stride. This song is nothing short of stunning. The song starts with a riff that gives a sense of sinking or descent, with Aaron singing in an appropriate manner. The chorus (with it’s very sickly sounding violin accompanying an equally deranged sounding Stainthorpe chanting “Beat it out, out of me, cut me up and watch me bleed”) remains on of the darkest moments in music that I have heard outside of early Swans.

The rest of the album is for the most part strong and solid, with a large emphasis on violin and dramatic vocals. The only song that is really filler would be “It Will Come”. “It Will Come” just never really seems to go anywhere, despite its catchy and quite heavy main riff.

“Like Gods of the Sun” is a very strong album and would mark and end to what I like to refer as My Dying Bride's golden age. While not their greatest effort, tracks like “Grace Unhearing” and the title track make it a pretty strong contender. This album will not change minds of detractors, but it is a very solid album sure to please new and old fans alike.