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It was always going to be virtually impossible for the Bride to follow up the legendary Turn Loose the Swans and leave fans feeling fully satisfied. However, whilst that may have been impossible, they came damn close to leaving me fully satisfied with their third record. On this album, the growls are gone completely, as are many of the spoken segments and violins are now as much of a lead instrument as the guitars. I hold this record in high regard and would have loved to have seen the inclusion of more tracks.
The first thing that becomes apparent when listening to this album is that Aaron Stainthorpe can still sound incredibly aggressive without the use of growls, a prime example of this being "Your Shameful Heaven" one of my all-time favourite Bride tracks, along with "From Darkest Skies", another track from this album. "Your Shameful Heaven" is one of My Dying Bride's most aggressive tracks, despite not being recorded during their earliest years, while "From Darkest Skies" favours a slower, crushing approach. Again a solid production on the album as a whole, and Andrew Craighan shows skill not only on his guitar on this record, of which the riffs are amazing again and further lift the album, but also composes the entire record quite adeptly.
However, just like its predecessor, it isn't without flaw. The opening song "The Cry of Mankind" is reckoned to be among the band's best works by some, but I just don't like it, largely due to the annoying keyboard riff and the fact that the song proper ends at around 6:40 and the remainder of the track's 12 minute runtime is keyboard noodling, based around a riff that annoys me. I'm guessing it annoyed the band too, since live renditions only feature the first 6 minutes. "Two Winters Only" is also tragically overrated in my opinion. "The Sexuality of Bereavement" is also an odd choice for a bonus track as it is more similar to the band's early output, and probably would have gone better on As the Flower Withers. One further slightly annoying feature are Stainthorpe's numerous voice breaks throughout the album, particularly evident in songs such as "From Darkest Skies".
This is, when I compare the songs I like from this album to the songs I like from Swans, a better record than their legendary sophomore but the latter's overall album quality is higher. The Angel and the Dark River however boasts better production, is a return to form from drummer Rick Miah, and for the first time in the band's history a clear bass sound. It is possibly also My Dying Bride's most miserable album (and that's saying something) and will depress you when listening. But hey, that's part of the draw of this classic record.
I bought 'Turn Loose The Swans' a few years ago on the strength of its legacy and then pretty much ignored it for a year. Recently I totally fell in love with MDB due to '...The Swans' suddenly striking me as a masterpiece; and thus it occured to me that I should really love 'The Angel And The Dark River'.
But I don't really love it. It's good and has the same soul-crushing, transporting despair that '...The Swans' really captured, though Aaron Stainthorpe has completely dropped the death metal vocals in favour of that mournful wail of his. Since I loved the melancholy aspects of the aforementioned album, I was certain that I would appreciate the transition to a more focused use of the mood but it seems that with the other elements has gone some of the variety that made the despair so much more vivid against the anger and courtly love themes of both earlier MDB albums (the other being 'As The Flower Withers'). This strips 'The Angel...' of some of the natural power of MDB's sound and leaves it with misery and, of course, lashings of doom.
I loathed opener 'The Cry Of Mankind' on first listen, largely because of a bizarre running time of 12 minutes when the actual song lasts no more than seven. 'From Darkest Skies' has an excellent mid-section riff and 'Black Voyage' includes some stunning interplay between the guitar and violin, which plays a major part in many of the songs. 'Two Winters Only' and 'Your Shameful Heaven' are perhaps the strongest songs on the record, the former being so stately and mournful and the latter adding faster and more aggressive elements for the first time in the album.
Wherein might be the main problem with 'The Angel...'. I don't grudge MDB for making slow, long songs but they seem almost too involved and with little variety to pick out moments of magic. However, perhaps the album will grow on me as '...The Swans' did.
'The Angel...' really is a stong album and great for newcomers to the band, but in my opinion has a little something stopping it from becoming classic. It just doesn't HURT in the same way that 'Turn Loose The Swans' does when I listen to it.
On a side note, the song 'The Sexuality Of Bereavement' is featured as a bonus track on most editions though also appears on the 'Trinity' compilation. Despite the whole song being done in a death metal vocal it is my favourite MDB song of all due to the MDB-specific subject matter and the pleading, morose violin-led riffs that drag the song through the tracts of misery that the widow in the lyrics wallows in.
My Dying Bride are one of those bands who have a specific sound. Even on their more experimental and "out-there" releases, you still know it's them. However, aside from their experimental albums, The Angel and the Dark River is probably MDB's definitive album. While I don't think it's their best (The Dreadful Hours for that, I'm afraid), it is definitely the one I'd show someone, were they to ask me to introduce them to the band (and I really, really wish someone would).
The violins, which are very prominent in early MDB albums, sound the best they ever have (and will). On other albums, they're very high up in the mix, and almost sound like some form of synthesiser, which, in my opinion, marrs the natural feel of the album. And they don't sound like the kind of synthesisers that age well, either. Think Stevie Wonder's Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants. Here, they sound great. The tuning's very nice, and they're farther back in the mix, and manage that position without making it seem like they were put there on an afterthought. Similarly, the guitars hold a very nice tone. Deep, but not too deep. You can definitely see how this album inspired the work of funeral doom acts like Mournful Congregation and Esoteric.
Now, while I'm picking out the individual instruments, I can't leave out Aaron Stainthorpe's vocals. I'm not usually one to pick out vocals as a highlight in a band, but Aaron's vocals remain to be like nothing I've heard before. His near-Thespian sensibilities make him seem like an actor in a Shakespearean play. Like any good actor, he demands attention, and asserts himself in centre-stage. On 'Two Winters Only', he sings "What have you become?/ Dear, dear Lord...". With the searing background music, it's not hard to imagine this becoming an emotional movie scene, with the dramatic soundtrack playing behind. Now, it's easy to imagine readers thinking "Oh, no. Another 'look-at-me!' vocalist", but don't despair. Despite their gothic-poetic lyrics, and Aaron's prominent vocals, this album never feels trite, or cliched. While I'm speaking of the vocals, I feel I should point out that this is probably among MDB's more accessible albums, thanks to Aaron singing in clean vocals exclusively (unless you have the most recent Peaceville reissue version, which includes a bonus track with harsh vocals).
A personal highlight would have to be the opening track, The Cry of Mankind. While the track is on for 12 minutes, the song itself is only on for 7 minutes, leaving the last 5 minutes of the track being filled with the same organ chords repeating, and a slow build-up of ambience, including chirping crickets, subtle chours and some unusual sounds/rustling. By the time you're completely mesmerized by the collage of sounds, and the hypnotic organ, the first bass notes of the next track comes in. It's an abrupt wake-up call, yet manages to be quite pleasant, not like an abrasive alarm clock, or bucket of water on the face at 5.45 am.
Again, while it's not my personal favourite of theirs, it is definitely up there with MDB's best. It's worth getting the Peaceville reissue I mentioned above, though, since the bonus track, The Sexuality of Bereavement, despite the near self-parody of the song title is very good. It saves you having to get a rare EP to hear it, too.
After the release of the groundbreaking classic, “Turn Loose the Swans”, it could be thought that the band couldn’t reach a level of majesty higher than that. Fortunately, My Dying Bride has different plans. From the first opening notes of the elegant, “The Cry of Mankind”, you become quite aware that you are in for an experience like no other.
The album catches you right from the start, with the opening track “The Cry of Mankind”. This is by far one of the strongest pieces My Dying Bride has written to date. Everything from the hypnotic guitars and haunting piano to the pounding drums and sedative vocals, makes this one of the most dynamic and memorable songs of their career. This leads into the stunningly beautiful song, “From Darkest Skies”, which with a heavy bass line and morose sounding violin accompanying a very pained and defeated sounding vocalist, starts as very beautiful and sad piece of minimalist music but with the introduction of guitar and piano progresses into something much more grand and regal.
The album keeps up this same level of beauty and elegance for the next pair of tracks, “Black Voyage” and the quite theatric, “A Sea to Suffer In”. These two tracks both interweave noble violin and piano, somber vocals, grand riffs, dreary bass, and heavy drums masterfully and prove to be essential chapters in the epic which is “The Angel and the Dark River”.
At this point the album may seem to be a depressive masterpiece possible of surpassing their previous classic “Turn Loose the Swans”, that is until you reach “Two Winters Only”. The song starts beautifully with Aaron singing a very touching lament to the loss of someone very close to him over a very gentle sounding guitar riff. This keeps up until the drums start to kick in at about 3:50 and the violin is introduced. This is by far the emotional climax of the song and it is presented beautifully. Unfortunately, after about the 5 minute mark the song starts to feel slightly repetitive and grows a little thin.
The album closer “Your Shameful Heaven” starts with a gorgeous violin intro that leads way to a much different song. While the album up to now has consisted of slower paced tracks soaked in romanticism, “Your Shameful Heaven” is a fairly heavy and upbeat song, with Aaron taking a much more angry and bitter tone.
It should be noted that this release proved to be a very important one for My Dying Bride as it marked the absence of harsh vocals for the first time. This may be seen as a minus to some fans, but I feel that it benefited the somber and romantic atmosphere of the album.
“The Angel and the Dark River” is an absolute gem of an album. From beginning to end, the album displays a sense of wounded intelligence that makes for a truly engaging listening experience.
To put a single second of this album down goes against my music taste, this is outstanding, moody, depressing, heavy...everything you need in a Doom metal album, My Dying Bride are at their best here as they have made 6 atmospheric long depressing songs that would send chills down anyones spine.
The Angel And The Dark River starts of with the My Dying Bride classic The Cry Of Mankind, drifting off very slowly onto the moody From Darkest Skies, starting off with Bass and a chilling violin note, with Aaron's deep emotional voice over the music creates a great atmosphere as the songs gets heavier with more violin work, Then comes my favorite of the six 'Black Voyage' everything is here! Great guitar, bass, vocals, drums, Chilling Violin and haunting vocals, A Sea To Suffer in is so good it could bring a tear to anybody out there, It is just so greatly composed. Two Winters only is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard, so much emotion backed up with fantastic music, and the violin intro on Your Shameful heaven is also outstanding but then explodes into a slow heavy riff with Aaron singing his depressing style vocals over the music, with a lot of great riffs and good drums.
Well all I can say is that from all the doom metal albums I have heard this is the best, and For anyone wanting something to listen to on those cold depressing winter days, I can not stress enough how essential this album is.
There was a time when I counted this album as among my favourite MDB albums. It was the 2nd MDB album I?d ever bought and the Cry of Mankind was the first song by this band I?d heard. However, it?s now been 7 years since I?ve bought it and I don?t listen to this album as much as I used to. I recently gave this album a spin and found myself bored with some parts and thus prompted me to reevaluate this album. Many have already commented at length about the strengths of this disc so this review will steer more towards the negative.
I still feel that the Cry of Mankind is among the best songs this band has ever written. However its characteristic of the entire album and several tendencies that work to this song?s benefit, actually hinder this album as whole. This is minimalism in composition. By this I mean that MDB have always relied on using few riffs within the context of relatively longer songs. MDB were always able to rely on their compositional skill to keep this from getting tedious. The riffs may not have always been mind-blowing but they were enough to carry the song along. It worked well enough that one didn?t really notice it. But unfortunately, there are many riffs on this album that in isolation may not seem weak, but within the context of the songwriting became weak.
Take From Darkest Skies for example. It is an excellent song until it reaches protracted conclusion. The song ends after the last verse with almost 90 seconds of the same riff being repeated endlessly with the keyboards being equally dominant. This is the same riff that was used in the bridge of this song. This riff when it was augmented with Aaron?s passionate vocals worked quite well. However, without the vocals we realize that this riff isn?t all that interesting. Even when I was younger the ending of this song sometimes struck me as being overly long and drawn out. Now I am convinced of this. If MDB had been content to just repeat this riff once or twice it would?ve made the song stronger and more concise. However this endless repetition just seems tedious and makes me yearn for the next song to begin.
Many people cite A Sea to Suffer In as one of the strongest songs on the album. Indeed it?s the only song on this album that doesn?t suffer from the ?Alright we got 3 riffs now we have a song? syndrome that plagues this album. I still feel that this is one of the strongest songs on the album. However, towards the end the song returns to the first verse, it?s probably the only MDB song with that could have something akin to a chorus and this completely ruins the song. All the power that had built up in the first 6 minutes of this song just deflates completely when Aaron sings that first verse of again. It?s disappointing to end so meekly on what was originally a very heavy and powerful song.
Two Winters Only has always been my least favourite song on this album and now I downright loathe it. The song is centered around a clean guitar riff that isn?t all that interesting. That is quite a problem with a 9-minute song. Even with its two heavy sections this song just feels like MDB are going through the motions. The heavy parts don?t seem heavy at all. The riffs which should hit you hard emotionally fail to have any impact at all. Everyone knows the story about how Sabbath wrote Paranoid as a half-assed attempt to fill up enough space on the disc to please the producer. Well, that?s what this song feels like: Filler. This song is probably the dullest they?ve ever written.
A word now about the Vocals. Aaron?s vocals have always been very passionate and this album was notable for it was the first time he used entirely clean vocals. While there is nothing wrong with his voice either technically or emotionally, his reliance on the clean style does hinder this album from having a greater emotional impact. By Two Winters Only I find Aaron?s vocals to be getting on my nerves. There are times some growling would help the music more than his clean wailing. And Aaron was among the most powerful growlers I?d ever heard. The inclusion of The Sexuality of Bereavement as a bonus track serves to illustrate the contrast between the two styles and the emotional impact they have. Sexuality? is one of the most powerful songs this band has ever written and the growling is key to the hard emotional impact it has. While Aaron?s clean vocals are actually quite good, they don?t resonate as deeply as his growls. It makes this album softer. If I wanted easy listening I?d listen to the radio. What I like in Doom is for there to be a hard emotional impact, which is what this release lacks. It soothes more than it pulverizes.
Now I find myself more inclined to MDB?s early, deathier material than any other period. I no longer feel this is one of MDB?s best albums. I find this disc now to be a mixed bag and I feel it?s symptomatic of a band entering a decline. This decline would be most noticeable in this album?s immediate successors, the mediocre Like Gods of the Sun and the experimental 34.7888%?Complete. Despite pretenses that the band has since returned to form I think that this decline has continued unabated, a decline that began with this album.
Now I'm not saying this in any offense. Most doom bands that sacrifice their most extreme elements of their music are labelled sellouts instantaneously. But The Angel and The Dark River from My Dying Bride is easily one of their best efforts from one of the most consistent bands of the 90's. The doom juggernaught explore paths as dark and sorrowful as ever before just without any death-ish vocals. You are treated to Strainthorpe's deep, tortured but clean vocal approach, brooding yet incredible guitar harmonies and some of the best keyboard and violin parts My Dying Bride have ever done. As far as this reviewer is concerned the atmosphere on this album has and will never be surpassed by My Dying Bride.
From the hypnotic opening riff and gorgeous keyboard lines of The Cry of Mankind. The soft and downright miserable(good thing) opening of From Darkest Skies with a very memorable violin/bass section. The album proceeds with sorrowful riffage, soaring funeral keyboards complimented by top heavy riffage. If there was an anthem for beauty in hopelessness, the introduction of Black Voyage would fit perfectly. Astounding violins in this song. Slow-mid tempo guitars and a dark bassline dominate the majority of the middle section of the music which eliminates some atmosphere but the riffs are of high quality and keep the song very interesting. A Sea to Suffer In starts with a nice piano piece followed by heavy guitars and violins of despair. Gets into more doom oriented guitar passages and dark emotional vocals from yours truly followed by a rare fast guitar passage with intricate guitar work for doom standards. What is noticable is that My Dying Bride utilizes violins and keyboards tastefully which makes the end result much more impressive. Two Winters Only contains many of the trademarks found on this album but starts with a long beautiful acoustic/clean lead guitar dual performance that sounds sad and brooding yet blend excellently with Strainthorpe's dark vocals. Your Shameful Heaven is another tale of atmospheric beauty with dark enchanting violins and enticing heavy(sometimes really fast) doom riffage and more memorable guitar harmonies.
Despite only having 6 tracks, each track is long and unique in its own way. There are obvious moments of dark repetition, but unless you have an album called Wildhoney, its doubtful you can say anything about that. Each track is incredible and the only reason this album doesnt get a 96 is because The Cry of Mankind drags on one or two minutes too long in my opinion. In conclusion, fans or dark and brooding emotional music that can stomach clean vocals and a degree of accessibilty should love this album. As should anyone who claims to be a My Dying Bride fan.
Favorites : From Darkest Skies, A Sea To Suffer In, Black Voyage
Note: My copy also has an earlier song The Sexuality of Bereavement. It would sound better on As The Flower Withers with the harsh vocals but it too is an incredibly sad, slow and mournful song easily worthy of the name My Dying Bride.
This is My Dying Bride's third full length, however I managed to purchase the bonus version (released in 2003). Thus I will review the bonus tracks as well.
This album is generally assumed to be one of the best doom metal albums, so I decided to get it.
This is also their first album without growling (except for the bonus tracks) and Powell's violin is most prominent on this album.
1. The Cry of Mankind
2. From Darkest Skies
3. Black Voyage
4. A Sea to Suffer in
5. Two Winters Only
6. Your Shameful Heaven
[Bonus tracks]: (only on the 2003 version, mind you)
7. The Sexuality of Bereavement
8. Your River (Live at the Dynamo '95)
9. A Sea to Suffer in (Live at the Dynamo '95)
10. The Forever People (Live at the Dynamo '95)
I commence :
The Cry of Mankind: The introducing song and quite appropriately for such an epic album, the longest track, clocking in at 12 minutes.
It starts with some kind of keyboard intro (at least that's what I think, I still haven't been able to define it with certainty) This little intro is played almost throughout the whole song, but strangely enough it doesn't become annoying after twelve minutes.
Stepwise the other instruments start to join the play and I can actually hear the bass, which is always nice. The drummer is obviously building something that promises to become a great climax.
And we don't get disappointed. Although Martin Powell confines himself to the keyboard on this track, he makes up for it grandly by playing a sublime piano part on top of the almost equally good guitar violence.
The terrible destiny of mankind just drips from this music.
After two minutes Aaron finally starts singing, although singing might not be the correct term for his vocals, despair might be a better description. The lyrics are pretty dark and pessimistic, but not your average linkin park teenager pseudo-poetry.
After a few lines that wonderful piano piece appears again and at this moment it almost feels like Satan is dragging you down into a black hell, very impressive. The Singer is moaning like he's suffered for an eternity. After 7 minutes the instruments fade away, and only the introducing keyboard piece remains.
They try to create the feeling that you're standing in a misty swamp, where you can hear Viking horns in the distance.
Sometimes this part of the song can be impressive, but it is certainly too long. Creating an atmosphere : ok. Creating an atmosphere for 4 minutes : no. Nevertheless the song is excellent, one of the best on the album. 5/5
From Darkest Skies :
This song is introduced by the bass guitar. It's simple, but not bad at all. After a few seconds the violin starts to play and I still believe the violin sounds the divinest of all instruments. Sighing, the singer begins his story, this song is most probably about a lost love.
The guitar starts to play and the combination of the godly violin and the heavily distorted guitar sounds truly astonishing. Very harmonious, but very sad.
A church organ is used at moments, which sounds great.
It some points the song gets a bit aggressive, but slows down again in the end. Great song, but very depressing. 4.5/5
The first song that isn't slowly built : all instruments play from the beginning. Another great conspiracy between the instruments. Once again the violin sounds heavenly and love is sung about.
Some great riffs are played and the drummer does an amazing job, considering the speed of this song (pretty slooow). Around 5:30 the bass takes over and Aaron groans his sorrows in a very deep voice.
The song ends with some excellent guitar-and violin work.
A Sea to Suffer in:
This track starts with only piano, after that the other instruments join in, imitating the piano piece, which gives an awesome contrast. When Martin Powell has had the time to switch instruments, he starts playing the best violin part so far. After 2 minutes it all slows down again, indicating the beginning of the verse.
During the verse the violin only plays two long notes, which has a very moaning effect. After the verse there's this little guitar solo that sounds excellent.
A kind of Prechorus follows and it sounds very heavy and it's truly one of the best I've heard. Great riffs, Awesome drums (I love this guy's drum fills) and at the end of prechorus the violin accentuates the dark faith of the lyrics. Brilliant.
Then there's another part of the song (verse, chorus? I don't know) where the violin seems to Imitate the howling of a wolf, followed by a kind of violin solo. A true pleasure for the ears. First verse gets repeated and the song ends abruptly.
It's not really a joyful song, but it's magnificent, probably the best song on the album. 5/5
Two Winters Only:
Nice assembly of the first acoustic guitars on the album, bass and drums do a tremendous job supporting them. The vocalist sounds very sad again and sings about his favourite subject. After circa 4 minutes the distortion kicks in and after a minute or so they return to an acoustic state and they end the song back in distortion.
This song might be a tad too long, but this does not prevent it from getting this rating. 5/5
Your Shameful Heaven:
Violin introduces the song.
Just as one would be utterly affected, the other instruments start playing aggressively. Contrary to the previous songs this one actually possesses speed and aggression. Which is a nice variation.
Terrific song, not much more to say. 5/5
[Bonus tracks]: (only on 2003 version)
The Sexuality of Bereavement:
At first I confused the introductive violin playing of this song with the one of 'Your Shameful Heaven'. But seeing that was a good one, I have no complaints.
Guitars sounds very heavy in this song and this is the first song that is growled. Very cool growl, reminds me of Opeth. Once again this is just a wonderful song. I'll quote one cool phrase from this one :'Desire and wine go well’ 5/5
Your River ( Live at Dynamo ’95) :
Now there are 3 tracks recorded live at Dynamo '95.
When Aaron introduces the band his voice cracks despairingly when he speaks the words 'My Dying Bride'. Just a fun detail. Your River : I've never heard the original, but this it sure sounds great live. 5/5.
A Sea To suffer in ( Live at Dynamo ’95) : Live version of the best song on the original album. Still an amazing song, the only flaw is that the violin is bit covered up by the rest of the bands, you can't hear it really well.
But still good. 5/5
The Forever People ( Live at Dynamo ’95) :
This is announced with the words "This is your last chance to get it fucking moving." spoken with that delightful British accent. Against all Doom Metal stereotypes this song is full of energy and speed. Very decent song. 4/5
Overall, this album is very depressing, but also very good.
The songs might sometimes be a bit too long and maybe a solo here and there wouldn't harm.
But the lyrics were great and the violin and keyboard were an excellent sauce on an already great dish.
My Dying Bride is one of my favorite bands, so yes I will be biased in this review. This is their 3rd album, and a departure from there early doom/death style, now featuring all clean vocals, keyboards, gothy melodies, etc.
Cry of Mankind is my favorite MDB song, and the single most depressing song ever. If you don't slit your wrists while listening to it, there is something wrong with you. Or maybe not. The last 5 minutes or so can be a bit hard to listen to, given that it's pretty much the same melody going over and over. I dig it. Aaron's vocals are amazing, and the keyboards/violin adds to the sad atmosphere. "This is a weary hour"
From Darkest Skies is another highlight. It features some nice heavy riffs, and some well done singing. The drumming is also very good, as it is throughout most of the bands catalogue. The "Be mine tonight" part has got to be one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. Martin Powell's violins are really unique, and take the music to another level.
Black Voyage begins with a very nice violin intro. The bass sound is also very good, which is interesting, since most metal albums have crappy and inaudible bass sounds. The riffs are slow and heavy, while retaining the sorrowful atmosphere. Again, around 3:45 in the violin of Martin Powell takes over the song, it's just unbelieavably great especially combined with some fast drumming by Rick.
A Sea to Suffer In is another great song here, and the shortest song with 6:30. The music flows very effortlessly with the rest of the song and with the rest of the album. "The fields of blood" sings mr. Stainthorpe, in a very emotional voice. The riff around 3 minutes is probably where the Opeth guys listened very intensely...
Also, the word "girl" is mentioned about 45 times on this album. :)
Two Winters Only is the 2nd best song on here. It begins with a nice melodic keyboard intro, that is the basic structural part of the song. One of the best parts in the song is "Why, did I leave them all?" I know I get chills listening to it. Then the whole rest of the song after it is just great.
Your Shameful Heaven is the least favorite one on here, as it hardly fits with the rest of the album.
Overall, this is one of MDB's greatest albums, and very worthy album to listen to. On a rainy day, when you don't want to do anything, throw this album on, and just sit back (knife optional) and enjoy.
My Dying Bride are not the band you want at your birthday party... play them at an AA meeting and you'll have a lot of blood to clean up. Angel and the Dark River is a moody, depressing, ubermelodic journey through the mind of a bereaved and severely FUCKED UP individual. Sans lurching and frankly boring riffs and growls, MDB finds their true voice on this album.. and it is truly the voice of the wretched (damn i'm good).
The Cry of Mankind fades in with a keyboard riff lifted directly from the X Files and slowly builds to a lilting and beautiful song rife with layered melodies and plodding riffs. Lead vocalist (or whiner) Aaron Stainthorpe sounds like Count Chocula on a serious bender, and warbles his way through anthems of self digust, in the process mentioning "she" more often than the latest New Found Glory record
Two Winters Only is my favorite song... begins with a keyboard aping a violin (or a violin aping a keyboard?) and ends tragically. These guys really need a hug... but without MDB where would we turn to in our bleakest moments? Somehow, in their utter despair, My Dying Bride are inspiring and beautiful. The Angel and the Dark River is the perfect album for those days when you can't pull yourself out of bed. Well done.
truly a dark, depressive album this one is. To me its better than the earlier MDB albums because vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe uses all clean vocals here. I don't really care as much for his growling, I just think the clean vocals fit better with the music....
'The Cry of Mankind'--although this song is long and a bit tiresome (yeah you can skip the track after about 7 or 8 mintues because theres several mintues of 'effects') and it is the weakest song here BUT that doesnt mean its not great anyway, because it defianately is still good!! 7 of 10
'From Darkest Skies'--from the opening bass-line to the haunting keyboard outro, this is one heavy as hell song!! It seems to be one of those songs that is impossible to smile over as well....9 of 10
'Black Voyage'--ohhh, this song is the one that makes me think of very bleak things such as a pale snow covered forest, and it tends to be a very depressing song. Just listen to the violin in here, its BOTH beautiful AND sad. The only bad thing about this song is the few straight mintues of Aaron's incoherent murmurs and severely low guitar before it kicks back into the song. 9 of 10
'A Sea to Suffer In'--wow!! a short song?? thats hard to believe. It's actually quite good though, and the main part of the song is so heartwrenchingly painful that its not even funny. 9 of 10
'Two Winters Only'--this song is another fairly long song (over 9 mintues) but its also the best song on the album. Very peaceful clean guitar is found throughout with Aaron's bleak but poetic lyrics, and then the song is made absolutely one very sad, melancholic song when you hear the slow beating of the drums and the words "Call me what you will but I'll die for no man.." It, again is both sad and beautiful. This is a great song for rainy days!! 10 of 10
'Your Shameful Heaven'--this is the only song on the album with any speed whatsoever, but its still a wonderful song, just not one of the better ones. 6 of 10
First album without any growling. Ok, that's fine - it's not like I'm suffering every time I hear Aaron's clean voice. There are other vocalists to complain about. Anyways this is very similar to Like gods of the sun, only fewer and longer tracks. And that's one of the things I must pinpoint.. making longer tracks is fine, as long as there's actual music during the whole time, not having to hear several minutes filled out with weird sounds and shit. (listen to the last minutes of "The cry of mankind")
That's the only thing I don't like tho, see past that and this is a really dark and heavy doom album. Aaron really tried to change his vocals here, you can hear that especially in "A sea to suffer in" - he sings with a bit higher note which is nice.
Definitely worth getting. Has some wonderful tracks like "Your shameful heaven".