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Ever Evolving - 80%

unanimated, October 21st, 2006

I have respect for this band. My Dying Bride shows how a good band should evolve. On each album they bring something new, I dare say even something I never heard before [which alone most bands miserably fail to do ever]. And yet they still remain the same band with riffs and melodies typical for them [unlike bands for which "change" means completely different style or even genre]. Even after 14 years, you can hear this is the same band that recorded "As the Flower Withers".

I have gotten used to the fact that I have to listen to MDB's new albums several times before i can really appreciate them. First listening gives various impressions, some passages feel strange but others are catchy enough to keep your attention and for you to have patience with the album. The more you listen to it, the more you grasp these new and "strange" ideas and find their peculiar beauty.

Even though sometimes I like new MDB album more than its predecessor and other times less, I have yet to hear a bad album from this band. "A Line of Deathless Kings" is giving me somewhat better impression than previous "Songs of Darkness, Words of Light", though I can't explain why and it's probably a very subjective feeling. What I am sure about is that if you were following this band's works from the beginning like me, and haven't given up on them by now, you will definitely not throw this album away. I advise to give it at least 3 listenings though before you judge it. It gets better every time.

I'm not much for detailed descriptions of each song, it's simply a good album as a whole. The production is flawless, needless to say in case of such a band. Some melodies remind of previous albums and a few of them may feel perhaps a bit "too familiar" but it's not to an extent that would disturb me. If you get the impression some riffs seem too familiar the first time you hear "ALoDK", it will probably fade the more you get to know the songs.

There aren't any significantly ultra slow passages on this album [as in the "The Angel and the Dark River" kind of slow], and faster riffs [like "The Fever Sea" from '99] are very scarce. And there's almost no growling voice, but these are things that come and go in case of MDB, so not necessarily a sign that they disappeared for good. Still the pace is quite variable, mostly ranging from slow to mid-tempo and there are at least small bits of everything we are used to hear from MDB.

I must give credit to the drummer. The drums catch my attention quite often in case of MDB. Rarely any band shows that drums can do more than just give rhythm to the song, but MDB is one of the few exceptions. I was surprised how small role keyboards play here. After first listening I wasn't even sure if there were any, apart from the piano at the beginning of "The Raven Wings". There's actually more, but barely noticeable, staying in the background. Lyrically I haven't noticed any changes, the title of the track "Love's Intolerable Pain" sums it up pretty well.

I can't really find a weak point of this album, except things of personal preference & choice. MDB are too proffessional to make mistakes. It may not be the best MDB album and I don't think anyone would expect that either, but it's definitely a good one and the band shows that they're not getting weak. And while most of the bands that i liked 10+ years ago are horrible/boring/ridiculous today, My Dying Bride can easily keep the status of one of the best bands in their genre.