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Feeling the Misery Forevermore - 88%

ColeMiner, September 21st, 2015

Bring out the bottles and obsess over sad memories because My Dying Bride has returned with their thirteenth album, Feel the Misery. For 25 years, they have been the measuring stick in depressive doom metal, releasing one great album after another and influencing countless bands in both death/doom and gothic/doom genres along the way. And this new album continues this legacy and cements My Dying Bride's position at the top of their craft.

This album marks a change in the lineup with the departure of long time guitarist Hamish Hamilton Glencross. But that also allows Calvin Robertshaw to return who performed in all of their classic albums in the 90s. However this change in lineup hasn't made a big difference in the sound of My Dying Bride. The album consists of trademark My Dying Bride riffs that mixes slow death metal riffs with massive doom metal riffs. The death metal riffs chug along most of the time and provide the album with enough aggression. They never get boring or feel stuck, the riffs feel destructive and move fluidly with a purpose throughout the songs. They also never get too repetitive as new riffs are introduced in almost every new verse. Bigger, doomier riffs are also used which are most notable in Within a Sleeping Forest. The riffs are often accompanied with some mournful guitar leads. The bass is not always distinguishable but when there are some independent basslines, they are typically sorrowful like in A Thorn of Wisdom.

All songs here are long but the album still can be divided into two parts. One consisting the longer songs that exceed the nine minutes mark and the other consisting relatively shorter songs that only exceed five or six minutes mark. As the songs progress, violins and keyboards are introduced within them. However they are used more prominently in the relatively shorter songs than the longer ones. Both violins and keyboards are very melancholic and they mostly used for atmospheric purpose. But they can also take central stage like in I Almost Loved You which is a neoclassical piece in the vein of Sear Me MCMXCIII and For My Fallen Angel. While the drums are not present in that song, they are in others and the drumming in the album is solid and dynamic. Sometimes the drums plod along but change pace before it can get monotonous. They enable the flow of the songs very effectively.

Aaron Stainthorpe growls, sings, recites and whispers over all these instruments throughout the album and his vocals are as good as ever. His crooning clean vocals are absolutely mournful and they will definitely make you feel the misery. His growls are also wretchedly hateful. He does not growl fast like in older albums but even with slow pace he can get the job done in style. You can really feel the emotion in his voice. He is not just blurting out the words, he means them. The lyrics are also very depressive as expected. Along with the pensive gothic imagery, there's also enough nihilism which will appeal to your inner misanthrope.

My Dying Bride has done it again. With Feel the Misery they have released yet another miserable opus that will satisfy their loyal fan base and also anyone who likes their doom metal depressive. When the scene is plagued with this so called new wave of retro hipster doom where 70's psychedelic rock rip off wanna be bands get passed as doom metal, My Dying Bride keeps bringing the much needed fix of misery that all misery junkies desire. While listening to this album you will have no choice but to feel the misery and be doomed.