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Gothic Ambien. - 60%

Crank_It_Up_To_666, March 23rd, 2015
Written based on this version: 2013, CD, Peaceville Records

Like any blossoming psychotic, I hate it when the universe turns out to be listening to me. Last week’s whole paragraph of blithering about how creepy the new Church of Misery album cover is has caused fate to drop ‘The Manuscript’ squarely into my lap, and what a horrible contrast it provides. Look at that cover. Go on, look at it. You’re right, it is one of the most utterly bland covers a doom band (or any band) of this standing could put out, but sadly, it’s a very appropriate one; like its binding, there’s not much to recommend ‘The Manuscript’ itself once it’s opened and laid out before you.

To be fair, only the most demanding pimp at Peaceville HQ could reasonably expect a stop-gap EP like this to be another ‘Songs of Darkness, Words of Light’, and avid fans will no doubt find enough of interest to fill up an idle twenty-seven minutes of the day. Hell, it’s admirable that My Dying Bride can go that length on an EP and keep things at the very least interesting – how many thrash and grind albums of that length can you name, right now, that can’t pass that muster? Exactly. It also feels a touch unfair to damn MDB for this after last year’s positively brilliant full-length ‘A Map of All Our Failures’, an essential release for contemporary doom fanatics.

But sadly, only about one-fourth of ‘The Manuscript’ will hold much interest for non-devotees. ‘Var Gud Over Er’ and the (more comprehensibly named) title track have the uppy-downy doomy-woomy parts all present and correct, with ‘Only Tears to Replace Her With’ popping up as the cheerily mournful prerequisite of any MDB release, but they can’t help but feel a touch too understated; lacklustre and workaday where MDB are usually hypnotising and/or pleasantly soporific. There is, however, a saving grace - the simply gorgeous ‘A Pale Shroud of Longing’ goes some way to make up for these deficiencies. The wail of the violin having now become the universal signifier for MDB cutting loose and indulging themselves on a great big slice of Black Gothic Gateau. Delicious stuff, and one song, at least, not worth missing.

{Originally published: Soundshock Webzine, 28/05/2013}

The Manuscript - 85%

lordazmolozmodial, May 16th, 2013

As many fans were waiting for more tragicghotic magic for the British doom metal masters My Dying Bride, the EP The Manuscript blew the scene with interesting doomed tracks. After the success of A "Map of All Our Failures", My Dying Bride continued to provide the doom metal listeners with more doomy energy for the year 2013. Though the production and the musical structure sounds similar to the previous release, the energy and the strength of the tracks in this track sounds more vital and dynamic.

The track "The Manuscript" is an interesting piece of gothic/doom metal, the steady sound of the lead guitar folds around Aaron's voice and the sound of the violin supports the structure of the track with deeper ethereal feeling. As the first three minutes of the track repeat the same pattern, the track changes its feathers to reveal more stimulated guitar riffs for minutes, letting an acoustic guitar section to end the track. And here the magic begins as the harsh vocals of Aaron collide with the floating riffs of Andrew and Hamish, Shaun's drumming work continue to supply the needed doomness in every moment. More than eight minutes of eerie guitar sound and wicked harsh vocals will be a perfect gift for all those who missed the extreme voice of Aaron Stainthorpe.

The third "A Pale Shroud Of Longing" belongs deeply to "Map of All Our Failures", with more energized drumming and more obvious bass line. The atmospheric violin's melodies sink through the fibers of the track before the heavy guitar's screams build a huge stage behind the doomed Aaron's throat. The spoken vocals in front of the violin's heavens are my best moments in this track. As I was waiting for more harsh vocals in this track (especially in the last part) I was disappointed. Nothing is better than a spoken poem by Aaron can start a song for My Dying Bride, the track "Only Tears To Replace Her With" flows slowly in a very calm way, reminding me of the track "My Wine In Silence" but with a strong rhythm guitar in the background.

This EP is recommended for all the worshipers of doom metal, specially for those who adore the tasty music of My Dying Bride. If you enjoyed the album "Map of All Our Failures", then I am pretty sure that this EP will continue the same enjoyment and will satisfy every doomed need inside your ear.

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