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I died for that moment, one more time - 100%

GardensofGrief, August 22nd, 2013

I die inside every time I hear this album, listening to this album brings back so many emotions and memories that at times becomes hard to bear. This album was the start of it all for me. Turn Loose the Swans was the first doom metal album I ever purchased, I was with my brother at a CD Trade Post a few years ago and he gave me a spending limit, I quickly filled it up but had enough room for one more CD, I wasn't sure what to get I already had nine cds by bands such as Misery Index, Hypocrisy, Meshuggah, and Darkthrone among others, bands I already owned albums of and knew quite well but this one album sparked my interest, the cover and the logo got my attention, I couldn't think of what other album to get so on impulse I decided to pick this one, Turn Loose the Swans.

When I got home this was the first cd I listened to, I popped in the cd and kicked back. The first sounds I heard were pianos and the violin, not what I was expecting at all. I was expecting Metal not classical, I still liked though, the first song is entirely like this and it was very melancholic and atmospheric, but not what I was expecting at all. Then came the next song Your River, by this point I was pretty confused I was wondering what I got myself into. The intro to this song starts of quiet and atmospheric until finally all the other instruments came in and after about four minutes the vocals came in, so sorrowful and bleak. At the point I fell in love, I knew I stumbled across a masterpiece.

This album is different than their debut in that Martin Powell (violins and Piano) is now a full time member and the violins are prominent in every song, this definitely adds to the sound immensely, and helps give the album the melancholy and depressive atmosphere. Another notable change are the vocals, Aaron uses his now signature clean vocal style on this album for the first time which has also since become a trademark of the band, he hasn't abandoned the growls at this point yet, they're still on the album. The music contained within is gothic tinged death doom metal, and is very melancholic and is the earliest example of an album that I can think of that was both crushingly heavy yet melodic and beautiful (except for the likes of Anathema and maybe even early Paradise Lost, which were also experimenting around the same time, both were good but not quite as good as this), other bands might have tried it before but as far as I'm concerned My Dying Bride are the first to pull it off successfully and has since become one of the trademarks of the genre.

There are a total of seven songs on the album, both the album opener and closer are both piano and violin tracks and the five tracks in between are the metal ones. Each track is essential and not a moment is wasted, the opening and outro tracks are both gorgeous and deeply moving. The metal tracks are just as moving, the lyrics are romantic poetry and are quite sad, and they fit the music perfectly. Aaron’s vocals are easily recognizable; I have never heard anybody else that sounds quite like him. His vocal style is deep and sound filled with grief, loss, and depression. The guitars are crushing but also get quite melodic at times too. Most of the songs for the most part are long, two of which surpass the ten minute mark, yet they manage to never get boring which is quite a feat in itself.

I'd say the best song here is Turn Loose the Swans, words cannot describe how brilliant this song truly is and to date is my second favorite MDB song (only beaten by A Sea to Suffer in). The song Turn Loose the Swans is the heaviest song on the album and reaches the ten minute mark, this song predominantly features Aaron's harsh vocals which are very strong throughout the album. This song is so fucking bleak and crushing, in then in the middle portion of the songs the heaviness stops and the sound of rain and the violin come in, moments later Aaron's vocals come in at his most sorrowful, this part gets me every time it is so moving it has even got me shed a tear before very rarely does a song do that to me. Then the song once again reverts back to the crushing despair and Aaron sounds his most violent on the album. The song is perfect just perfect like the entire album. All the songs are good and every note is well thought out.

I honestly cannot praise this album enough to me it is literally one of the few perfect albums I have ever heard. This album opened up a whole genre of metal to me that before I had little interest in, after I heard this album I had to go check out other death doom albums and found so much to love, but this album will always be one of my favorites. This album brings out so many feelings and emotions I have never felt before while listening to music, there is just so much emotion in this album. My opinion might be a little biased, and it might seem like an exaggeration, but to me this album has a lot of personal importance, this for a while was my go to album, I've listened to it countless times, and it still seems fresh to me every spin. Despite all the praise I've given this album it is actually not my favorite My Dying Bride album! Yes in my opinion they release one more album which is just slightly, but only slightly better in my opinion and that would be The Angel and the Dark River, but to me both albums are flawless masterpieces. I give this album the highest recommendation possible.