My Dying Bride

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Like Gods Of The Sun - * * * *

Come with me my friend, Come and see the end, And let me swallow up your pain
Leave the village lights, Step into the night, Open your mouth to my bloody rain
And at your second birth, We shall slay the earth, And stalk mankind till Heaven burns

- A Kiss To Remember

Moving right along, lets do something for the goth kids. My Dying Bride is a veteran metal band hailing from somewhere across the pond in England. They have always incorporated elements of goth and classical music into their recordings. Over the years, it has become a trademark of sorts, separating them out from the flock of blood and gore metal bands. MDB have collectively progressed through each successive album. They have moved farther away from their death metal beginnings and more and more into goth and doom metal. They have retained a lot of death metal elements, but changed the formula to suit their vision. The US release Trinity is a good example of this progression, with its weird combination of violins, piano, and guttural death metal vocals. They have however, to their credit always managed to make the sound work no matter how unconventional. Their raw talent and creativity as musicians helps to carry the weight of their ideas.

Their latest release, Like Gods Of The Sun, sees the band moving almost entirely away from traditional death metal and into a sound which is really all their own. There are certain heavy elements of goth here, but also a classical feel. Imagine Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath jamming with the resurrected corpse of William Shakespeare as their singer. MDB have always been a step above in their lyrics and concepts, foregoing the usual death metal approach of blood, guts, and satan for apocalyptic stories and landscapes of gods and kings. Like Gods Of The Sun sees them perfecting the union of classical narrative and heavy music. It is a collection of vast soundscapes, almost like background music for some medieval war. The album is loosely centered around a concept which involves the death of a bride (of course) and the pain and suffering which it brings to the main character. The lyrics are incredibly depressing and morose as is the music. To tell the truth, the overall bleakness wears thin after a while. However, MDB do manage to capture the mood quite nicely and the mood works well with the band's sound.

The drummer is really impressive on this album, keeping the band afloat when they would otherwise drown in the murky depths of the music. The bass is excellent as well, providing a solid performance as the key instrument of the album. A Kiss To Remember is especially good with its rolling bass intro leading into the collective carpetbombing of guitars and goth vocals. The singer has really found his niche on this album, with a heavy gothic baritone which sets the narrative off perfectly. The violins and eerie piano lines run throughout the album as well. However, they are perfectly in place with the music this time around, and the album would seem empty in their absence. With the possible exception of Turn Loose The Swans, this is the band's best work so far. While it is all very depressing, they are unique in creativity and raw talent. Like Gods Of The Sun is an album which no other band could have possibly pulled off with this much perfection.

* * * *

Reviewed: April, 1998

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