Gothic doom metal pioneers My Dying Bride return for their fourteenth installment of slow-moving melancholy. The Ghost of Orion sees the band leaving their longstanding relationship with Peaceville Records, a place where they were once known as a part of the Peaceville 3 alongside Anathema and Paradise Lost; myth or not. While joining Nuclear Blast they also welcomed new drummer Jeff Singer and guitarist Neil Blanchett to support vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe and company.
Stainthorpe’s vocals and overall atmosphere are at the heart of album opener “Your Broken Shore,” a song that tugs at your heartstrings without relenting from to start to finish. Emotive guitar passages give way to varying vocal styles and eventually to a wonderful cello section to transition between songs. Shaun Macgowan’s violin serves as the beauty and can be used for tragic effect like on “To Outlive the Gods” and “Tired of Tears.”
It’s still very difficult to pin down one thing that makes the band unique or what is best about them, but their excellent songwriting skills and ability to operate as a well-oiled machine is certainly one thing that is very much in their favor. Changing moods and styles all while keeping the feeling sad and/or destructive is a masterful constant throughout their existence and this mid-teens release is no exception.
This may not be on the level of Turn Loose The Swans or The Angel and The Dark River but it is definitely a very good MDB album. Fans of My Dying Bride’s style of dejected doom with a flair for interweaving somber strings within their pessimistic plod will be more than happy with this result. Entering their fourth decade of existence has not made this British body sound any different than in the past. We welcome them in for another stay, hopefully with the warm embrace that this cheerless collective is clearly in need of.
(released March 6, 2020 on Nuclear Blast)
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Watch My Dying Bride – “Your Broken Shore” Video