If you don't know My Dying Bride's music, you'll need this primer:
This music redefines the word 'dark'. The British goth/doom rockers' songs are slow, depressive and very heavy. There are the occasional death grunts, but like many other 1990s death metal bands they have progressed to a cleaner style of vocals. The singing is in the low-registers, melodic, somber, and held back in the mix. These atonal sounds are surprisingly similar to their contemporaries Tiamat and Moonspell, which also graduated from pure death. But the difference between My Dying Bride and those bands is in the simplicity. You'll never confuse this music with progressive metal. MDB's music is incredibly simple, using standard death metal chord progressions and slow, sludgy riffs that are repeated in several tracks with minor modifications.
The darkness permeates every aspect of the album. The tortured angel in the cover-art, the band's very name, the emphatic minor key chords, and song titles like "The Wreckage Of My Flesh", "A Doomed Lover", and "And My Fury Stands Ready". This is not uplifting stuff, and will hardly inspire you to run out and do a batch of unprompted good deeds!
If you are familiar with MDB, you'll probably agree that this is not their strongest release. Songs Of Darkness Words Of Light is slower and more brooding than their prior 7 releases, but also mellower and more approachable than before. But don't worry – they aren't selling out just yet. The most commercial track is "My Wine In Silence", and it won't see a lot of radio time. In fact the start of "My Wine In Silence" could have been a gothic version of Leonard Cohen – that morbidly deep voice, pleasantly melodic in a dull sort of way, poignant lyrics. But the comparison disappears a few minutes into the song and we're back to classic MDB.
My Dying Bride is not for everyone, but if you can stand the excessive negativity in this genre of music, this one will pull you into the depths of gloom in an interesting, melodic way.
1. The wreckage of my flesh (8:45)
2. The scarlet garden (7:50)
3. Catherine blake (6:32)
4. My wine in silence (5:53)
5. The prize of beauty (8:02)
6. The blue lotus (6:33)
7. And my fury stands ready (7:45)
8. A doomed lover (7:54)