Legendary UK doomsters My Dying Bride are it once again, back with another collection of epic, crushing bleakness, this one titled A Map of All Our Failures. Though their 2009 release For Lies I Shire was indeed a strong album, they've kicked it up a notch here on their latest, which should thrill fans of their ominous style.
I dare any doom fan to not get completely swept away by the opening mini-epic "Kneel 'till Doomsday", a punishing track chock full of massive riffage and both gothic styled clean & ferocious death growls from vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe. Moody, melodic doom follows on "The Poorest Waltz", and "A Tapestry Scorned" plods along in depressing fashion, a ponderous dirge that longtime followers of the band, or even Candlemass for that matter, will just love. Again, the use of growls in the rampaging middle section is extremely well done to break things up a bit, and the extra added element of keyboards & violin from Shaun MacGowan really adds some depth. Those big, fat, Back Sabbath styled doomy riffs courtesy of Andrew Craighan & Hamish Glencross permeate the ominous "Like a Perpetual Funeral" and the monstrous "Hail Odysseus", while the textured title track takes the band down gothic and more progressive avenues. Nice to hear the poignant violin play off the bruising riffs on "Within the Presence of Absence", complete with some emotional vocals from Stainthorpe, and closer "Abandoned As Christ" brings all the MDB elements together, including slow, dirge-like riffs, ponderous drums & percussion, and yearning vocals. At nearly 9-minutes like, it's a massive, epic sounding piece to bring A Map of All Our Failures to its conclusion.
While this latest from My Dying Bride isn't going to win them any new fans (you either love this sort of depressing, gothic styled doom metal or you don't), it's definitely a strong release and easily one of their best in recent memory. Filled with mammoth heavy riffs and dark lyrical imagery, A Map of All Our Failures won't be the next soundtrack to your kids birthday party, but as a crushing slice of doom it will do just fine.
1) Kneel 'till Doomsday
2) The Poorest Waltz
3) A Tapestry Scorned
4) Like a Perpetual Funeral
5) A Map of All Our Failures
6) Hail Odysseus
7) Within the Presence of Absence
8) Abandoned As Christ