"A Map Of All Our Failures"

By Octopi Mills

My Dying Bride returns after many great albums with yet another good collection of songs; the script being "A Map Of All Our Failures". The music is as you would expect; mournful, doomed songs that bring forth the feeling one can get from a reading of Edgar Allan Poe, after a rainy night walking the moors, cursed with fogs and an evening of dark wines. The sorrow is married with a certain element of classic gothic horror and the lyrics and vocals are performed in a like manner that is literary, as one might expect from a good horror tale or English poetry. One hears the English countryside brought to life in the sound, and the spoken words give a feeling one gets from watching a film, at times.

The subject matter is lonesome, and the vocals meet with the band's past, as do guitar and violin, and few bands can keep their sound intact after so long a time and still entertain the listener. The strings work dark compositions into winged flights of night terror and drop off into deep, swooping depths, and the drums gallop like big horses with furry hooves. Keys are arranged as if it is your funeral to which you have been invited. There is a drowning feeling, like staring into black pools with bottomless holes, as Aaron Stainthorpe sings of blind girls and tells tales of lost redemption,always  classically romantic and tragic like a Shakespearean drama. His performance is one of both a great storyteller and a  masterful vocalist, adding something to the music that makes it the greatest of their countryman, and sets the music of an exclusive distinction amongst the rest. It is as if a book is being  brought to life; a literary classic, complete with candles and windows that overlook wet forests covered in haunting mists.

This is a soundtrack for maiden ghosts and spectral phenomena, and of lost love cut down by death. Poe would approve, i feel, and this music would fit a tale of his, surely- something like "The Fall of the House of Usher". The downside is there, a sort of hangover that makes one feel bitter and destroyed. This is music for the downtrodden and for those who hold ruin in their hearts, a sound of decay and days where the weeping rain pours without end. These fellows remain some of the best of the style, these dark merchants of utter doom. Perhaps not the best music to drink to alone, as the side effects could make one hang their self in a nearby courtyard.