"The Ghost of Orion"

By Octopi Mills

It is with a good faith I set this listen upon me, as this is a good and long running band that has managed to keep a solid number of releases for many years now, when others had to change entirely, do too much of the same, or vanish..

"Your Broken Shore" shows the sound getting better in terms of clarity and in production value and that the album will bear this sound throughout, if I am correct, without straying in these terms. It shows the death metal parts are still of merit and powerful. Though the song "To Outlive the Gods" fades by me like a forgettable ghost; a paper kite in the wind. "So Tired of Tears", as I understand it is about the vocalist Aaron's daughter, whom it is said is recovering from her illness. The tender material touches a certain nerve, and is a reminder of the time that falls away; the candle of life which must expire for us all.

"Solace" has a strange, unusual quality to it in the female vocals, much like the art to the album, which  somehow fits the song, though it is not entirely to my liking, and I fail to understand it at this time. It seems to meander, lost and slowly repetitive somewhere I cannot follow. As always, the lyrics are interesting and thought out, and there are the doom and deathly feels; the violin and the guitar harmonies that weep. "The Long Black Land" is no stranger in this manner and shows the tried and  true formula of MY DYING BRIDE. Lots of vocal harmonies are woven throughout the process this time, though nothing really that is tried goes astray from the past. The title track starts out like a dark dream and reaching a near creepy old feeling like staring into a dark loch and seeing a strange reflection and is gone, phantasmal in it's departure. "The Old Earth"  is like an old gothic horror story; the literary and poetic words, the darkly scenic and changing moods, and the creeping doom hanging about the passages. The tale of mankind, next to death in all things. I drift off in thoughts of scaring up a scornfully dark wine with the skeleton of Poe in a tomb lit with electrical storm through some thing like a window, the glow of Bacchus and drink mixing with chill.

 There is at times a feel, likened to the artwork of the cover; not a medieval one but nearer to a later period when the night was more. The ending, "Your Woven Shore" sounds like a funerary piece, where like Guy Clark once said: "you can't tell an angel from a ghost." It sounds as if the voices are in a cathedral and offers a bitter last wine from the bunch that hangs swollen in Bacchanalian decay. Though it wasn't my favorite listen, they have done well again with this and it may take further listens to divest much more.