Rating:
10
My Dying Bride - The Angel And The Dark River
22 May 1995


01. The Cry Of Mankind
02. From Darkest Skies
03. Black Voyage
04. A Sea To Suffer In
05. Two Winters Only
06. Your Shameful Heaven
07. The Sexuality Of Bereavement [bonus]
08. Your River [Live at Dynamo '95] [bonus]
09. A Sea To Suffer In [Live at Dynamo '95] [bonus]
10. The Forever People [Live at Dynamo '95] [bonus]


After the exceptional and mourning aesthetic of "Turn Loose The Swans" My Dying Bride returned with another opus of emotional intensity and esoteric feelings, "The Angel And The Dark River".

I don't know how the fans of "As The Flower Withers" and "Turn Loose The Swans" expected their successor to be back then, but they were not expecting it to be like "The Angel And The Dark River" for sure, as far as I am concerned. This time My Dying Bride remain heavy and powerful, yet not aggressive. A more fragile and gentle approach is overrunning their sound and this is not something that shines only through the music, but from the vocals as well. Aaron Stainthorpe, the dramatic persona of My Dying Bride, this time chose to express himself only through his wailing clean vocals, pouring his soul to his personal and beauteous lyrics, leaving behind the grunting way of expression and thus lending a more poetic approach to the sound of My Dying Bride.

The guitar work is fabulous with the guitars painting the soundscape "with reddest tears", adorning the sound of the band with their either more powerful or mourning and serene approach. The rhythm section is definitely imposing, evoking the ideal walls of sound in the overall intensity of the atmosphere, and Martin Powell for one more time shows the grandeur of his creativity and genius mind, judging from the heart-rending violin pieces or the nightmarish or dreamy keyboard passages and inspired piano ideas.

And the question still remains, what can someone say about Aaron Stainthorpe's interpretation? If I say that his clean vocals evoke such a doleful aesthetic and the way he interprets his utterly mourning and integral poetry is stunning, unerring and deeply dramatic, my description will be so poor in front of what the listener will cherish from the moment he will start losing himself in the majesty of "The Angel And The Dark River" with Aaron adorning the soundscape in the most appropriate and artistic way. You just have to listen to him interpreting in this pure piece of Art to really get what I mean.

Well, the album consists only of six compositions, yet, believe me, they are enough to fulfill your deepest depressive desires since they are lengthy and utterly inspired at the same time. "The Angel And The Dark River" is one of those albums you listen from the very beginning until the very end simply because it flows as one, as a whole entity, from the long epic "The Cry Of Mankind" to the poetic "From Darkest Skies", the gentle "Black Voyage" to the classical hymn "A Sea To Suffer In" and from the esoteric and heart-rending "Two Winters Only" to the elegiac "Your Shameful Heaven".

"The Angel And The Dark River" is a must-have grieving opus for all the 90s doom metal adorers without any second thought, it's a sparkling jewel in a world of sadness and lachrymose beauty.

"But my tears, they fall for you, only you…"


Band profile: My Dying Bride
Album: The Angel And The Dark River


 



Written on 01.12.2005 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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dismaleuphony - 19.06.2006 at 09:09  
What a great review, this disc and "Like Gods Of The Sun" will forever be my favorite discs by the band. And this is true sadness... "A Sea To Suffer In" may be my favorite track from them (it is so hard to choose with so many awesome songs...).
Passenger - 20.06.2006 at 22:08  
One of the most amazing Doom albums ever, but IMO they beat this one with "Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light".
Talvi - 27.12.2006 at 22:58  
The Cry Of Mankind rules!
Uirapuru - 14.12.2008 at 07:24  
''A Sea to suffer in'' is an exellent song.. it really surprise me as i had only listen to ''Turn Loose The Swans'' (which i didnt like) before this one. By far this is the best release from MDB.
Solstafir! - 10.08.2009 at 01:11  
"The Cry Of Mankind" is the most awesome doom song I've ever heard, Period! The video was somewhat disturbing and eerie...
A Seminal release of the genre in my opinion...
M C Vice - 06.08.2011 at 04:46  
Should this be counted as Death/Doom? I thought Death/Doom was just Doom with Death vocals, or is there more that defines it?
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.08.2011 at 11:02  
Written by M C Vice on 06.08.2011 at 04:46

Should this be counted as Death/Doom? I thought Death/Doom was just Doom with Death vocals, or is there more that defines it?


Death doom is actually a mix of death metal with doom metal. Or as the so-called "true"doomsters like to call it "slowed down death metal" for true death doom check out My Dying Bride's first ep, Paradise Lost's first album, Winter, Decomposed, Necro Schizma, Beyond Belief, Ophis, Sempiternal Deathreign, Disembowelment, Imindai, Spina Bifida, Runemagick, Insanity Reigns Supreme, first Unholy album, Indesinence... that will give you an idea as to what death doom is.
M C Vice - 06.08.2011 at 12:21  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.08.2011 at 11:02

Written by M C Vice on 06.08.2011 at 04:46

Should this be counted as Death/Doom? I thought Death/Doom was just Doom with Death vocals, or is there more that defines it?


Death doom is actually a mix of death metal with doom metal. Or as the so-called "true"doomsters like to call it "slowed down death metal" for true death doom check out My Dying Bride's first ep, Paradise Lost's first album, Winter, Decomposed, Necro Schizma, Beyond Belief, Ophis, Sempiternal Deathreign, Disembowelment, Imindai, Spina Bifida, Runemagick, Insanity Reigns Supreme, first Unholy album, Indesinence... that will give you an idea as to what death doom is.

But does this album count as Death/Doom, cause I can't hear much death sounds in it, except for the live bonus tracks. The only other Death/Doom album I've got is Requiem fortissamo by Virgin Black and it sounds much heavier than this one.
Marcel Hubregtse - 06.08.2011 at 12:23  
Written by M C Vice on 06.08.2011 at 12:21

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.08.2011 at 11:02

Written by M C Vice on 06.08.2011 at 04:46

Should this be counted as Death/Doom? I thought Death/Doom was just Doom with Death vocals, or is there more that defines it?


Death doom is actually a mix of death metal with doom metal. Or as the so-called "true"doomsters like to call it "slowed down death metal" for true death doom check out My Dying Bride's first ep, Paradise Lost's first album, Winter, Decomposed, Necro Schizma, Beyond Belief, Ophis, Sempiternal Deathreign, Disembowelment, Imindai, Spina Bifida, Runemagick, Insanity Reigns Supreme, first Unholy album, Indesinence... that will give you an idea as to what death doom is.

But does this album count as Death/Doom, cause I can't hear much death sounds in it, except for the live bonus tracks. The only other Death/Doom album I've got is Requiem fortissamo by Virgin Black and it sounds much heavier than this one.


imo there still is quite a bit of death metal in this and most of My Dying Bride's albums.
I would certainly classify this as death doom.
Mr. Doctor - 06.08.2011 at 13:42  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.08.2011 at 12:23

Written by M C Vice on 06.08.2011 at 12:21

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 06.08.2011 at 11:02

I would certainly classify this as death doom.


Although a more watered down version but yeah, still quite death/doom.

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