May 14, 2013

Filthy Music Review - 'My Dying Bride: The Manuscript'

My Dying Bride - The Manuscript (2013)

Peaceville Records

Review by Wayne Simmons

Doom/ death veterans, My Dying Bride, return with their latest work, THE MANUSCRIPT, released this week through Peaceville. It’s an EP containing 4 new tracks, weighing in at around 30 minutes running time. The record was recorded and mixed at Futureworks Studios in Manchester, UK with the band’s long-time producer, Mags.

It’s quite a mixed bag, spanning across the variety of sounds and influences the band has been known for since their 1992 debut.

Title track, THE MANUSCRIPT, is almost ballad-like. It’s a commercial sound; very melodic, the verse a clean vocal and spoken word, the chorus notably absent in favour of an orchestral keyboard hook. The song climaxes with an uplifting anthemic bridge over some death-esque guitar work.

Track 2, VAR GUD OVER ER, brings more of the band’s death influences to the fore. The melody is still strong, but the vocal is growling from get go, the guitar shredding along in the background. There’s a bridge blending spoken word with a sweeping clean vocal, some harmonic lead guitar layered beneath.

The 3rd track, A PALE SHROUD OF LONGING, opens with a strong and defiant doom riff, some fierce drumming to carry it along. It breaks down into keys before bringing back the riffage, a clean and clear vocal ringing out to launch the track wholesale. The bridge features more spoken word before that heavy guitar kicks back in and the vocal gains more momentum to finish.

The final track, ONLY TEARS TO REPLACE HER WITH, opens with some poetical spoken word over some subtle guitar work. The vocal evolves to a slow melancholic croon, the guitar picking up pace, some lovely low-end harmonics bleeding through. This is a poignant song and perhaps the strongest and most definitive track on the EP, albeit the briefest. It’s a fitting climax, leaving the listener in a reflective state of mind.

THE MANUSCRIPT is a solid albeit restrained release blending all the influences the band are known for. It’s a more produced sound than their last record, with strong melodies and a compressed guitar sound. In one sense, this EP could herald a more commercial road forward for the band. But there’s still plenty here for old fans to enjoy. 

Track List:

1. The Manuscript
2. Var Gud Over Ar
3. A Pale Shroud of Longing
4. Only Tears to Replace Her With    

The Manuscript is available now on CD and Vinyl from Peaceville Records. 

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