My Dying Bride - The Manuscript (2013)
Review by Wayne Simmons
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 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.
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.