While there are albums that we writers at the Moshville Times will jump all over, desperately calling dibs on in the hopes that we’re the one that can have the honour of doing the review, I think this might be the first album where a competition of physical violence was suggested. Eye gouging at dawn to be more precise. Fortunately it didn’t come to this and a more peaceful solution was suggested. That such drastic measures were even considered shows the love this band inspires in it’s fans.
For me My Dying Bride have never produced a bad record so it’s a mixture of excitement, and also fear that I put on this their twelfth full studio album; fear that their unbroken track record of almost perfect albums is shattered by this latest release.
As I put on the new album I realise immediately that my previous fears are completely unfounded. “And My Father Left Forever”, the first song on the album, is classic My Dying Bride. The unmistakable sound of the Bradford based band booming through my speakers immediately puts my mind at ease. Aaron Stainthorpe’s vocal is unmistakable, when it comes in at around the 40 second mark, although I was surprised at how melodic he was sounding. I’ve noticed that with the last few albums Arron has incorporated almost a more standard way of singing in places, although his vocal still expresses the melancholy, suffering, and depressing hopelessness that we’ve all come to love. Of course we also have the beautiful violin parts from Shaun MacGowan. All the elements of a classic My Dying Bride track are there.
It’s not all clean vocals however and the second track “To Shiver In Empty Halls” starts with deep doomy growling vocals. The double bass drum thunders away under interweaving guitar lines producing one of the heavier songs on the album.
There’s so much going on here that it takes multiple listens to absorb everything. Most songs are on the slower paced side, it is doom after all, yet there is still a tremendous variety in the song-writing; “I Almost Loved You” has a delicate piano part with a mournful violin accompanying, “Within a Sleeping Forest” brings to my mind Russian doomsters “Forest Stream”, and the title track “Feel the Misery” really does live up to its name.
Another incredible album from the master of gloom. While still very much in the vein of the last few albums it does introduce some new elements to their sound particularly in the vocal department. It’s not quite up there with my favourite My Dying Bride album Songs of Darkness, Words of Light but it’s a great addition to their catalogue. If you are a fan of the band already then go out and buy the album as you won’t be disappointed. While the album is great I only wish I could see these songs live but My Dying Bride, as long as I’ve been a fan and as far as I’m aware, haven’t played Scotland. Unsurprisingly, and disappointingly, they’ve also skipped Scotland on the current tour too.