Released: 2012, Peaceville Records
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Yorkshire gothic doom metallers My Dying Bride present their 11th studio album: ‘A Map of all our Failures’. It is no surprise to discover that out 8 despair laden tracks, which make up this new chapter of output, only one less than seven minutes long.
Guitarist Andrew Craighan, describes the album as “a controlled demolition of all your hopes” and he’s not lying. Every song being a lengthy mournful event. ‘A Map of all our Failures’ is a painful listen at times, but something doom metal fans would want no other way.
In a world dominated by Scandinavian metal bands, hearing a British accent is in some ways refreshing, however musically this release seems to be held back by British reserve.
My Dying Bride have stuck with the tried and tested formula of the previous 10 albums, and there are no surprises here. The album opens with funeral bells, à la Black Sabbath’s eponymous and genre defining debut album. This could be seen as a lazy and formulaic stereotype, but MDB are established enough in their own right to get away with it.
This sense of self enforced constraint with regards to staying within the confines of the doom genre is characteristic across the album. Even when we get to the thunderous drumming and low growling in the latter half of ‘A Tapestry Scorned’ the whole affair is rather mellow, yet there is a sense of tension due with energy bubbling under the surface. ‘Hail Odysseus’ is the heaviest of the album, yet is stripped down compared to some of the popular material in their back catalogue.
Existing fans will be happy with more of the same; however casual listeners of My Dying Bride may be disappointed by the minimal direction taken here.
Review by Victoria Fenbane