MY DYING BRIDE @ O2 Islington Academy, London

Spread the metal:

Band: My Dying Bride

Support: Ava Inferi

Venue: O2 Islington Academy

18th May 2011

Reviewer: Danny Draper

Photos: Jo Blackened

Altercarnated Photography


The only support band on tonight was Ava Inferi; a Gothic Doom Metal from Portugal and despite a dramatic entrance I didn’t think Ava Inferi started off well.

The opening song really didn’t do anything for me either & her voice is definitely something you either love or hate.

After a few songs it didn’t excite or give me hope that anything amazing would happen in their performance. For me the music was better than the vocals as their second song reminded me of early Opeth, but sorry to say I’m not to keen on the vocals.

These vocals seemed to dominate their sound too much & was definitely far too piercing. Music wise, it’s not terrible, there are some passages that come close to making me enjoy it and started to like it.


Its Doomy, it’s Bleak and Gothic, but as soon as the vocal kicks in, it’s like being brought back down to earth to a shattering jolt! A friend of mine who was in the audience commented saying that he wished he’d known they were playing so he could have stayed outside and as they were sending  him to sleep!


Not the audience reaction either then from these guys as no-one look relatively entertained, except for some fans at the front of the crowd.  They sound great sonically but the vocal style really wasn’t to my taste!

It wasn’t too long until tonight’s headlining band My Dying Bride took to the stage!

To be honest, in the past I had only listened the odd track from My Dying Bride and although I knew they were a well established and brilliant band, I never gave them too much attention but I can truly say that tonight has changed that!

There’s nothing quite like seeing a band live who you know not too well and being thoroughly entertained! They play with unparalleled class and commitment, it’s amazing sonically and visually.

Vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe’s pipes, are in my view; impeccable!

They have such great stage presence they easily captivated the audience & after their second track I too was totally hooked.

Starting with, as he put it, " nine minute epic sung in Latin (Sear Me), wasn’t doing ourselves a favour" the audience loved it going straight into ‘Bring Me Victory’, from their latest EP.

After that their set-list consisted of; The Whore, The Cook and The Mother, Like Gods of the Sun and Catherine Blake.

There were also great renditions of the album version of "For You" and a live debut for the emphatic "The Sexuality of Bereavement". The singer was commanding and charismatic, his presence was brilliant luring you in with dulcet tones and vicious growls from the pits of his guts.

The twin guitar harmonies of Messer’s Hamish Glencross and Andrew Craighan were excellent especially during "Sear Me" and "The Whore, The Cook and The Mother".

The aforementioned song had so much kick and groove it is unbelievable how they go from sludge and doom to balls out metal via the elegance of tranquillity that they can summon.  The bass is commanding is executed very well by bassist Lena Abé, it is great to see a lady rocking out tonight after the previous two were rather static!

For me the drums sound album worthy tonight, you could hear every single section of the kit so clear, they were played to perfection; I tip my hat to Dan Mullins. Not much to be said of Shaun McGowan, for the first few songs he seemed to be just milling in the background but during the second half of the set he became more active!

After She Is The Dark and Your River, which was clearly the end of their set, they said that they could walk off stage now & wait for the cheers for them to return like Guns’n’Roses but they are too old for all that now, but the crowd could still cheer for more if they wanted, which the crowd did until Aaron Stainthorpe summoned us to finally stop!

This was quite a funny moment and there was actually a lot of good interplay from the vocalist tonight.

After a long, but much loved encore they hey finished the set with My Body, A Funeral and The Dreadful Hours which was immense!

This was a brilliant night and once again, an amazing band! A must-see live!