My Dying Bride @ Islington Assembly Hall, London

Spread the metal:

My Dying Bride + Oceans of Slumber + 40 Watt Sun

@ Islington Assembly Hall

31st March 2016

Review by Jacob Ovington

Photography by Graham Hilling

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

Tonight the British masters of doom returned to London to invite us all to ‘Feel the Misery’ once more. Misery has always been their game, but this time they gave their latest album and tour the aforementioned title. After so many years, is there any feeling left at all? Or has their sound grown into nothing more than cold and apathy? Let’s see.

The night is opened by 40 Watt Sun. Their music has a detached and expansive feeling that can pretty much be described as post-doom.

40 Watt Sun
40 Watt Sun

The sweeping qualities of their sound fill the room pulling everybody into their sea of melancholy. They play well and made a great start to the night.

40 Watt Sun
40 Watt Sun

Up next and joining us all the way from the USA is Oceans of Slumber.

Oceans of Slumber
Oceans of Slumber

Their sound is highly impressive and diverse, and having not heard them before the show I was almost swept off my feet.

Oceans of Slumber
Oceans of Slumber

Their music is a complex, multi-layered and highly emotive take on progressive metal.

Oceans of Slumber
Oceans of Slumber

Their frontwoman, Cammie Gilbert has an almighty power to her voice and the way she delivers takes the music to a whole new level.

Oceans of Slumber
Oceans of Slumber

By this point the venue becomes very crowded and the queue for the bar is so long that some people miss the moment that everybody has been waiting for. My Dying Bride entering the stage. As soon as they begin to play, the melancholy pours out and submerges all the souls present in the deep and winding ‘Your River’ from ‘Turn Loose the Swans’.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

As usual, the band’s performance is spot on. My Dying Bride are one of the few groups that sound better live than they do on recordings.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

For one thing, I kind of got bored of listening to them at home. With their live shows, it’s like their music always has a new lease of life.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

It’s bigger, louder, heavier and above all more atmospheric. Aaron Stainthorpe’s dramatic stage presence adds another dimension to the show as well.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

Their set was a good mix of classic material and tracks from their latest album, ‘Feel the Misery’, with the second track of the night being ‘From Darkest Skies.’

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

The first track we get to hear from the new album is ‘And my Father Left Me Forever’, which feels a little faster than most of their material. It still has that sense of raw despair that gives the band its character.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

Just in case we weren’t feeling it yet, as a checkpoint and to drum the negativity in a little bit more comes the latest record’s title track, ‘Feel the Misery.’

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

One thing that always stands out in My Dying Bride’s live performances is the searing, soul piercing violin sounds that slice through the air, cutting the hearts and minds of everybody there and even the stone that the building itself.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

The highlight of the night is definitely ‘The Cry of Mankind’, its sound really does echo its title. With every note the wrenching pain of the suffering of a thousand souls can be felt.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

Every moment of the song resonates decay, despair and sorrow. It’s one of their best known songs, and rightfully so. The audience feels every moment of, and tears run down the faces of many.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

For the encore we’re treated to ‘Like a Perpetual Funeral’ from A Map of all Our Failures. This is followed by one of the band’s longest and oldest songs, ‘Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium’.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

This is a dark and melancholic epic, one that is seemingly endless. As one of their oldest songs it has a lot more death metal influences, so is faster and more aggressive than the rest of the set, but it makes a great ending.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride

My Dying Bride are certainly alive and well, and as miserable as ever.

My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride
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