I’m a doom metal purist through-in-through, which is why I turned up my nose at MY DYING BRIDE for their increasingly “gothic” style for many years. I admittedly had to put my foot in my mouth after hearing their newest release, Map Of All Our Failures, however, which was a pleasantly surprising hit of polished, bleak traditional doom from a band who’s glory days I had already written off as long gone.
Following many of their recent albums, and especially last year’s yawn inducing symphonic release, Evinta, Map Of All Our Failures is a real step up for My Dying Bride. Perhaps they took notes from their UK doom brethren to find a voice for this release, which is painstaking without delving into too much cheese or boring atmosphere as they have had a tendency to gravitate towards in the past. This is a traditionally composed doom album all the way, full of clean vocals and heart-wrenchingly slow riffs that bring to mind inevitable comparisons REVEREND BIZARRE and WARNING.
My Dying Bride would have done a fantastic job of fully drawing the listener into their enticingly miserable world here, if not for a couple of distracting silly effects (rain noises and keyboards notwithstanding) and strange breakdowns, which really are minimal enough to go almost unnoticed. That’s my only complaint. If it were up to me, I would have My Dying Bride drop the wackiness completely, but perhaps that would mean losing their personality as a band. And in the end, wackiness or no wackiness, I would recommend all doom fans give this a try, especially former MDB cynics like myself, which is really the most important thing.