My Dying Bride
The Ghost of Orion

At this point in My Dying Bride‘s 25 year career do you really need a review of album number 13? Let’s be honest, you are simply checking this review out to see if, 1. Aaron Stainthorpe is still growling, and if the 2 released singles  (“Your Broken Shore” and “Tired of Tears”) are the best cuts.

The simple answer is yes and yes. And while My Dying Bride have done an excellent job since 2004s Songs of Darkness, Words of Light of melding their two early acts (the growly stuff and the mopey stuff), The Ghost of Orion certainly feels more like the band’s cleaner second act from The Angel and the Dark River, on, as there is less growling and more plodding, cello/violin flocked despondency. Which is fine, as these guys are still masters of those sonorous, layered hues of misery.

While original guitarist Calvin Robertshaw graced 2015s Feel the Misery, he’s not on this album  and classic sounding “Your Broken Shore” cements Andrew Craighan’s presence with opening strains that cull from “Cry of Mankind”, and has Stainthorpe open the album with some of his strongest growls in a few years. “To Outlive the Gods” is another standout, with a simple, steady repetitive riff that, might be one of the strongest the band has penned the last few albums. The deeply personal “Tired of Tears” documents Stainthorpe’s daughter’s battle with cancer, and is as suitably rending as you’d imagine it would be considering the subject matter.

But after that the album takes a bit of a down swing with not much else that sticks with you as the first 3 tracks do. You get “The Solace”, which is Wardruna’s Lindy Fay Hella chanting (albeit gorgeously) over some warbling guitars for 6 minutes. The you get a musical sandwich of the album’s two 10 minute tracks “The Long Black Land” and “The Old Earth” in between two instrumental numbers, the pointless title track (three minutes of whispering….) and string filled closer “Your Woven Shore”. And none of them really pull  on your heartstrings or deliver truly despondent lumbers, two of My Dying Bride’s long standing tenets. Though the last 3 minutes of “The Long Black Land” picks things up a bit, and the start of “The Old Earth” has a decent growly lumber, but it settles into a bit of a lull. and never peaks.

Certainty not the strongest of My Dying Bride’s third, blended act, but still a decent album that adds to the band’s lauded 25 year legacy with a solid offering, including three really strong tracks of what fans have come to expect.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
March 9th, 2020

Comments

  1. Commented by: GWW

    Kinda boring.


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