My Dying Bride
Macabre Cabaret EP

My Dying Bride‘s 2020 album, The Ghosts of Orion, was an Ok release, not the best of the legendary UK doom act’s third act (yey growls!), but still a decent MDB release, with 3 or so really strong songs, which is always a good thing. So to keep us entertained during these covid times, the band has graced us with a 4 song EP.

You get 3 new songs and an orchestral cover of “Your Broken Shore”, one of the better tracks from the recent album. And unfortunately, The 3 songs are pretty much in line with the recent album quality, in that they really don’t do much for me. All three are plenty mopey and despondent, flocked with churchy keys and strings and Aaron Stainthorpe’s somber croon, but they are far from great MDB songs.

10-minute “Macabre Cabaret” sort of splits into 2 parts, the first half is a repetitive moody chant with a few growls and the last half is a meandering plod that, much like The Ghosts of Orion never quite goes anywhere or peaks.  The 6 minute “A Purse of Gold and Stars” starts with delicate pianos and gorgeous strings and Stainthorpe’s deeply emotional timbre, teasing a truly rending song, but it basically does that for the whole song. It’s beautiful, but essentially an acoustic song. another shorter song, “A Secret Kiss” is the best of the three, but still just an average MDB song. But when “Orchestral Shores (Buiksloterkerk Cathedral Mix)”, an instrumental remix of a prior song is the EPs best material, you know you are in trouble. 

In truth, not a really completely worthwhile EP, except for completionists,  though it depends on how you felt about The Ghosts of Orion, as MDB seems to be in need of an injection of creativity. The mood and sadness are there, but the riffs are just flatter than they have ever been, lacking the truly emotive, wilting heft the band is known for. Let’s hope they find it again.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 20th, 2020

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