Halifax/Bradford, England’s My Dying Bride rose from the ashes of Abiosis as a death/doom band before turning to romanticism and an affected gothic sound. Aside from former Abiosis members Rick Miah and Andrew Craighan, the formative line-up also featured Aaron Stainthorpe and guitarist Calvin Robertshaw. The band initially shared a sound and label with fellow Midlands’ band Anathema and ended up wifeswapping with that band as well as Bal-Sagoth, Paradise Lost, Solstice and others.
The group soon issued the Towards The Sinister demo in 1990. Listenable Records of France picked the band up for its God Is Alone single, but the group signed with Peaceville Records and issued the 1992 one-track EP Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium. Ade Jackson was on bass as of the summer of 1991whereas Andy had recorded the four strings before. The demo had no bass parts. The band would soon make it to MTV. Signed to Peaceville the band would begin recording at the label’s Yorkshire studio and use label proprietor Hammy as producer. The 1993 EP The Thrash Of Naked Limbs was well received, but Miah would damage his hand and the band cancelled more touring including dates with G.G.F.H. The band recruited Martin Powell for 1993’s Turn Loose The Swans. The group conducted more European touring. The band supported Iron Maiden in 1995. All the time the band was becoming more gothic and less metal. The band, nonetheless, played at the Dynamo Festival in The Netherlands. Miah left in 1997 and was replaced by Mike Unsworth (Year Zero) who was replaced by Bill Law. Calvin Robertshaw departed in 1999, but would return in 2014. The late 2001 album The Dreadful Hours featured a re-make of The Return Of The Beautiful from the band’s debut record, but was now called Return To The Beautiful. The album was dedicated to the memory of Darren Dickinson singer of Abiosis. Hamish Glencross and Andrew Craighan launched a record company. John Bennett of The Prophecy was recruited when Shaun Steels injured his ankle canoeing. For Lies I Sire featured Katie Stone on keyboards as Sarah Stanton was pregnant. 2011’s Evinta featured several previous My Dying Bride tracks re-imagined as neo-classical and ambient songs as the band was commemorating its twentieth anniversary. The band played the 2014 Maryland Deathfest following which it fired Hamish Glenncross. Calvin Robertshaw was now back. In late 2016, Peaceville Records was commemorating the 25th anniversary of the band with a 92-page hard cover book and demo and rare material in one package called A Harvest Of Dread.
My Dying Bride's 2015 album, Feel The Misery, would be released on September 18th through Peaceville. The boys signed a deal with Nuclear Blast in 2017. A new album was due that year.
MY DYING BRIDE - A LINE OF DEATHLESS KINGS - PEACEVILLE
As much as My Dying Bride is an easy target for ridicule and loathing A Line Of Deathless Kings is a good album with a genuine feel and style. The British melancholics are still pompous, pretentious and preposterous, but the new album - whose cover art depicting the apparition of past kings reminds one of Lord Of The Rings - is probably the band’s best. The band has gone back to early producer Mags for this album, but anyone who imagined a return to the growling early vocals by Aaron Stainthorpe would be disappointed. Instead, My Dying Bride has assembled quite a few good doom riffs that border on Candlemass at times. The relaxed flow of the songs, the morose vocals of and the clear drumming have turned out to be effective and heavy. Riff after riff is dark and sorrowful. The group has clearly pulled back from the brink of popdom in favour of a genuine doom metal approach. To Remain Tombless, I Cannot Be Loved, One Of Beauty’s Daughters and clearly The Blood, The Wine, The Roses are affected, although that would mean the band is consistent if anything. Moreover, the keyboards have largely been banished and replaced by heavy doom riffing. As for the growling, if a little is better than nothing for some, the dying minutes of the album remind the listener that they are still doable if only Aaron wanted them. - Anna Tergel