Label : Peaceville Records

Review by Davide Torresan 

Ladies and Gentlemen, My Dying Bride is back. Three years have passed since the last album, “For Lies I Sire” and one year since the release of “Evinta”, the dark symphonic reinterpretation of some of their songs. Only one year is a short lapse of time for the British. They occupied it writing a new chapter in their history. Indeed, they tried to change their sound with “A Map of all our Failures”. They took the melodic parts of “For Lies I Sire” and they mixed them with the growl of their first works. So you might think that this album can be the perfect balance between melody and aggression: doom and gothic metal. The album begins with the beautiful “Kneel Till Doomsday”. The tolling of a bell seems almost an invitation: the Requiem can begin. It’s remarkable the acceleration with growl and drums in the middle of the song. It breaks the slow rhythm which lasts for its entirety. Aaron Stainthorpe has a warm, lulling voice in it. Another song that will remain imprinted in your head is “A Tapestry Scorned” with the sound of a beautiful organ, which gives a sacral tone to the album. The violin’s inserts of Shaun MacGowan are truly refined, embellishing the titletrack. The latter represents the apex of melancholy with a slow and suffering pace, thanks to the work of Andrew Craighan on guitars. It’s definitely worth mentioning the work on drums in “Hail Odysseus”, alternating fast and slow rhythms. But all that glitters is not gold: this “A Map of all our Failures” has the fault of not being easy to listen. Sometimes i get the impression that the violin inserts are a filler. Some songs, though being dramatic and theatrical, are too long. The use of clean vocals is excessive, and it would have been nice if Aaron had used growl. This album is definitely a “must” for fans of the genre. But it has the fault of not adding anything new to the infinite discography of this band: they have already said it all with their previous albums. My hope is that they start to follow the example of some other bands, like Swallow The Sun. They should include some new elements to give some freshness and originality to the sound. It is undeniable that they tried something new with this album, but it is too little. The production is good, everything is almost in its own place. Certainly it’s not inconcludent like the last Katatonia’s work, “Dead End Kings”. “A Map of all our Failures” is a wonderful opportunity for fans of the “Dying Bride”. They only need to push the button “play” and enjoy the funeral march offered by My Dying Bride. All the others can listen to someone else.

Rating – 65/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Kneel till Doomsday
  2. The Poorest Waltz
  3. A Tapestry Scorned
  4. Like a Perpetual Funeral
  5. A Map of All Our Failures
  6. Hail Odysseus
  7. Within the Presence of Absence
  8. Abandoned as Christ

 

Line Up

  • Aaron Stainthorpe – Vocals
  • Andrew Craighan – Guitars
  • Hamish Glencross – Guitars
  • Shaun MacGowan – Keyboard & Violin
  • Lena Abé – Bass

 

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