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Requiem

My Dying Bride

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There are quite a few My Dying Bride fans on this forum, and I've searched high and low but couldn't find a thread dedicated to these Yorkshire doomsters. If my searching has been amiss then please delete this or add it to the existing thread and accept my apologies. 

Once upon a time my favourite band, My Dying Bride has been very special to me since I first heard the track 'Like Gods of the Sun' played on Australian radio in 1996 as a 16 year old. MDB was one of those bands that I'd read about but had never heard the music, but they were already one of my favourite bands (in a manner of speaking) based on the exotic and romantic name and the knowledge that they used a violin which I found enormously fascinating. 

I was lucky enough to tape that track and 'Grace Unhearing' which was also played that night. After that I went to the next town over (that actually had a music store) and ordered the 'Like Gods of the Sun' album. Once it arrived - probably about a month later - a love affair had begun. After that I ordered and received, 'Turn Loose the Swans', then 'The Angel and the Dark River', then 'As the Flower Withers', then 'Trinity', then they released '34.788%...Complete'. That album left my friends and I scratching our heads, but we still loved tracks like 'Base Level Erotica' and 'The Whore, the Cook and the Mother' which remain two of my favourite songs of theirs. 

Over the years I've stuck phat with them and have purchased everything they've released with the exception of 'Ode to Woe' and 'Sinamorata'. 

I don't believe they're the perfect band though. I really feel that the last ten or fifteen years there have been some albums that miss more than they hit. I really wanted to sort through my feelings for them, so here are all their studio albums ranked in order of my least favourite to my favourite. 

 

Requiem's My Dying Bride Studio Albums Ranked

13. Evinta (2011)

I was really excited by this concept of creating basically a classical/ambient album based on MDB songs, but the end result is pretty boring. It sounds a little cheap too, truth be told. Maybe I need to give it more quality time. 

12. A Map of All Our Failures (2012)

The track 'The Poorest Waltz' is one of their best songs of the last decade. What a stunning song. The rest of this album is really only ok at best. I don't mind the more organic production, and the packaging/artwork is great. There's just not a lot that really sticks in the mind and the band feels a bit tired. 

11. As the Flower Withers (1992)

Placing this album so low could be anathema to some people, but I've always struggled to love it. It's got a little more death than my doom/death appetite usually enjoys, and it's generally a work in progress as they move towards better things. There's no doubting the classic quality of it though, and it's a great moment in time. Do I love it objectively? Not really, but I really like it as a friend. 

10. For Lies I Sire (2009)

This is a good album, but not a great one. I struggle a little bit to see the connection between the artwork and the musical content and it all feels a bit randomly thrown together. The songs are well produced though and well played. There are some really cool songs on this album but overall it doesn't buzz me. 

9. Feel the Misery (2015)

There was a lot of hype surrounding this when it came out, with Calvin back in the band (hooray!) and I have mixed feelings about it. The singing in the title track just feels all wrong and I can't unthink how awkward it feels. The singing across this album is actually quite annoying - sort of whiny or something. There are some killer songs and lots of killer moments on this album though. I love the cover artwork and felt disappointed when I looked through the booklet to find no further exploration of the awesome stained glass/religion theme, and I felt a little ripped off. Overall though, this is a pretty happening album. 

8. 34.788%...Complete (1998)

There are really only two songs that I like on this hugely experimental album, but they happen to be 'Base Level Erotica' and 'The Whore, the Cook and the Mother' which are phenomenal songs. Just stunning. The rest of it is ok. It's a good album and it reminds me of a great time in my life too. 

7. A Line of Deathless Kings (2006)

This album is actually pretty awesome. The artwork is bewilderingly bad, with the Darth Vader style helmets on sticks(?!), and I always think I don't like this album very much, but when I check the tracklist and put it on I realise that this is actually a quality album. I think what throws me is that the opening track 'To Remain Tombless' is a bit flat (although has an amazing title), and the single 'Deeper Down' is one of their worst ever songs. Everything else is really surprisingly emotional and effective. 

6. The Dreadful Hours (2001)

Now we're into the next level of quality. This is a fantastic album. 'The Raven and the Rose' and 'A Cruel Taste of Winter' are great songs, and this whole album gels really well. It feels like a unified and focused release and I really like that in this band. 

5. The Light at the End of the World (1999)

Amazing album and a great comeback after the experimental '34.788%'. Every song here is brilliant and I don't miss the violin at all, which really surprised me at the time because I thought the world was ending when Martin left (even though he left before '34%' that album was such an experiment that he wasn't missed). This also contains my (maybe) favourite MDB song in 'Sear Me III'. This album probably more than any of their others transports me to another world. 

4. Songs of Darkness, Words of Light (2004)

This album was such a brilliant surprise. It's dark, haunting, professional and sounds like a world class band. It really has that x-factor that later albums really missed out on. Check out that opening track 'The Wreckage of My Flesh'. Holy moly. 

3. Like Gods of the Sun (1996)

For me the album that started it all. Many fans point to this as the odd one out, but for me this is the perfect sound of My Dying Bride because it's the exact moment that I got into them. Dark, melodic, romantic. Aaron's clean singing is on point and the use of violin is amazing. Back as a 16 year old it was just beyond. We played this album to girls all the time and I'm sure we hooked up a lot due to this album, so I want to thank the boys for that. 

2. Turn Loose the Swans (1993)

The classic. This is an untouchable album and one of those moment in time type of releases. I hate being an old fuddy-duddy, but music was so exciting and fresh back then. When Aaron sings 'See the light and feel my warm desire' without any accompaniment at the start of 'Crown of Sympathy', we all used to go nuts for it. The instrumental songs are also ambitious works of genius. Where did that spirit go??

1. The Angel and the Dark River (1995)

On any given day my favourite MDB could come from any of the top 3 here, and today it's this one. I still get roaringly excited by 'The Cry of Mankind', 'From Darkest Skies' and 'A Sea to Suffer In'. Amazing production, great epic songs. A companion for a lifetime. 

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Nice post. I don't enjoy the process of ranking albums, but I could try. My favorite will probably always be Turn Loose The Swans - I had the wonderful experience of having that album finally click for me on headphones while I was walking around the public rose garden on a lovely summer evening. Tall trees and golden light and flowers and shit. You get the idea. This same rose garden would become the site of my wedding ceremony 13 years later.

I love Angel And The Dark River, but I don't always get on with it. When I'm in the mood, it's perfect. The other ones I really love are As The Flower Withers (which I agree is the sound of a young band that doesn't quite have a handle on everything yet), Trinity (yes it's a comp, but I'd put it here for convenience's sake, and it's got some of the best dark doom-death songs that I've ever heard), The Light At The End Of The World (can't tell you how thrilled I was to hear them get heavy again after 34.788, although unlike you I deeply missed Martin's violin - I don't enjoy the keyboards so much), and The Dreadful Hours, which is kind of uneven to my ears but has some absolutely amazing songs. The opening track alone is worth the admission for me.

I enjoy, but don't really love, A Map and Feel The Misery. MDB's lyrics have always been goofy, but lately they've descended into the realm of the absurdly cheesy, and I find myself cringing several times throughout these albums. I can look past that and enjoy them for their good qualities - Map for its rich soundscape and beautiful melodies, Misery for the moments when it captures pieces of their classic riffing and treats them with the clarity they deserve. I actually enjoy hearing Aaron expand his vocal range, even when it's not entirely successful.

I could actually do without the others. I put some of them on when I'm really, really in a My Dying Bride mood, and I've already listened to all the others, and absolutely nothing else will do. This band has been one of my absolute favorites for over twenty years, but I feel like they're defined by an intrinsic awkwardness. They know how to write a riff, and they have a great melodic sensibility and signature sonic footprint, but their songwriting has always been full of miscues, non-sequitur transitions, and parts that can drag on too long. At their best, these qualities work in their favor - the songs feel abstract but inspired, and they avoid the triteness of more comfortable structures. But sometimes the curtain pulls back on something really graceless. All in all, I see it as part of their charm, and I respect their perseverance.

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I love these guys, but my tastes heavily favor their early works. Turn Loose the Swans, Trinity, and As the Flower Withers are my go to releases for them (in that order), and as awkward as they were in many ways early on, I vastly prefer their dark and depraved doom/death sound to their gothic metal sound. I can't get into The Angel and the Dark River, and don't have anything after that until The Light At the End of the World, which is decent, but drags a bit. The Dreadful Hours and Songs of Darkness, Words of Light are my favorites from after their initial greatness, channeling the perfect mixture of their early darkness and elegant gothic drear, before going a bit overboard on the gothic sound again on A Line of Deathless Kings, which is still decent for me. I don't have any of their releases after that, but from what I've heard of their last couple, I should check them out.

 

Despite their missteps, I have massive respect for the band. They exist on their own terms and evolve as they feel like they should. Aaron is quite the showman, and a really nice guy, and I would highly suggest seeing them live if you ever get the chance.

 

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I love these guys, but my tastes heavily favor their early works. Turn Loose the Swans, Trinity, and As the Flower Withers are my go to releases for them (in that order), and as awkward as they were in many ways early on, I vastly prefer their dark and depraved doom/death sound to their gothic metal sound. I can't get into The Angel and the Dark River, and don't have anything after that until The Light At the End of the World, which is decent, but drags a bit. The Dreadful Hours and Songs of Darkness, Words of Light are my favorites from after their initial greatness, channeling the perfect mixture of their early darkness and elegant gothic drear, before going a bit overboard on the gothic sound again on A Line of Deathless Kings, which is still decent for me. I don't have any of their releases after that, but from what I've heard of their last couple, I should check them out.

 

Despite their missteps, I have massive respect for the band. They exist on their own terms and evolve as they feel like they should. Aaron is quite the showman, and a really nice guy, and I would highly suggest seeing them live if you ever get the chance.

 

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Is it just the vocals you don't care for on Angel and the Dark River? I don't really like them but I still dig the music.

 

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7 hours ago, FatherAlabaster said:

 

I could actually do without the others. I put some of them on when I'm really, really in a My Dying Bride mood, and I've already listened to all the others, and absolutely nothing else will do. This band has been one of my absolute favorites for over twenty years, but I feel like they're defined by an intrinsic awkwardness. They know how to write a riff, and they have a great melodic sensibility and signature sonic footprint, but their songwriting has always been full of miscues, non-sequitur transitions, and parts that can drag on too long. At their best, these qualities work in their favor - the songs feel abstract but inspired, and they avoid the triteness of more comfortable structures. But sometimes the curtain pulls back on something really graceless. All in all, I see it as part of their charm, and I respect their perseverance.

I think you've summed up how I see the band really well, and not for the first time. It's the miscues and non-sequitur aspects that I find more difficult to tolerate in my grumpy old age, and I hear a lot of them on the last two albums. My only other criticism would be that despite some varied albums in their history, they are fairly locked into a melodic template that can sound very tired. Sometimes those single note melodies are wonderful, sometimes they're emotionally void. Agree it's all part of their charm though, and that's why I keep buying their stuff! 

7 hours ago, BlutAusNerd said:

I love these guys, but my tastes heavily favor their early works. Turn Loose the Swans, Trinity, and As the Flower Withers are my go to releases for them (in that order), and as awkward as they were in many ways early on, I vastly prefer their dark and depraved doom/death sound to their gothic metal sound. I can't get into The Angel and the Dark River, and don't have anything after that until The Light At the End of the World, which is decent, but drags a bit. The Dreadful Hours and Songs of Darkness, Words of Light are my favorites from after their initial greatness, channeling the perfect mixture of their early darkness and elegant gothic drear, before going a bit overboard on the gothic sound again on A Line of Deathless Kings, which is still decent for me. I don't have any of their releases after that, but from what I've heard of their last couple, I should check them out.

Despite their missteps, I have massive respect for the band. They exist on their own terms and evolve as they feel like they should. Aaron is quite the showman, and a really nice guy, and I would highly suggest seeing them live if you ever get the chance.

 

I'd be interested to hear what you think of 'A Map of All Our Failures' and 'Feel the Misery'. As much as I like aspects of 'Feel the Misery', I think I'm also unimpressed with what it says on the tin - because I don't really feel any great sense of misery listening to that album and am a little bemused by the bold claim. Come to think of it, 'A Map...' doesn't deal much with our failures either, what with songs about blind girls and Odysseus... 

I saw them live in London on Paradise Lost's 21st anniversary show that also featured Anathema. I'm sure you can imagine how chuffed I was to be a part of that crowd! 

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7 hours ago, FatherAlabaster said:  

I could actually do without the others. I put some of them on when I'm really, really in a My Dying Bride mood, and I've already listened to all the others, and absolutely nothing else will do. This band has been one of my absolute favorites for over twenty years, but I feel like they're defined by an intrinsic awkwardness. They know how to write a riff, and they have a great melodic sensibility and signature sonic footprint, but their songwriting has always been full of miscues, non-sequitur transitions, and parts that can drag on too long. At their best, these qualities work in their favor - the songs feel abstract but inspired, and they avoid the triteness of more comfortable structures. But sometimes the curtain pulls back on something really graceless. All in all, I see it as part of their charm, and I respect their perseverance.

I think you've summed up how I see the band really well, and not for the first time. It's the miscues and non-sequitur aspects that I find more difficult to tolerate in my grumpy old age, and I hear a lot of them on the last two albums. My only other criticism would be that despite some varied albums in their history, they are fairly locked into a melodic template that can sound very tired. Sometimes those single note melodies are wonderful, sometimes they're emotionally void. Agree it's all part of their charm though, and that's why I keep buying their stuff! 

7 hours ago, BlutAusNerd said: I love these guys, but my tastes heavily favor their early works. Turn Loose the Swans, Trinity, and As the Flower Withers are my go to releases for them (in that order), and as awkward as they were in many ways early on, I vastly prefer their dark and depraved doom/death sound to their gothic metal sound. I can't get into The Angel and the Dark River, and don't have anything after that until The Light At the End of the World, which is decent, but drags a bit. The Dreadful Hours and Songs of Darkness, Words of Light are my favorites from after their initial greatness, channeling the perfect mixture of their early darkness and elegant gothic drear, before going a bit overboard on the gothic sound again on A Line of Deathless Kings, which is still decent for me. I don't have any of their releases after that, but from what I've heard of their last couple, I should check them out.

Despite their missteps, I have massive respect for the band. They exist on their own terms and evolve as they feel like they should. Aaron is quite the showman, and a really nice guy, and I would highly suggest seeing them live if you ever get the chance.

 

I'd be interested to hear what you think of 'A Map of All Our Failures' and 'Feel the Misery'. As much as I like aspects of 'Feel the Misery', I think I'm also unimpressed with what it says on the tin - because I don't really feel any great sense of misery listening to that album and am a little bemused by the bold claim. Come to think of it, 'A Map...' doesn't deal much with our failures either, what with songs about blind girls and Odysseus... 

I saw them live in London on Paradise Lost's 21st anniversary show that also featured Anathema. I'm sure you can imagine how chuffed I was to be a part of that crowd! 

 

If I listen to them, I'll let you know how it goes. That would have been quite the show, depending on how the set lists were framed. I was quite taken with MDB's MDF set list, opening with The Dreadful Hours, pulling out Turn Loose the Swans, Crown of Sympathy, and The Thrash of Naked Limbs, and a good assortment of other songs throughout their career.

 

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I love these guys, but my tastes heavily favor their early works. Turn Loose the Swans, Trinity, and As the Flower Withers are my go to releases for them (in that order), and as awkward as they were in many ways early on, I vastly prefer their dark and depraved doom/death sound to their gothic metal sound. I can't get into The Angel and the Dark River, and don't have anything after that until The Light At the End of the World, which is decent, but drags a bit. The Dreadful Hours and Songs of Darkness, Words of Light are my favorites from after their initial greatness, channeling the perfect mixture of their early darkness and elegant gothic drear, before going a bit overboard on the gothic sound again on A Line of Deathless Kings, which is still decent for me. I don't have any of their releases after that, but from what I've heard of their last couple, I should check them out.  

Despite their missteps, I have massive respect for the band. They exist on their own terms and evolve as they feel like they should. Aaron is quite the showman, and a really nice guy, and I would highly suggest seeing them live if you ever get the chance.

 

Sent from my HTC6535LVW using Tapatalk

 

 

 

Is it just the vocals you don't care for on Angel and the Dark River? I don't really like them but I still dig the music.

 

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It's all of it. Sometimes it sounds good, but it never grabs me at all. I hate that feeling of just finishing an album and not being able to remember a single part of it because none of it spoke to you at all, and that's what The Angel and the Dark River does to me.

 

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It's all of it. Sometimes it sounds good, but it never grabs me at all. I hate that feeling of just finishing an album and not being able to remember a single part of it because none of it spoke to you at all, and that's what The Angel and the Dark River does to me.

 

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Interesting. It was my first MDB album to be fair, but I remember The Cry of Mankind really sticking with me and leaving an impact. It kind of reminded me of Brave from Katatonia though (the single note melodies), who I was much more familiar with at the time, and that may have been why I was drawn to it.

 

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As a footnote to more valid musical discussion:

One of the alluring aspects of this band back in the 90s for me were the atmospheric and mysterious album titles. As a 16-17 year old (in a much more innocent time than this one), the names bespoke elegance and romantic sophistication. 

I can still remember being fascinated by titles like 'The Angel and the Dark River', 'Like Gods of the Sun' and of course 'Turn Loose the Swans'. Just amazing gothic titles that to this day are unmatched. 

Recent titles like 'For Lies I Sire' (umm, huh?) and 'Feel the Misery' don't quite resonate with me the same way. 'A Map of All Our Failures' is a good title, as is 'A Line of Deathless Kings', although with this latter title I've always wondered how it works. If they're all deathless is it like a line of living kings waiting at a store? Or is it the father/son line of undead kings, so there are a whole bunch of them just hanging out? "Hey there great great great grandfather". What the hell does the title mean? 'The Light at the End of the World' is also a great title, backed up by an amazing song that explains the name. It's just awesome. 

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet and all that, but still, their titles are fascinating. 

 

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That's what you get for letting the guitarist come up with the title. By the way, Requiem, if you were disappointed in the lack of detail in the liner notes for Feel The Misery, there are a lot of interviews online. I've always liked reading a good interview. Even a bad one can be informative.

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8 hours ago, FatherAlabaster said:

That's what you get for letting the guitarist come up with the title. By the way, Requiem, if you were disappointed in the lack of detail in the liner notes for Feel The Misery, there are a lot of interviews online. I've always liked reading a good interview. Even a bad one can be informative.

It has the lyrics (on close to blank backdrops) and basic production notes, but precious little else. I was sort of hoping for a deeper exploration of the front cover idea. I think it really deserves it. There are no other visuals to speak of apart from a bizarrely poor semi-close up of the band looking like goons.

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The whole thing looks a bit 'high school art project' (except for the awesome cover).

This is a pretty personal gripe, I know, but these days you really have to deliver for the person who shells out their dosh something worth paying for (like the package for 'A Map...' for instance, which is great. Even though I don't personally love that cover at least there is a whole delicious booklet of images and ideas that go with it). 

Maybe it's a specific statement/attitude from the band that I'm missing in some way. It's just caught in a no-mans-land of good cover, demo quality everything else. 

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10 minutes ago, natassja7 said:

I remember when I first heard 'Sear Me'.... hit me right in my core. Beautiful memories with MDB. Fantastic band.

In many ways the Sear Me triptych is their best work. The original is a great, if a little primitive, and 'Sear Me 93' and 'Sear Me 3' are just haunting meisterwerks. MDB should put out an EP with all three tracks on it, but I'm afraid they would try to do a fourth and fail miserably, thus diminishing the whole. 

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Huh, Requiem, I understand what you're saying regarding the artwork but I really don't feel that way. I like seeing good art and design, but I don't think any less of an album if those aspects aren't up to snuff; lots of my favorite records have shit art and design and laughable band photos. Maybe it's also that I spent a decade and a half with all of my CDs in a box in my closet. In any case you may find some value in the interviews. Aaron talks about the sad coincidence of losing his father after writing the lyrics for "And My Father Left Forever", and how he went into the recording session with a completely different mindset and sort of tore himself up. Also gets into his writing process a little bit. There are a few with Andrew as well. Neither of them are the most articulate when it comes to saying what specific songs are about, but part of Aaron's ethos is letting the listeners complete the meaning for themselves, and I'm totally behind that.

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10 minutes ago, natassja7 said: I remember when I first heard 'Sear Me'.... hit me right in my core. Beautiful memories with MDB. Fantastic band.

In many ways the Sear Me triptych is their best work. The original is a great, if a little primitive, and 'Sear Me 93' and 'Sear Me 3' are just haunting meisterwerks. MDB should put out an EP with all three tracks on it, but I'm afraid they would try to do a fourth and fail miserably, thus diminishing the whole. 

 

The 93 piano version that opens Turn Loose the Swans is my favorite, but all 3 are fantastic.

 

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5 hours ago, FatherAlabaster said:

Huh, Requiem, I understand what you're saying regarding the artwork but I really don't feel that way. I like seeing good art and design, but I don't think any less of an album if those aspects aren't up to snuff; lots of my favorite records have shit art and design and laughable band photos. Maybe it's also that I spent a decade and a half with all of my CDs in a box in my closet. In any case you may find some value in the interviews. Aaron talks about the sad coincidence of losing his father after writing the lyrics for "And My Father Left Forever", and how he went into the recording session with a completely different mindset and sort of tore himself up. Also gets into his writing process a little bit. There are a few with Andrew as well. Neither of them are the most articulate when it comes to saying what specific songs are about, but part of Aaron's ethos is letting the listeners complete the meaning for themselves, and I'm totally behind that.

It doesn't impact the degree to which I enjoy the music, but it does impact my appreciation for the full package in my hands. I like a good weighty package in my hands...

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2 hours ago, Requiem said:

 I like a good weighty package in my hands...

And the countess is ok with your erm alternative lifestyle. Yeah ok so I'm not above crude juvenile attempts at humour after all.

 

On a more serious note for me album artwork isn't that important. I can't really see it and so I only care about the music itself. I love MDB they've hardly put a foot wrong in their career to date imo. Easily my favourite doom band and probably second overall to Type O Negative.

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9 hours ago, BlutAusNerd said:

 

The 93 piano version that opens Turn Loose the Swans is my favorite, but all 3 are fantastic.

 

 

It's so amazing, isn't it. I don't know how you feel about Anathema's 'Serenades' album, but for me 'Turn Loose the Swans' and 'Serenades' just go so well together. Like steak and red wine. They both have a stunning blend of heavy doom/death with moments of fragile beauty. What a great year 1993 was. 

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9 hours ago, BlutAusNerd said:  

The 93 piano version that opens Turn Loose the Swans is my favorite, but all 3 are fantastic.

 

 

It's so amazing, isn't it. I don't know how you feel about Anathema's 'Serenades' album, but for me 'Turn Loose the Swans' and 'Serenades' just go so well together. Like steak and red wine. They both have a stunning blend of heavy doom/death with moments of fragile beauty. What a great year 1993 was. 

 

I just wish Serenades wasn't so uneven. As much as I like Sleepless on its own, it kind of kills the flow of the album. It also has some pounding tracks that are reminiscent of and also holdovers from their demo/EP days, and then other tracks that showed more where they were heading like the moody and melodious Sleep in Sanity. It's a fantastic collection of songs, they just don't always make sense in the same context the way that their other early releases do.

 

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Because I'm such a magnanimous chap, I often make a point of going back over things that bore me to give them a second chance, but I've got a real bee in my bonnet about 'The Barghest o Whitby'. It's a long song (a touch over 27 minutes I think), but it just plods along without anything happening until about 22:40 when that excellent chugging riff starts up. 

I really wanted to like this because I even have a sentimental attachment to Whitby (from 'Dracula') and Barghests (from '...Baskervilles'). I have the lyrics here but I can't pick up any sense of narrative or even anything to contextualise things. They're just awkward words thrown together. Take the final two stanzas, which in some sort of epic musical journey should end with some resonance I would have thought: 

"Where you would sit and wait for me (I arrive at Saltwick Bay)

And so you shall taste my grief (Drawing the cut, I'm away)

My form is bloody and it is true

It is the night I wear around me

From lies I grew a spit of untruth

I help the frail sky to its sleep

Nameless, I come and without end

Within the moor and without end."

Even when I use my wildest imagination I can't figure out what this might mean. There aren't (m)any clues in the earlier parts of the song either. 

Anyone have a different take on this song? I have 'The Vaulted Shadows', and once the songs from 'The Manuscript' start up it's just a hell of a lot better, which really doesn't do 'Barghest' any favours. The songs from 'The Manuscript' are leftovers from the 'A Map of All Our Failures' sessions, but I definitely prefer these songs to the main album for some reason. Maybe they're more melodious or something, I don't know, but they're great. 

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Possibly my third favourite metal band. 

As the Flower Withers and Turn Loose the Swans are probably my favourites but I'm also quite fond of the underrated Like Gods of the Sun, and The Dreadful Hours. The Angel and the Dark River, Songs of Darkness, The Light at the End of the World are also great and it may be worth noting that I do enjoy their often maligned 34.788%...Complete. My enthusiasm waned with A Line of Deathless Kings and For Lies I Sire but I've slowly begun to spend more time revisiting their last couple of albums. 

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