My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures

My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures

(CD/2LP, Peaceville Records, 2012)

I haven’t listened to a real good MY DYING BRIDE album since “Like Gods Of The Sun” was released even this album can not look straight in the eye of the way depressive “The Angel And The Dark River” or of the suffocating “Turn Loose The Swans” that for many MY DYING BRIDE fans is the band’s absolute masterpiece. Since these glorious days during which despair, pain and loss of faith were the dominating elements in UK’s Doom / Death Metal pride belong to the past, we have to see what is the deal in BRIDE’s eleventh full length release that, judging by the title “A Map Of All Our Failures”, seems like a return to the melancholic/depressive motive but eventually this does not work with the music...

...that stays away from the 90s Doom / Death Metal style, watching it from a safe distance through a cloudy window. Of course, Aaron’s vocals remain gloomy and heart-piercing but this time his singing adopts a more calm-narrating / less desperate character reminding all those atmospheric horror movies with stories taking place in some foggy and damp forest. The melodic keyboard parts are clearer and well-polished than ever, while the guitars keep a dominating role with repetitive and draggy riffs. The gentle violin work seems to play a double role; sometimes it follows the band’s well-known from past works paths, creating a disarming and pale atmosphere (take for example the self-titled track), and others just delivers high-pitched notes (see “Kneel Till Doomsday”), adding almost cinematic aesthetics. As painful it may sound, the tracklist with “Like A Perpetual Funeral” included, did not work for me and I dare to admit that I felt bored at more than one times. Fortunately, the album turns the tide during the second half where the epic “Hail Odysseus” and “Within The Presence Of Absence” are the golden exceptions and remind us the reasons why we love the 90s era of the veterans Doom deathsters, that I swear could be leftovers from the TANTDR album. Plus, the almost 9-minutes “Abandoned As Christ” drops the curtain with the best way adding one more pillar to MY DYING BRIDE’s attempt to define poetry via music.

It really depends on your viewing angle if “A Map Of All Our Failures” is able to satisfy your darkest music needs; but if you expect something close to “Turn Loose The Swans”, you’ll be most probably disappointed. After all, the band has evolved since that release. On the other hand, this album could mark MY DYING BRIDE’s return in more depressive territories (at least the second half of it) that may relight the older die-hard fans’ interest. It’s been a while since depression had felt so pleasing...

“And me, with a finger of glass pushed through your heart
I’ll hide your name in a dying church for your shame
You see, I want to come in first peace oh my lord
Where was God when I most needed him?”





01. Kneel Till Doomsday
02. The Poorest Waltz
03. A Tapestry Scorned
04. Like A Perpetual Funeral
05. A Map Of All Our Failures
06. Hail Odysseus
07. Within The Presence Of Absence
08. Abandoned As Christ


Andrew Craighan - Guitars
Aaron Stainthorpe - Vocals
Hamish Hamilton Glencross - Guitars
Lena Abé - Bass
Shaun Macgowan - Keyboards, Violin
Shaun Taylor-Steels - Drums, Percussion