Can a band still be relevant after 30 years and 13 previous albums? The answer when it comes ti My Dying Bride is; most definitely! The band has shifted slightly in style through the years, starting with Death-Doom and then gone towards a more gothic sound but with Doom still at the core. After the longest hiatus thus far in their career – because of health issues in singer Aaron Stainthorpes’s family and some members leaving – they’ve released their purest Doom metal album so far. There’s hints of both Death metal, mainly in Stainthorpe’s characteristic growl voice, as well as Goth and Folk atmosphere. But the core is Doom – sad, intrusive, reflecting, desperate, misery-ridden Doom. Real Doom. This album gets under your skin and stays there lingering for a long time.
The use of violin is somewhat of a trademark for My Dying Bride and it fits the atmosphere of the songs perfectly. The sweeping and hypnotic riffing together with the haunting vocals and the steady, intricate drumming makes the length of the songs feel like mere flickering moments, although some span for 10 minutes or more.
The track “The Solace” stands out from the rest of the songs. Lonely guitars are accompanied by a guest appearance from Lindy-Fay Hella (Wardruna). An oddity at first glance, but the haunting, folky feeling of the track grows on you – the guitar melodies are exquisite and Hella’s voice is as beautiful here as it is in Wardruna. The other songs, besides the choir only closing track and the title track interlude, all have a heavy and melancholic sound closely associated witch My Dying Bride – perhaps with a slight adding of structural directness. There’s some strong choruses in tracks like “To Outlive the Gods”, “Tired of Tears” and the opening track “Your Broken Shore”.
If you like real Doom metal in general, and My Dying Bride in particular, “The Ghost of Orion” shouldn’t disappoint you. What you’ll get is heavy, haunting, beautiful and dark music fit for anyone that doesn’t necessarily need everything to go at the speed of light. Give it time and you shall be rewarded.
Artist: My Dying Bride
Title: The Ghost of Orion
Label: Nuclear Blast
Date of release: 2020-03-06
Playing time: 56,38 minutes
Stand out track(s): “The Solace” and “Tired of Tears”