The dark clouds of fate covered the brightness of life for Aaron Stainthorpe and My Dying Bride over the last years. Things even went that far that a new album of the British Death/Doom veterans wasn’t a given. The fact of Stainthorp’s daughter being diagnosed with cancer right after the release of the ‘Feel the Misery’ album put all band activities on hold. The good news of her being cancer-free brought also some life back to My Dying Bride, but line-up changes caused a continuous challenge that needed to be solved.
Stainthorpe and Craighan are the only remaining founding members still being active while Jeff Singer (2018) and guitarist Neil Blanchett (2019) are the newcomers. Listening to the new album ‘The Ghost of Orion’ feels like the dark years of the past left a bit of a dark shade that manifests itself in each of the eight songs on the album.
My Dying Bride was never known for a happy flow. Somberness was always a big ingredient for their sound and the dark intensity certainly doesn’t become less on the new longplayer. A new segment though that gains momentum on ‘The Ghost of Orion’ is a Folk-inspiration. More than on the earlier releases the six-piece band picks up these influences, being represented in songs like ‘The Solace’, featuring Waldruna’s Lindy-Fay Hella.
The album leads off with a typical My Dying Bride song in which calm melancholic tones turn into massive Death Metal outbursts. Clean vocals as well the growls are handled very well, making ‘Your Broken Shore’ to an excellent opener for the album.
With ‘The Long Black Land’ and ‘The Old Earth’ the album comes with two extra long songs. Especially the latter is a massive piece of music with bone-shaking slo-mo riffs. ‘The Old Earth’ is certainly a masterpiece on the album, rolled out over more than 10 minutes.
‘The Ghost of Orion’ in general shows great craftsmanship. These guys know how to transport a dark and heavy-hearted vibe though their songs. What’s missing a bit are are the ups and downs. The album rolls on a very constant level, a high level though. However, it’s a remark that doesn’t carry a lot of weight since the overarching quality of this album is simply undeniable.
‘The Ghost of Orion’ is the return of a band that belongs to the spearhead of Death- and Doom Metal. It seems like that the dark shades of the last years slowly fade away and reveal a band that gets back to their own strength. I guess there is no better way of celebrating the band’s 30th anniversary than with an album like ‘The Ghost of Orion’.
- Your Broken Shore
- To Outlive the Gods
- Tired of Tears
- The Solace
- The Long Black Land
- The Ghost of Orion
- The Old Earth
- Your Woven Shore
Label: Nuclear Blast
Genre: Doom-/Death Metal
Release Date EU: March 6th, 2020