Album Review: My Dying Bride - The Ghost of Orion
Reviewed by Neil Bolton
In September 2018 lead singer of My Dying Bride released a statement explaining the reasons behind their recent hiatus from the music scene. Aaron Stainthorpe explained in a very heartfelt and sincere fashion about his five year old daughter battling cancer, causing a “black hole of worry and panic”. Thankfully and most importantly his daughter has won this battle and in turn Aaron returned to the studio to add the vocals to the otherwise almost finished album “The Ghost Of Orion”. Admitting it took him a long time to get back into the head space needed to concentrate on a musical project. He utilised a lot of writing that he had composed in those dark days, and using death metal vocals as a cathartic tool to bring him back. It worked. My Dying Bride have once again produced a dark emotional masterpiece.
The album begins with the single that a lot of fans will already be familiar with. 'Your Broken Shore' has a video to accompany it and you can hear the above mentioned death metal vocals in the chorus. Wait a minute! A My Dying Bride song with a chorus! And a sing along chorus with a hook as well! I have no intention of racking my brain going through the whole My Dying Bride back catalogue to clarify if this is unheard of, but it certainly is rare. It stands out, and it is enjoyable.
'To Outlive the Gods' is dripping with melancholy. You are not going to get a dance floor filler and I doubt many will be reaching for this or any other MDB album to blast through their headphones at the gym, but that is not what you want from this band. What you want is what you get, a masterful display of doom from one of the creators of the scene. 'Tired of Tears' is a self explanatory title about he past few years of trauma experienced by all involved. Beautiful music flows assisted by Aarons voice and lyrics. 'The Solace' is a guitar track with folk style female vocals swirling over the song. This track would fit well being played in the back ground of a Satanic black mass, as blood seeps down naked flesh from a sacrificial wound just as well as it would playing over a wedding scene between two wood elves in floral crowns and green velvet jackets.
'The Long Black Land' begins with cello strings before guitars burst in to remind you it is a metal band you are listening to. Clean vocals once again mix with death metal growls in glorious harmony. The title track 'The Ghost of Orion' is a strange one, another guitar track with whispering vocals resting quietly on top. Not that strange is a bad thing. My Dying Bride have always not necessarily challenged the listener to enjoy something different; more invited them to try something new.
The album culminates in my favourite track 'The Old Earth'. This is a wonderful example of the type of doom this band are known for performing. With vocal layers that I am sure will make a live performance difficult if they wish to perform this and be true to the recording. Finally the album finishes with a musical outro of choral voices, cello and keyboards.
My Dying Bride have outdone themselves with this release. I have listened to this many many times in the short time I have had to review this, and I am excited with the prospect furthering my relationship with this album over many years.
My Dying Bride release 'The Ghost of Orion' via Nuclear Blast on 6th March.