My Dying Bride: For Lies I Sire
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Music can have a powerful effect on the mood and the psyche. There are some songs that, no matter what is happening, if I hear them my mood improves. There are other songs that evoke less positive emotions, leading to a powerful catharsis.
And then there is My Dying Bride.
For Lies I Sire carries on a long tradition of amazing albums from this seminal British doom metal band. But this is not the place to look if you want music that will pick you up. This album also carries on their tradition of lyrics that are soul-crushingly bleak.
That may sound like a negative commentary. It is not. My Dying Bride's greatest strength is their ability to write bleak, barren, dark lyrics that are hauntingly poetic and wrap them up in the most beautifully depressing music. Their latest release is no different.
"My Body, a Funeral" begins the album, setting the stage for what is to come. Aaron Stainthorpe's melancholic baritone croons over the clean guitars. As the music progresses, the distorted guitars are accompanied and balanced by the crystalline tones of the violin. Such balance and juxtaposition is throughout the album. The bleak lyrics complimented by beautiful musical passages. Double bass contrasted to slow, plodding guitars. Gentle, plaintive vocals placed against heavy, doom guitars.
While ever track is fantastic, the highlight is "Santuario di Sangue", and 8+ minute epic track that typifies My Dying Bride. Poetic lyrics telling a particularly gothic tale (hint: it's about Vampires), brooding, funereal guitars, clarion violin tones, and dynamic drumming combine to create a masterpiece.
My Dying Bride has, as any good band does, evolved over the years. At times experimental, other times they have been far closer to a death/doom band. On For Lies I Sire, all their past epochs seem to come together to create a brilliant album. After over a decade with no violins, their return is incredibly welcome. Stainthorpe's vocals continue to be magnificently understated. This is an excellent introduction to new fans, and a welcome addition for those who have been with the band from the beginning.
Final Verdict: Adore it
Really, I love this band and this album. There is a reason this was my top album of 2009. It is excellent is so many ways. My Dying Bride seems to be in top form (a real feat considering how amazing their past work is as well), and with For Lies I Sire has released one of the most haunting musical experiences ever.