The British doom metal institution that is My Dying Bride have returned with a follow-up EP to last year’s A Map of All Our Failures. The EP is titled The Manuscript and features 4 songs which clock in at a whopping total of 27 minutes. Yep, this is doom metal alright.
Aaron Stainthorpe and Andrew Craighan are joined by their ever-revolving set of band members that include Hamish Glencross on guitar, Lena Abe on bass, Shaun MacGowan on violin and keyboards and the drumming talents of Shaun Taylor Steels have been employed for this EP as with …All Our Failures. The reason for the identical recording line-up is these tracks were actually recorded during the same sessions as …All Our Failures.
Unfortunately, it’s also pretty obvious that these are off-cuts from the aforementioned recording session. The title track and Only Tears to Replace Her With sound like jam sessions put to record and despite being the shortest songs on the EP they don’t have enough variation to their name to keep the listener occupied.
Luckily Var Gud Over Er and A Pale Shroud of Longing show glimpses of the My Dying Bride that’s allowed this band to be so successful for over 20 years. Var Gud Over Er employs some brilliant double bass drumming and a satisfying grunt in the vocal department to really make it stand out. It also manages to stay interesting for its’ almost 9 minute running time. This is My Dying Bride at their absolute best.
As mentioned, A Pale Shroud of Longing is also a stand-out moment with Stainthorpe doing his entertaining and over-pronounced monologuing. It’s brilliant to hear Stainthorpe’s English accent in full force and the man sounds like he’s narrating a Jeff Wayne concept album. The song is also complimented with a great violin melody from MacGowan which adds some brilliant texture to the track.
My Dying Bride’s The Manuscript is a record of two halves. One showcases exactly why the band are so revered and respected by the doom community but the other falls a little flat simply because the songs sound like they didn’t have the attention they deserved. The realisation that these songs are off-cuts from a recording session that turned out a much more focused and cohesive record make this whole EP more important to fans of the band and not those looking for a gateway into the world of My Dying Bride.
My Dying Bride’s The Manuscript is available to buy from Peaceville now.