|After the somewhat weak 'The Light at the End of the World', My Dying Bride are back with a new album. The first people who heard the album, seem to have mixed emotions: the die-hard fans are of course proclaiming it to be the best release, while others say it is nothing but a rehash of old material.|
I agree with neither and will position myself somewhat comfortably in the middle. 'The Dreadful Hours' is without question a MDB. album. Every element we associate with MDB. you can find on this album (except the violin of course). Aaron moans in agony, grunts in anger or despair and the rest of the band make sure we get a beautiful mix of heavy death/doom with sad emotional dreamscapes. Of course the violin is dearly missed, but the keys adequately replace it for the most part.
Even more than on 'The Light...', we see MDB. returning to their roots. The album seems to hover in between 'As the Flower Withers' and 'Turn Loose the Swans', but also reaches out into newer works, most notably 'The Angel and the Dark River'. The band also adds some new elements here and there, but they are sparse at best. This is simply MDB. doing what MDB. does best and what the fans like to hear.
Which also leads me to my criticism on this album. While not as strongly as on 'The Light...', it still sounds a bit like MDB. put on the automatic pilot after the shock of the response on the '...%...' album; this album sometimes sounds a bit uninspired. I do fear that the experience the band had with the '...%...' has now made them a prisoner of their own old sound. I'm not pleading for them to shock their fans again, but a few more surprises would have been welcome.
Incidentally it is nice to see they finally did what has been a rumour for such a lone time and re-recorded 'Return of the Beautiful' from the 'As the Flower Withers' album. I also like what they did with the song, but the album did not need it.
1. The Dreadful Hours
2. The Raven and The Rose
3. Le Figlie Della Tempesta
4. Black Heart Romance
5. A Cruel Taste of Winter
6. My Hope The Destroyer
7. The Deepest of All Hearts
8. The Return to the Beautiful
Duration : Approx. 71 minutes
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