Release DetailsLABEL Peaceville
RELEASED ON 3/9/2004
My Dying Bride
Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
posted on 1/2004 By:
It must be the cold, there’s not really any other explanation for the amount of attention I’ve paid to the new My Dying Bride record. Walking at night with headphones on is the perfect atmosphere for the dreary atmosphere found on Songs of Darkness, Words of Light. Unfortunately, the moment I warm myself up, I get bored of this record pretty quickly. It’s certainly not without its charms, but most of them are only charming under the correct circumstances. I can’t be certain yet, but it’s hard to foresee something as bland as this becoming timeless. It’s far easier to foresee it being overlooked or quickly forgotten, and that’s a shame because the past few releases from My Dying Bride were instantly pleasing and still managed to age gracefully.
In fairness, there are a few aspects of the album that are very pleasing- the overall feel of it is mellower and drearier than past records, and I think this fact lends both to some of the best and some of the worst moments to be found on Songs of Darkness, Words of Light. The song "My Wine in Silence" is a prime example of the great effect of My Dying Bride’s newfound calmer version of melancholy. At its core, it’s a simplistic song but the use of guitars and keyboards for plentiful atmosphere in addition to being used for the main melody gives it the extra flair necessary for greatness. Aaron Stainthorpe’s clean singing voice has always struck a chord with me. It’s reminiscent of the singer from In The Woods and has a very dark quality to it that suits the music very well. His singing on this new album is in its finest form, as exemplified on the song "The Blue Lotus" nearing the three-minute mark and again later in the song. The final strong point is the production. It’s not breathtaking or anything, but everything is as it should be and there’s nothing more to ask of it than that.
That’s a rather sizeable paragraph of up sides for an album I’ve found myself caring so little about, but it’s all balanced out by the fact that for the most part, there’s nothing awe-inspiring or notable to speak of on this record. It goes from one shade of bland to another, on rare occasions offering something exciting but for the most part inspiring nothing but the desire to play something else.
For big fans, this might well not disappoint, but for people like me who’ve been into what My Dying Bride has done at certain points in their career and not so into others, it’s probably just an average album that’s not unpleasant but nowhere near consistently good enough to merit frequent attention.
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