My Dying Bride – A Map of All Our Failures
Release date: October 16, 2012
There are quite a few band names tossed around when speaking in the death/doom metal genre, but one band that has always and will always be a pioneer of this genre is My Dying Bride. Somehow always grouped with Paradise Lost, they seem to have single-handedly created one of the greatest sub genres to ever grace the metal world. My Dying Bride been around since 1990 and have quite the massive discography of EPs, splits, and full length releases. It seems over the past few releases though, the last one especially, the death metal and doom metal have slowly faded away and they seemingly left fans confused. The sound produced has been more reminiscent of gothic metal and there seems to be a never-ending debate between elitist and casual fan about what exactly their genre should be.
With little to no influence from the death metal genre, their latest release is a mellow, and downright eerie, eight tracks of decent music. A Map of All Our Failures seems to be their answer to both sides of the argument, soothing both the needs of the solid doom metal fan, and the casual metal listener. The album as a whole features very solid doom riffs and prominent bass, with brief but very good moments of faster speed and harder hitting drums. Unfortunately, those moments are just too brief. I like my death/doom to be a balance of both, so some more moments of harsh vocals, faster drumming, and more intricate guitar work is definitely needed in the album. The doom elements are spot on and it makes for a pleasant listen, but it could be better.
I find myself getting a little lost during the album, and not in the good trance-like state that this genre tends to do to me, but it is more of a feeling from boredom. “A Tapestry Scorned” is a song that I could live without. It’s the third track in and already makes me feel like switching CDs to Turn Loose the Swans. Even the guitar work, though solid and full of eerie harmonics is too boring. There are moments in the song I regain hope, especially about halfway through where it picks up to a near fanfare moment. That is a great element to the song. Unfortunately it’s not enough to save the song and I must skip it. “Within the Presence of Absence” is a song I can appreciate, as it moves a bit more throughout. This is a nice somber song, yet I find it more complete, with droning string elements and basic but well emphasized drums.
Unfortunately there’s not a real gem on the album. I don’t feel particularly in love with either track, though I don’t really hate a particular track either. It’s a solid doom/gothic metal release, I just feel like it’s missing a little bit of emotion. Even if the emotion is sadness or pain, I’d like to feel it more in the music. I encourage everyone to try the album out, especially for a hardcore follower of the band, don’t let my words alone sway you, however I can barely give the album the rating I am giving it. A Map of All Our Failures is background music at its best.