My Dying Bride
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My Dying Bride were formed by Aaron, Andy, Calvin and Rick in the summer of 1990, and after only 6 months of writing together released the now legendary demo Towards The Sinister. Progress continued apace with the release of their first 7" single God Is Alone for the small French label Listenable. The single sold out almost immediately causing eager whispers in the underground, bringing them to the attention of Peaceville Records, who offered the band a deal.
The first release from this now infamous pairing was the EP Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium (featuring the bands newest recruit Ade on bass), shortly followed by the band's first full-length album As The Flower Withers, avant-garde doom metal was born.
The band followed the release with a series of shows in the UK and mainland Europe. The response was phenomenal, and spurring the band on it wasn't long before they were back in the studio recording their second EP The Thrash Of Naked Limbs. A full length tour of Europe was planned with sickodelic label mates G.G.F.H. but this was pulled at the last minute when MDB's drummer Rick had a bad fall while making the accompanying video. The video was a huge success with the MTV metal hordes and the EP flew high into the Kerrang charts. Fans and critics hailed the band as pioneers of the new doom-gothic metal genre. Pushing these new boundaries even further, MDB recruited long time session musician and classically trained violin and piano player Martin Powell as a full time member. Writing then begun in earnest for their second album Turn Loose The Swans, released in 1993 a huge European tour was planned to coincide with the release, the album received rave reviews and apart from illness, theft and motor breakdown's the tour was a huge success.
In '94 the band kept up the flow by releasing the I Am The Bloody Earth EP, and then settled down to write material for their third album, The Angel And The Dark River. The album was released in 1995 and an opus was born. Six epic tracks, averaging around nine minutes each immersed the listener in MDB's full sinister glory. By now the band were at the very forefront of the advanced metal scene, hailed in the press and with a flurry of like-minded bands following in their shadows, they again launched a successful live assault on Europe, culminating in some high profile festival appearances, including the famous Dynamo metal festival in Holland. 1995 was also the year that the band released Trinity a single CD compilation of the first 3 EP's, if that wasn't enough they where invited on the road by the mighty Iron Maiden. This saw 1995 rounded off nicely, the tour; a 3-month hike around Europe was awesome and saw MDB win over thousands of die-hard Maiden fans every night.
Still happily married to Peaceville, the band, always one step ahead, released their fourth album Like Gods of the Sun in 1996. Again a rich work of art. Experience and careful attention to detail resulted in a much cleaner sound. Sarnies n clean socks packed they toured Europe, this time with Cathedral. Demand being so great they did it all over again in 97 with Sentenced. 97 was also the year that saw MDB hotfoot it to the US, to support Dio. Being well versed in all things MDB the US crowds went loco. Alas, with only a few weeks of the tour left, the band had to pull out when Rick the drummer contracted a debilitating illness, which sadly resulted in the original member having to leave the band altogether. Help came in the form of Bill Law, drummer with label mates Dominion, and work got under way writing the fifth album, enigmatically titled 34.788%... Complete.
At this time Martin also left the band. The album was as different as the title suggests, still full of MDB 'isms' it was daringly experimental, resulting in an overall sound more akin to Tricky than MDB of old. The album had a bit of a mixed response, the critics loved it, and praised the leap of faith, though the fans took a while longer to work things out, despite this the album did manage healthy sales. Bill, a native of Canada saw his visa run out and was gone. The band decided not to tour and instead concentrate on solidifying the line up. Help came in the form of Shaun Steels, ex drummer with Anathema.
After all the changes they'd recently encountered they were surprised at how quickly the new line up gelled, inspiring writing to begin for the sixth album The Light At The End Of The World. The album was released in 1999 and saw a return of the older MDB style, but with a whole new perspective on the sound. Shortly after the album was recorded the band enlisted guitarist Hamish Glencross as a replacement for Calvin, who had left after 34.788% Complete.
Following touring Europe promoting The Light At The End Of The World, 2000 saw MDB working hard on new material, and also working hand in hand with Peaceville on a retrospective of their work with the label to date, the manifestation being two full length CD's, containing rare tracks, live tracks, demo tracks, brand new art work and a video track. The first, entitled Meisterwerk I was released in October, followed hot on the heels in January 2001 with Meisterwerk II.
In August 2001 armed with an arsenal of new material the band hit the new relocated and upgraded Academy Studios to record their seventh studio album, The Dreadful Hours. As ever Mags engineered and also co-produced with guitarist Andrew Craighan. Keyboard duties fell to Bal Sagoth's Jonny Maudlin, with, 'not quite member, not quite session musician' Yasmin Ahmed performing keyboards on A Cruel Taste Of Winter. The Dreadful Hours received stunning reviews from the international metal press, re-affirming My Dying Bride as the godfathers of doom. Asked to describe the album, guitarists Andy explained, "I'm trying to create an atmosphere of angst, of almost relentless misery. So much misery that you just can't take it"
Encouraged by the success of the album the first ever MDB/Peaceville DVD was released in April 2002 - 2.5 hours of material - including a stunning live performance from Krakow Poland - with plenty of extra live footage (more gigs) and a chance to peek at vocalist Aaron's stunning collection of artwork. This was followed by MDB's first ever Live CD - The Voice Of The Wretched, filmed at the now infamous Peacefest finale at the luxurious 013 Club in Tilburg, Holland in March 2001. Again the album received an amazing response from the media - garnering many 10/10-review scores.
The band rounded off the year by playing all the European metal/alternative festivals, including Wacken, Graspop and Bospop with new keyboard player Sarah Stanton added to the ranks. In 2003 MDB settled into work on their follow up to The Dreadful Hours. With plenty of ideas already formulated the band were keen to keep up momentum. In the summer of '03 My Dying Bride found themselves again at Academy with Mags in the production seat. The result of that recording session was the stunning Songs Of Darkness, Words of Light LP, MDB's eighth studio album. The album was released to huge press commendation in March 2004. The band played many live dates and festivals around Europe to promote the album. They also recorded their first promo video since 'For You' for the track Prize Of Beauty.
At the end of 2004, My Dying Bride got together with artist and video director Dave Palser - they originally worked with Dave on the video 'Cry Of Mankind', always hailed as the best My Dying Bride video. Due to the success of the Prize Of Beauty, they decided to make a video with Dave for the Blue Lotus. The video was completed in early 2005 featured heavily on the metal music channels. Also in May 2005, the band released a three-CD box set: Anti - Diluvian Chronicles. This contains new re-workings of three classic My Dying Bride songs - My Wine In Silence, The Raven and The Rose and The Wreckage Of My Flesh; (Academy Studios 2005). This mammoth 29-song box set comes with a poster and a full and exclusive interview with the enigmatic front man Aaron - conducted by one of the UK's most enduring metal journalists, Dom Lawson of Kerrang! A great place to start if you’re just getting into the band. Not to mention highly collectable.
September 2005 saw the release of My Dying Bride's second long-form DVD entitled Sinamorata. Among the goodies on offer on the DVD is a full live concert performance, filmed @ Antwerp's Hof Ter Lo venue in November of 2003. The two new promo videos, along with some videos shot by fans, more live concert footage a much more. The band have been kept busy writing material for the new album, but took time out in November '05 to play The Astoria, and also play their first home town gig in four years at Bradford Rio's.
The band entered Academy Studios in Spring 2006 to record the follow up to Songs Of Darkness, entitled A Line of Deathless Kings. Drums were handled by John Bennett of fellow Yorkshire doomsters, The Prophecy, and as always, long-time collaborator and producer Mags took control of engineering duties. The album was mixed at The Chapel in Lincolnshire and mastered at the famous Abbey Road studios. The first single to be lifted from the album was called Deeper Down and preceded the album as a 4 track release. A promo video was also shot for Deeper Down by Charlie Granberg (who was responsible for the Katatonia videos My Twin and Deliberation).
The start of 2007 saw bassist Adrian Jackson and session drummer John Bennett leave the band, and replacements Lena Abé and Dan Mullins were announced prior to the first concerts of the year. The official statement from the band stated that "MDB has a new fresh focused feel to it and we are looking forward to the shows with a vengeance." In 2008, as the band composed and prepared to record tracks for their new album, Peaceville Records released An Ode to Woe, a live CD&DVD showing the band on fine form at the world famous Paradiso venue in Amsterdam in April 2007. The release was also an introduction for fans to new members Lena Abe on bass and Dan Mullins (ex-Bal Sagoth, Thine) on drums, both having recently joined My Dying Bride.
Recording of the follow-up to A Line of Deathless Kings began in spring 2008 with work continuing through the Summer. In the meantime My Dying Bride made some extra special festival appearances with the re-introduction of violins, courtesy of session player Katie Stone - an unforseen highlight for all fans who witnessed the shows, which was then followed by the uniting of the 'Peaceville 3' (MDB, Anathema, Paradise Lost) for 2 special shows to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Paradise Lost. These took place in Paris & London and was an unforgettable occasion for many fans wishing for this line-up for many years.
By this time, work on the album, titled 'For Lies I Sire' was almost fully completed, as the band had spent the previous months at work in Manchester with long-time MDB engineer/producer Mags.
And so My Dying Bride release the tenth studio album For Lies I Sire after three years of triumph and regeneration. A band reborn; made stronger by the trials put before them, and the victories that make their history. An album that delves deeper into their very essense of being. The crowning achievement for their dedication to intelligent, dark art. Featuring some seriously heavy-as-hell sombre doom, ‘For Lies I Sire’ wades effortlessly and poetically through tales of darkness and gloom, this time textured with the much-anticipated return of the often-missed violin, last featured well over ten years ago.
And the story continues...