My Dying Bride’s long awaited brand new studio release “A Map Of All Our Failures” might be intimidating to the average listener, but it is certainly a must-have for the band’s faithful fans. Despite the dramatic title, there is no sign of failure here, as My Dying Bride delivers another highly successful collection of stunning musical compositions. Each and every song features a particular tragic tale illustrated by a highly complex instrumental work. The distinctive romantically decadent violin phrases, skillfully performed by Shaun MacGowan, are back as a major element in the band’s songwriting.
“Kneel Till Doomsday” is an eloquent musical drama. The guitar riffs are extremely somber and heavy in traditional doom fashion but the gloomy violin melodies render everything more unique. There are blasting instants of extreme/death metal asphyxiating rhythms, yet this track maintains an exquisitely melodic core.
“The Poorest Waltz” shines for its decadent poetical attitude enriched by a series of layered clean vocals and its main musical theme is easy to follow due to the elongated melodic guitar riffs. There is still a wide array of obscure feelings and pure melancholy mixed all over the song, but the overall musical vibe is less heavy with a slower tempo.
“A Tapestry Scorned” revolves around that wretched hopeless feeling that has been emphasized in My Dying Bride’s earlier releases. The guitar riffs are pleasantly catchy yet incredibly heavy, the violin accent is actually a fundamental piece that enriches Aaron Stainthorpe’s impeccably theatrical performance.
The title track is filled with delightful violin and guitar dual riffing that should be savored slowly. Aaron’s elegantly sorrowful interpretation belongs to the realm of poetry. After the mysterious slow and dense break down, melodic guitars take over by adding strength and dynamic to the musical tapestry.
“Hail Odysseus” has a mythological theme and mixes the ominous fury of death metal tight guitar riffing with a majestically epic arrangement. Tempo and style changes flow effortlessly throughout the song which has also a very strong rhythmic core. Aaron offers, once again, a brilliant vocal performance characterized by rare passion.
While “Within The Presence Of Absence” focuses on a painfully romantic theme harmoniously portrayed by delicious violin melodies, “Abandoned As Christ” has a deeply tragic and obscure vibe fully expressed by the breathlessly prolonged heavy guitar riffing.
There are no simple or complex words available to fully describe the type of discouraging darkness that only My Dying Bride has been able to portray, yet again, on this new release. I highly recommend listening carefully to “A Map Of All Our Failures” as this album can be easily classified as a modern gothic/doom metal masterpiece.