While violins in a dark/goth type band are nothing new (often dating back to the 1970’s), if the band can integrate them with their sound – or better yet, build their sound around their violin – they will truly stand out as the best of the best. My personal first experience with violin in a band such as this is with Tristania. In this reviewer’s opinion, this band is on a higher level to Tristania, in terms of their integration of the haunting sounds a violin can produce – though this album’s sound is truly different than any of Tristania’s. The vocals are truly masterful, bringing the words to dance upon the darkest of minds in a deathly beautiful ballet of melody. As an artist who plays the violin himself, this album can not be rated higher. Buy it; you shall not be dissapointed.
Arguably the bands best record! This version, from Mayhem Records, contains a 2nd disc featuring 4 songs captured live – including ’Your River,’ ’A Sea to Suffer In,’ ’Your Shameful Heaven,’ and fan favorite ’The Forever People’. Last remaining quantities on the this 2 CD version.
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This is the single best CD a person can own, in my humble opinion. The vocals are hauntingly beautiful and the music is morbidly devine. Again, a masterpiece.
I prefer clean vocals to death vocals so I was not a big fan of their ealy stuff..The Angel and the Dark River though is in my opinion their greatest work..The Cry of Mankind is 12 of the most atmospheric(dark) songs I have heard..A Sea to Suffer In with its violins the basically sound as though they are angels cryng is beyond descrioption…Even a few of their songs that use your typical goth organ sounds bring me back to the days of my fav band Samhain…
My Dying Bride could be said to be an accquired taste. Their brooding, melancholic doom metal is not fitting to the majority. This band is wonderfully unique in the genre, largely due to the darkly symphonic overtones contributed by the bands keyboardist/violinist, Martin. His occasional full-length violin solos and keyboard fills seemlessly flow together with Calvin’s sombre single note lines and painfully slow, dark drop-tuned riffs. Aaron also does a lovely job on vocals, forgoing doom/death metal grunts for solid, achingly honest clean vocals that range from apathetic, mumbling lows to epic, symphonic highs. Their best album, in my opinion.
After their previous release, Turn Loose the Swans, My Dying Bride set their standards very high indeed.With this, their third full length album, they achieve what few bands can: create an incredible album on a different path from that of their previous one. Where Turn Loose the Swans was raw and quite death in its musical approach, The Angel and the Dark River hardly has any growling and the guitars are more melodic. You know immediately it’s MDB because through this change in style their spirit still transcends. The songs are sad; they talk of Love, Death, Religion… Aaron’s usual inspiration for his lyrics, but the music gives us a different perspective from that of past and future albums. Indeed, never again has MDB been even close to accomplishing an album as complete as this. The first track, The Cry of Mankind, lasts over 12 min and is probably the best in this album, maybe even the best song MDB has ever written; a tale of how Jesus looks down on Mankind and sees how we are destroying ourselves thus rendering his sacrifice useless. An epic which shows straight away what we can expect from the rest of the album: Slow grinding guitars inter playing with each other, harmonising often, which together with Martin’s violin and keyboards (the best I’ve ever heard!) create that melancholic sound which is the trademark of MDB. Aaron’s laments complete the painting in sad dark hues; there is a bit of growling in some songs but somehow it is not missed (for those of you who think DOOM must be growled this is a lesson on how to deliver intense vocals without reverting to growls). A review on this album cannot be complete without commenting on the incredible drumming by Rick Miah, who is, to my liking, the best DOOM drummer in the business (sadly, he is no longer a member of the band). Not one of the tracks has a simple rhythm, his use of the double bass and the cymbals adds the final touch to an already perfect album. The Angel and the Dark River is a must for anyone interested in DOOM and will serve as a comparison for other DOOM albums for a long time to come. Essential listening.