Date: April 2013
Release Year: 2012, Wikipedia Link
My Dying Bride was the first Doom Metal band I ever got into, and today I am still a huge fan. As with all the other 20+ years old bands, their discography had ups and downs and it had been a while since they put out a solid release. I liked A Line of Deathless Kings and I also enjoyed For Lies I Sire to a lesser extent, however these albums were pretty average compared to their stronger releases. Finally, with A Map of All Our Failures we have a great album that truly displays what MDB does best; dark, heavy and depressive doom metal. Although the album doesn’t introduce any new elements to their music, their signature movements are presented so well that you can’t help but enjoying the music.
First of all, unlike the previous two albums, we don’t have any filler songs here at all. All 9 songs have at least a couple of defining moments that is going to mesmerize you for a while. The second “Kneel Till Doomsday” starts you know that this album is going to be different, the opening riff is so slow yet so heavy and Aaaron’s voice is in top shape. The overall tempo on the album is really slow, even compared to MDB standards. The band compensated for this by creating tons of interesting vocal melodies and haunting keyboard/violin sections. Speaking of keyboards, the new member Shaun Macgowan gives a very satisfying performance. If she can be integrated more into the music on later albums, we might finally found a decent replacement for Martin Powell after all these years.
In summary, this album is a perfect example that if you are a well established band that doesn’t want to push the boundaries of your music anymore, you can still produce interesting songs by utilizing your old techniques efficiently. If you are an MDB fan, you are definitely going to like this album. I really hope that band keeps releasing albums with this caliber from now on.
Definitive Moments: The beginning of “Knell Till Doomsday”, Ending of “A Tapestry Scorned”, Crushing guitar work of “Hail Odysseus”, “Abandoned As Christ” contains some of the best melodies the band ever composed.