My Dying Bride – Macabre Cabaret – Review17th December 2020 0 By Jimmy Long
The dark Lords of all that is misery, despair and doom return with their new EP Macabre Cabaret. From the very start, when the ascending keys and swirling aphotic bass of opening / title track Macabre Cabaret come creeping in – it’s like the swirling mist of a cursed entity that has haunted you for years marking it’s foul return. It’s unsettling but familiar and when that guitar hits – the stalking spectre reveals it’s shape, shortly after this showing it’s wretched visage upon the uttering of those baroque vocals and the heart stopping drums.
My Dying Bride waste no time in getting their icy fingers around the listeners necks to once again commence the mournful dance that many doom fans dare not refuse from the Hex of Halifax. The crushing tone is ever present in both Andy Craighan’s guitar and Lena Abe’s bass respectively but bestows the sweet gift of those bitter sweet melodies as you tread further on entranced. Aaron’s vocals are alluring yet prophetic as ever, threading the tapestry of misery and poking at the listener to look ever inwards at what dwells within themselves.
Guilt, lust, fear, rage, sexuality and curiosity, themes that go hand in hand with My Dying Bride are all here but good grief those nails feel like they are being rammed into the coffin with more ferocity than witnessed before from the collective, maybe due to this being a solid compact EP release. The aggressive vocals are used at such crucial points, even using some subtle delay that has been executed perfectly in the mix. The drums sound like they could have been recorded in York Minster with the keyboards ringing throughout and it serves the EP so incredibly well and shows what My Dying Bride are all about.
The journey of the EP is absolutely key in this release, riff hooks are plenty but not dished out for the sake of gluttony instead entrusting the listener to savour each morsel on offer. The structure of the songs is elegant and not going to try and lose you in a maze but has enough shifting gradients to make the terrain feel somewhat different to pastures old.
It’s a cathartic listen and once you reach the final solemn track “A Purse of Gold and Stars” which puts the (frankly not shouted about enough) talents of keyboardist / violinist Shawn Macgowan front and centre, it hits you that this is another goodbye from that haunting spectre and there you are – alone again trying to remember where the time went. This is a short EP but it’s a must for old and new fans alike and complete with beautiful artwork that does their legacy and this body of music the justice it deserves.
Thank you My Dying Bride for yet another dark tale to enjoy in these cold dark nights in England.
1 – Macabre Cabaret
2 – A Secret Kiss
3 – A Purse Of Gold And Stars
Release – 20th November 2020
Label – Nuclear Blast
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