Review by Sonny for My Dying Bride - The Dreadful Hours (2001)
I've got to admit to never having been a huge fan of My Dying Bride. Their whole Gothic Romantic persona never really did much for me, reminding me overmuch of Cradle of Filth's gothic schtick. Their doom seemed less based on mournful melancholy borne of emotional suffering and more of lethargy and world-weary boredom brought about by excessive debauchery, laudanum and absinthe intake, in the manner of Anne Rice's vampire Lestat.
Anyway I put this on my player and set off for a walk with my dog, finding myself ten minutes or so later in the local churchyard, dating back to the eighteenth century, the gravestones being terribly overgrown. I didn't make a conscious decision to go there and had been there a few minutes before the suitability of the setting to the music I was listening to dawned on me.
Now I don't know if this is some fanciful notion or not, but in this somewhat sombre setting I finally felt some connection to and appreciation of MDB's brand of doom. Obviously this is aided by the fact that this is evidently one of their best albums, with songs like The Raven and the Rose and it's energetic death metal vibe (possibly my favourite song of theirs) and the epic dichotomy of the title track. The album as a whole feels like some kind of subdued operatic tragedy and now my preconceived perceptions have been shed, MDB's poetic style makes much more sense to me. Consider me a convert!