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Album Reviews : My Dying Bride – The Ghost of Orion

By on March 29, 2020

One of the pioneers of death-doom and now a household name in goth-doom circles, each My Dying Bride release is met with much anticipation. The Ghost of Orion sees My Dying Bride return with a full-length studio album for the first time since 2015’s Feel The Misery, offering a rare glimmer of hope to all your apathetic and melancholic metalhead mates.

Unlike Feel the Misery, The Ghost of Orion takes a more restrained and pensive approach to the goth-doom sound the MDB name has become synonymous with. Featuring noticeably less “shred” than Misery, Orion is a return to form and a deep-dive into lamentations of lost loved ones; loved ones potentially lost at the hands of those wallowing in emotional pain. There’s no better vehicle for conveying this emotional suffering than Aaron Stainthorpe’s tortured and resenting clean vocals, punctuated by the aggression that can only be conveyed with harsher tones.

It’s impossible to discuss an MDB release without acknowledging their distinctive and prolonged riffs, and Orion has these in bounds. Overall the new album is sonically reminiscent of older releases – particularly A Map of All Our Failures but with a more polished production – whilst still further exploring what can be done in the goth-doom space. The decision to bring on Jo Quail to work her cellist magic was an inspired complement to Shaun Macgowan’s violins. The interplay between bowed instruments achieves a haunting and foreboding eulogy that matches the lyrical tones of the album. Quail is an expert in creating ominous atmospheres, so her impact on the album can’t be overstated.

Ultimately, The Ghost of Orion packs no surprises for fans of My Dying Bride and feels like a further refinement of their defining sound. For those unfamiliar with the band, the newest release sounds like a combination of most of their previous releases and a great springboard into their back catalogue.

Band: My Dying Bride
Album: The Ghost of Orion
Year: 2020
Genre: Goth / Doom Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
Origin: England