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My Dying Bride
For Lies I Sire

Company: Peaceville Records
Release: 2009
Genre: Gothic
Reviewer: Raising Iron

  • Something here for fans of any one of their given eras

  • I've never really understood the divisive nature of My Dying Bride's music among their fans. Every time they release a new album they only slightly alter their ideas (save for the huge side-step that was 34.788% Complete) yet fans will continually say how last album X was so much greater and new album Y really sucks. Of course, the band seems to always bring in new converts with each new release to replace the current disenfranchised humbugs, hence an ever-revolving door of the dolorific and depressed. Well, here we go again, as their latest offering, For Lies I Sire, is sure to do the same, though by rights it shouldn't.

    First off, there is something here for fans of any one of their given eras to enjoy. For many, hearing violins make a marked return with the recent addition of keyboardist/violinist Katie Stone will be a welcome treat. Other newcomers include bassist Lena Abe replacing looongtime original thumper Ade Jackson; and Dan Mullins now storming the skins after John Bennet's quick in and out of the band. Aaron Stainthorpe's vocals continue to render pain, bitterness, and remorse; and like the last effort, they're primarily clean, although he does use growls on occasion here. There's no better example of this than on track eight, called "A Chapter In Loathing" which is *gasp* built around black metal ideals and speeds; Aaron's vox crisply cackling away in distress. The usual melancholy and dynamics of albums such as Far From the Sun and Songs of Darkness, Words of Light are firmly in place, and although the band is rarely ever in hurry to get to where they're going, there's a certain, noticeable laid-back approach here; once again, atmosphere being of priority versus 2006's A Line of Deathless Kings, which was much more riff-rooted. Lastly, one can almost come to the conclusion that this is Turn Loose the Swans circa 2009, as much of this release has the same feel save for the primarily clean singing Mr. Stainthorpe now employs.

    Another notable difference here versus albums of yore is the production. This is sure to be another sticking point for the die-hards as well, as everything thing here is so clean, clear and upfront; there isn't the remotest sensation of the sticky, humid, and close aura that defined early efforts such as The Angel and the Dark River or As the Flower Withers. For many, that simply added to the overall anguish of those discs, which is a fairly accurate assessment I suppose, but here, it's been completely removed. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though, as for many it's a welcome improvement to hear the definition and clarity amongst the instruments.

    For My Dying Bride, an outfit that's toiled in truly gothic treachery for nigh on twenty years now, For Lies I Sire boils down to being another fine effort capable of coughing up a couple of strong stage staples; and although there really isn't a clunker on the fifty-nine minute long disc, there is a palpable sense of rehash.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

    All reviews for this band:
    For Lies I SireMy Dying Bride
    Raising Iron5/15/2009

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