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Music / My Dying Bride

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I had watched the snow all day.
It never lets up.
All day falling.
I lifted my voice and wept out loud,
"So this is life?"
—My Dying Bride, "The Snow in My Hand"

My Dying Bride is a Doom Metal band from England, formed in 1990. Initially playing what was essentially Death Metal with longer-than-average songs, interspersed with slow, melodic passages featuring keyboard and violin, the band gradually progressed more towards Gothic Metal and Doom Metal, dropping the death metal vocals entirely for several albums before returning to a heavier sound around the turn of the century. They are considered a Trope Maker for both Gothic Metal and Death/Doom, along with Anathema and Paradise Lost, the three bands being known together as the "Peaceville Three" after their record label.

Current lineup:

  • Aaron Stainthorpe - vocals
  • Andrew Craighan - guitars
  • Calvin Robertshaw - guitars
  • Lena Abé - bass
  • Shaun Macgowan - keyboards, violin
  • Dan Mullins - drums


    Full-length albums 

  • As the Flower Withers (1992)
  • Turn Loose the Swans (1993)
  • The Angel and the Dark River (1995)
  • Like Gods of the Sun (1996)
  • 34.788%... Complete (1998)
  • The Light at the End of the World (1999)
  • The Dreadful Hours (2001)
  • Songs of Darkness, Words of Light (2004)
  • A Line of Deathless Kings (2006)
  • For Lies I Sire (2009)
  • Evinta (2011)
  • A Map of All Our Failures (2012)
  • Feel the Misery (2015)
  • The Ghost of Orion (2020)
  • A Mortal Binding (2024)

    Demos, singles, and EPs 

  • Towards the Sinister (1990)
  • God Is Alone (1991)
  • Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium (1992)
  • Unreleased Bitterness (1993)
  • The Thrash of Naked Limbs (1993)
  • The Sexuality of Bereavement (1994)
  • I Am the Bloody Earth (1994)
  • Deeper Down (2005)
  • Bring Me Victory (2009)
  • The Barghest o' Whitby (2011)
  • The Manuscript (2013)

    Live albums and videos 

  • For Darkest Eyes (1997, re-released 2002)
  • The Voice of the Wretched (2002)
  • Sinamorata (2005)
  • An Ode to Woe (2008)

    Compilations and box sets 

  • The Stories (1994)
  • Trinity (1995)
  • Meisterwerk 1 (2000)
  • Meisterwerk 2 (2001)
  • Anti-Diluvian Chronicles (2005)
  • Introducing My Dying Bride (2013)
  • The Vaulted Shadows (2014)

My Dying Bride provide examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: "The Dreadful Hours" is about a child who is beaten by his father and dies.
  • The Aloner: The protagonist of "The Light at the End of the World."
  • Cluster F-Bomb: "Heroin Chic", full stop. Averted on most other songs.
  • Cover Version: "Some Velvet Morning" by Lee Hazelwood, "Roads" by Portishead, traditional English folk song "Scarborough Fair", "Failure" by Swans.
  • Doom Metal: One of the key bands in the genre, and of the Death / Doom in specific.
  • Epic Rocking: "The Barghest O' Whitby" clocks in at around 27:04. Many of their other songs generally exceed 6 minutes, if not 10 minutes. Other examples include "The Return of the Beautiful" (12:45 on As The Flower Withers / 14:25 on The Dreadful Hours), "The Crown of Sympathy" (12:15), "The Cry of Mankind" (12:13), "Edenbeast" (11:22) and "Death Triumphant" (11:06).
  • Every Episode Ending: With some exceptions, an album will have a prominent growl song as one of the last two songs (sometimes the penultimate, sometimes the last), with the other usually being quieter.
  • Female Rockers Play Bass: Lena Abé has been the band's bassist since 2007, though there was a two year period where she wasn't the only woman in the band, as keyboardist Sarah Stanton was also in the band at the time she joined and was briefly replaced by Katie Stone until 2009.
  • Gothic Metal: Either one of the Trope Makers or a Trope Codifier, depending on who you ask.
  • Gratuitous Latin: The lyrics of "Sear Me" (which are both grammatically incorrect and horribly mispronounced) are in Latin. Some other songs to a lesser extent, e.g. "Vast Choirs".
  • Harsh Vocals: The early releases almost exclusively used death growls. They were dropped completely after the second full length, brought back on the sixth, and have since been on-and-off.
  • Intercourse with You: "For You", "The Whore, the Cook and the Mother".
  • Kiss of the Vampire: "A Kiss to Remember".
  • Last Note Nightmare: "The Cry Of Mankind" has a truly bizarre (but very effective) example: a constant repetition of a guitar part, over which creepy distorted foghorns and oddly, creepily soothing choir sound play. It goes on for a good three minutes after the song itself finishes.
  • The Lost Lenore: Frequently. After all, it's right there in the band name.
  • Mood Whiplash: "The Whore, the Cook and the Mother" seems to be a loving Intercourse with You song until Aaron's loving statements are followed by indications that he's only staying with the woman until he finds something better.
  • New Sound Album: While there are a number of partial, arguable examples in their discography, the most straight example is 34.788%... Complete, which comes pretty close to Industrial Metal territory (a genre not really touched on elsewhere in their work). Other albums stay in Death / Doom and Gothic Metal territory, mostly differing in exactly how much of each they incorporate.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: "Your Shameful Heaven".
  • Our Vampires Are Different: "The Blue Lotus", "Santuario Di Sangue".
  • Precision F-Strike: A couple on "The Whore, the Cook and the Mother".
  • Purple Prose: So much. So. Much. Appropriate, considering that Aaron reads lots of Romantic era poetry.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: "The Night He Died".
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Sear Me MCMXCIII", "Black God", "For My Fallen Angel", and to a lesser extent in several other songs.
  • Title Drop: The lyrics for "The Return of the Beautiful" from As the Flower Withers (and its remake, "The Return to the Beautiful" from The Dreadful Hours) include the phrase "My Dying Bride".
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Aaron is sometimes known to assume this position when performing live.