My Dying Bride's journey goes on with "The Ghost Of Orion"

MY DYING BRIDE – The Ghost Of Orion

Band: My Dying Bride
Title: The Ghost Of Orion
Year: 2020
Country: United Kingdom
Label: Nuclear Blast
Contacts: Sito web  Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Spotify

  1. Your Broken Shore
  2. To Outlive The Gods
  3. Tired Of Tears
  4. The Solace
  5. The Long Black Land
  6. The Ghost Of Orion
  7. The Old Earth
  8. Your Woven Shore
It’s been five very long and complex years for My Dying Bride since the release of Feel The Misery in 2015, a span which saw them dealing with two abrupt changes in line-up, the end of their long experience with Peaceville Records followed by them signing for Nuclear Blast, but especially the real calvary which struck the family of vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe between 2017 and 2018, putting the existence of the band itself in doubt. We have spoken about these and many other issues related to the “making of” Ghost Of Orion with guitarist and co-founder Andrew Craighan, so we suggest you read the interview to learn more, here we will focus on the album instead.

Let’s begin with the apparently quiet cover artwork, created by the tireless Eliran Kantor in his trademark style somewhere in between Goya and Caravaggio. At a closer look, you will notice some black stains on the figure’s face and clothes, as if to indicate the thousand struggles the band had to go through before exposing themselves with this creation. As it frequently happens with My Dying Bride, they haven’t released clear and defined explanations about the meaning of the title or the cover yet, leaving the task of interpreting them to us listeners.

We can actually see the first big difference from Feel The Misery in terms of themes: if in that case the band clearly dealt with real world tragedies, both personal and on a broader scope, on The Ghost Of Orion a more mystical and atmospheric search seems to emerge, aside from the clearest exception with “Tired Of Tears” (the song that Stainthorpe wrote to exorcise the devastating experience). On this album, My Dying Bride left plenty of room to the majestic patterns of sound that Craighan came up with, as his guitars are the fil rouge that binds strings and keyboards to the bass and drums, acting as guides through the depths of cosmos and of our misery.

Stainthorpe’s voice, as usual absolutely flawless both in his distinctive clean style and in the adequately employed growling (as in the single “Your Broken Shore”), emerges wisely where and when needed, even taking a step back and for example leaving room to the guest Linda-Fay Hella (Wardruna) in the peculiar “The Solace”, or to Jo Quail’s cello in the astonishing instrumental outro “Your Woven Shore”. I would like to shed a light in particular on the stunning “The Old Earth”, which I would already propose as a candidate for best death-doom song of the year.

It isn’t easy to stay relevant after a long time and in a constantly evolving environment like that of doom metal, especially for a band that came through such a complicated period. And yet, with The Ghost Of Orion My Dying Bride once again proved to be genuine masters of this genre, a band capable of reinventing themselves without particular twists or bends, with great respect and love for that kind of music which they contributed to creating and transforming.