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A Mortal Binding

United Kingdom Country of Origin: United Kingdom

A Mortal Binding
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: April 19th, 2024
Genre: Death, Doom, Gothic
1. Her Dominion
3. The 2nd Of Three Bells
4. Unthroned Creed
5. The Apocalyptist
6. A Starving Heart
7. Crushed Embers

Review by Michael on April 17, 2024.

My Dying Bride, what a pleasure it is to share some more time with you. It's has been a long time since we got together now and if I recall correctly this is our 31st year of marriage and still you are full of life. Well done for somebody almost declared dead. Of course like in a good matrimony we had our highs and lows and some average times, and the average times lasted for about ten years now. But now my dear you really have surprised me because you found you way back to the old beauty and grace you had back thirty years ago.

Of course you aren't super-melancholic like on The Angel And The Dark River and not that rough like on Turn Loose The Swans or As The Flower Withers but both character traits I fell in love with back then are clearly here to be found again. Gone are the lukewarm tunes and the moments when I thought you were an old lady sitting on the couch and doing some crochet work. Now I can feel the fire burning in you again, longing for something you didn't have in years. A song like the opener 'Her Dominion' is such a great start to fall in love again. Deep growls and doomy, bitter sweet guitar riffs and the whirring guitar combined with a sad violin puts me in the right mood. This is what hasn't been done for many many years, I would say not since the late 90s. Aarons vocals sound not as deep as on their first two albums (and the previous EPs) but quite close to that. Maybe a little bit more as if he was puking out all the emotions he must have to let out. My Dying Bride don't only choose the death-doom way on A Mortal Binding but also the more tragic path they did (like I said) on The Angel And The Dark River. Clear, heart-breaking vocals like in 'Thornwyck Hymn' and again the typical My Dying Bride guitars and violin show some ambivalence between (metaphorically described) falling into a deep sad valley of tears and standing on a hill and watching the sun rise. Another throwback to their early days is the longest track 'The Apocalyptist' with its monumental 11:22 running time. Again there is not that much clean singing, only growls and a lot of distorted guitars and like in the opener, the drumming is really brutal. I mean, there is no double-bass but they come over very powerful und pummeling. I wonder if these songs are some leftovers from the past, they would have fit perfect on their older works. 'Unthroned Creed' shows another facet on 'Her Dominion'. This one is full of restlessness and uneasiness because of the highly repetitive guitars at the beginning so that you feel very uncomfortable while listening to it. Only when the keyboards start you have some time to calm down but when Aaron starts whispering “with an arrow through its breast…” you feel this uneasiness again.

Well, my dear bride, I don't want to reveal all the beauty you have to offer. I want that the other people to also find out about your renaissance and agree to my words maybe. After some doubts that our relationship will last for many years in the past, I now hope that we share many more years together in love. Or to speak with good ol´ Shakespeare in his sonnet 116:

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments: love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove.

Oh no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come; Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me prov'd, I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd.”

Rating: 9 out of 10