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For Lies I Sire

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For Lies I Sire
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Death, Doom, Gothic
1. Fall With Me
2. My Body, A Funeral
3. The Lies I Sire
4. Bring Me Victory
5. Echoes From A Hollow Soul
6. Shadowhaunt
7. Santuario Di Sangue
8. A Chapter In Loathing
9. Death Triumphant

Review by Anna on April 10, 2009.

My Dying Bride’s 10th album "For Lies I Sire", is neither monumental nor musically inadequate, but certainly is lacking for what we have come to expect from them. Though they have not ceased to sound like My Dying Bride with all their signature characteristics, the raw emotional dread they generally ooze is hardly there, and I’m not feeling anything particularly deep that’s being translated from their hearts. Perhaps they are rather content with their lives now and have run out of things to cry about, who knows, but whatever it is it definitely shows (or doesn’t show) in the music. It’s obvious to me they’re in a rut and should push themselves into new territories, for something more.

They, being intelligent as they are, must be aware of the fact that they need to inject a new life into their songs as they are at a standstill. I get the feeling they’ve employed a lot of the standard formuli on this album that seemed to have worked for them in the past, an attempt to more squeeze the juice out of themselves when none is left, but it seems as if, sorry to say this guys, they’re just “going through the motions”. In general the songs feel a bit disconnected and personally I feel there are too many things going on. The song structures and “plopped” elements felt like an obligation, like there was some sort of pre-planned agenda, conscious or subconscious (and I wouldn’t be surprised if most or even all the songs were the product of a not-entirely-successful collaboration conforming to this agenda rather than the efforts of one individual, and if they were either asked to or decided to make things more accessible for the novice listener). This attributes to the rather commercial feeling of the release, which goes hand in hand with the hyper-digitalized “gothy” artwork (maybe that would have worked a decade ago but for the “dark art” that is coming out nowadays left and right it is just downright cheesy. I’m not sure the conceptual agenda behind it, but the elements are obviously typical of this so-called “dark art”, and a bit fancy, not unlike how the music is tending to be).

What seems to work for them is when they keep things simple, as is the case of 'My Body, A Funeral', definitely a signature song for this album, 'The Lies I Sire', and 'Bring Me Victory', all of which I genuinely enjoy listening to despite the fact that they could all use the added “oomph” necessary to be outstanding. The newly-added violins do not contribute much in the area of musicianship. It tends not to stray too far from what the guitars and vocals are doing, a sign of limited improvisational capabilities. It is rather ‘agreeable’ and complimentary, doesn’t have much of a life of its own, unlike the work of their previous violinist who dared to (or actually knew how to?) go off on his own and pour his anguished heart out on that thing. Although, I will give credit for the opening riff on 'Bring Me Victory' which is simple but effective. One can hear that Aaron is experimenting a bit with different approaches to melodies, not unlike on their previous output, but perhaps a bit more toned down. This toning down I feel is a good thing, as it’s got too much “broadway” for my taste. A successful example of this experimentation is on 'Santuario Di Sangue', a daring chorus-line that absolutely works. As 'A Chapter in Loathing' came on, my thoughts were “wtf”. As if to give in to what some older fans might want, or who knows what was on their minds, it starts off death metal. Not unlike the plopped elements all throughout this album, this song was splattered onto a soundscape that is inconsistent with what they were trying for. Even the most open of minds I feel will have difficulty adjusting to this sudden change of style.

To summarize, this album is quite mediocre for what My Dying Bride is capable of, despite having its perks. Its status is clearly that of “another My Dying Bride album”, not a classic or must-have by any means. The songs feel disconnected and their goals scattered- it seems that they have lost focus and need to find this again. Like Aaron, perhaps the others in the band should stop reading what people think of their music on forums, and focus on what it is they personally want to achieve, and what they want to convey.

Categorical Rating Breakdown

Musicianship: 6.7
Atmosphere: 6
Production: 10
Originality: 5
Overall: 6.9

Rating: 6.9 out of 10