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My Dying Bride – Macabre Cabaret Award winner

My Dying Bride
Macabre Cabaret
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 19 November 2020, 6:58 AM

After five years, doom legends MY DYING BRIDE roared back to the scene they perfected with this years "The Ghost of Orion" their 13th full length studio album. Keeping things flowing despite the position the industry is in right now, the band has graced us with yet another release: an EP called "Macabre Cabaret." The mini album has three songs and clocks in at a decent twenty one minutes. The physical copy contains an extra track called  "Orchestral Shores (Buiksloterkerk Cathedral Mix)" of which I'm thankful my digital promo copy came with. Total run time with the extra track is 26 minutes.

The album opens with the title track, "Macabre Cabaret," which is an epic ten minute doom anthem. Thunderous bass, thick riffs, and Gothic melody have always been some of the hallmarks of the band's sound….and they continue to be in fine form. Aaron's vocals on this song are a mixture of actual singing and spoken word. It works great for providing a haunting tone and performance. As expected the title track is slow, lumbering, but engrossing and interesting the entire time. The last couple of full length albums have seen the return of his death growls as a major element and he does so again. As always, his growls are in top form. I love the mid portion of this song because it nails down what makes MDB so goddamn great: crushing doom heaviness with equally crushing Gothic textures.

The next track ," A Secret Kiss," begins slightly more immediate with Andrews famous riffs up front and center. This song flows differently than its predecessor and is rather catchy. The death growls are especially venomous just like the guitars that accent them. The riffs after the four minute mark are among the best the band has had in years. The third track, “A Purse of Gold and Stars” is very different than the previous two. It keeps with the Gothic doom and gloom but the metal aspects are absent. It is definitely a more ambient song than I've heard from the band in some time and it works very well. Despite the lack of guitars or rhythm, it isn't too far removed from their signature style. I kind of see it has a poem set to music because his vocals are spoken word. The clean keys are the highlight of the song for sure.

The final song is an orchestral rearrangement of “Your Broken Shore” from “The Ghost of Orion”.  It is about half the length of the original song and obviously sounds very different—it reminds me of their “Evinta” compilation.  I enjoy this version quite a bit and it's worth buying a physical copy for. This is a nice little EP with a surprising amount of variety that still manages to capture the essence of the band's sound. If you're a fan, especially of their more modern works, you'll want to add this EP to your collection.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Macabre Cabaret
2. A Secret Kiss
3. A Purse of Gold and Stars
4. Orchestral Shores (Buiksloterkerk Cathedral Mix)
Lineup:
Andrew Craighan - Guitars, Keyboards, Bass
Aaron Stainthorpe - Vocals
Lena Abé - Bass
Shaun Macgowan - Keyboards, Violin
Jeff Singer - Drums
Neil Blanchett – Guitars
Record Label: Nuclear Blast Records
     


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