My Dying Bride - _34.788%... Complete_
(Peaceville, 1998)
by: Pedro Azevedo (7 out of 10)
When I reviewed _Like Gods of the Sun_ over a year and a half ago, I gave it a 10 too quickly -- its metallic reinforcements (relative to _The Angel and the Dark River_) made me overlook a few faults that the album does have. But although _LGotS_ was somewhat inferior to its predecessors (certain tracks much more than others), it didn't necessarily mean that MDB wouldn't be able to reach the quality of their older releases again. After the departures of drummer Rick Myah and especially keyboard/violin player Martin Powell (now linked with Anathema), it seemed less likely, but still possible. However, it turns out that this new release is, in my opinion, inferior to every album MDB have done before. Almost everything in _34.788%_ (title, artwork and most of the lyrics and music) shows very clearly that a new direction has been, consciously or not, chosen. Sadness, melancholy or dark romanticism can scarcely be found in their music now, which should mean a lot to most fans. Not to say that the album is -happy-, though, it just tends to sound very neutral and emotionless. This is what is worse about the album -- this loss of the deeply emotional band MDB used to be. The music could at least have been remarkable enough for the album to still be really enjoyable; however, for the most part it's just above average metal (hence the 7 out of 10 rating), although frequently rather repetitive. "The Stance of Evander Sinque" stands out as the best track and "Der Uberlebende" as the doomiest (but nothing special by MDB standards), but the album practically ends here, at track three, with the exception of a few more passages later on. The rest is made of three relatively unremarkable tracks and "Heroin Chic", which is a song that will make many MDB fans feel very sad -- not because it's especially doomy, but because it contradicts so much of what MDB used to be all about. The new drummer performs well enough but doesn't stand out, while the synths are a mediocre replacement for Martin's violin and keyboard. As a result of all this, for me, My Dying Bride are no longer the special band they once were, even though this album is of reasonable musical quality. People keep saying bands must change with time, regardless of the quality of their past work. Well, sure. Go ahead. Sometimes it works -- Anathema, for example, have changed a lot and still managed to put out four excellent full length albums (regardless of which one is the best), and I could mention many other bands here. For example, Katatonia's _Discouraged Ones_, different as it is from the band's past efforts, contains not only musical quality but also the sadness that is fundamental in Katatonia, even if in a different form -- just like what happens with Anathema. That just doesn't happen with _34.788%_. My Dying Bride's classic albums, however, shall always remain as such for some of us while we await better days for MDB.

(article published 19/11/1998)

7/3/2002 P Azevedo My Dying Bride: Thus Spake the Wretched
1/14/2002 A Bromley My Dying Bride: The Hand of Doom
12/9/1999 P Azevedo My Dying Bride: The Bride Returns to the Bleak Rainy Moors
11/19/1998 P Azevedo My Dying Bride: The Bride No Longer Wears Black
4/9/1997 A Bromley My Dying Bride: Behold the Bride
3/14/1996 A Bromley My Dying Bride: Dying With Pride
11/27/2012 P Azevedo 8.5 My Dying Bride - A Map of All Our Failures
6/15/2009 K Sarampalis 6.5 My Dying Bride - For Lies I Sire
7/13/2008 P Azevedo 7 My Dying Bride - An Ode to Woe
10/23/2006 P Azevedo 7.5 My Dying Bride - A Line of Deathless Kings
9/26/2006 P Azevedo 7.5 My Dying Bride - Deeper Down EP
12/17/2005 Q Kalis My Dying Bride - Anti-Diluvian Chronicles
10/10/2005 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - Sinamorata DVD
3/23/2004 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
7/3/2002 P Azevedo 9.5 / 9 My Dying Bride - For Darkest Eyes DVD
Anathema - A Vision of a Dying Embrace DVD
7/3/2002 P Azevedo 10 My Dying Bride - The Voice of the Wretched
10/19/2001 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - The Dreadful Hours
8/12/2001 P Azevedo 8.5 My Dying Bride - Meisterwerk II
1/10/2001 P Azevedo 8 My Dying Bride - Meisterwerk I
12/9/1999 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - The Light at the End of the World
2/4/1997 P Azevedo 10 My Dying Bride - Like Gods of the Sun
3/14/1996 A Bromley 8 My Dying Bride - The Angel and the Dark River
7/3/2002 P Azevedo My Dying Bride / Mysterium Catharsis in Doom
3/13/2001 V Anderson My Dying Bride / Katatonia / Soundisciples / Beyond Dawn / Thine The Snow in Their Hearts
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