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My Dying Bride - As The Flower Withers CD (album) cover

AS THE FLOWER WITHERS

My Dying Bride

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

3.65 | 48 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "As the Flower Withers" is the debut full-length studio album by UK doom/death metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released through Peaceville Records in May 1992. Peaceville Records signed the band after listening to the 1991 "God Is Alone" EP. My Dying Brideīs first release on Peaceville Records was the "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium" EP from 1991, which with its accompanying promotional video airing on MTVs Headbangers Ball, put My Dying Bride firmly on the doom/death metal map. Following up on a success (underground or not) is always a daunting task, but "As the Flower Withers" proved to be an even greater success for the band, and put them in the forefront of the UK doom/death metal scene along with artists like Paradise Lost and Anathema (who at this point through hadnīt released their debut yet).

The music on the album is a combination of crushingly heavy and slow doom/death metal and mid-paced and occasionally faster paced old school death metal. On this album lead vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe only uses his growling vocal style. Although the tracks feature elements and sections with both of the above mentioned musical styles, the albumīs tracks can roughly be divided into two main styles. "Silent Dance" is a short classical intro, so Iīll only mention it briefly as a great atmospheric opening to the album. "Sear Me", "The Bitterness and the Bereavement", and "The Return of the Beautiful" are all fairly long, slow, and heavy doom/death metal tracks, featuring majestic melancholic atmospheres, classical contrapoint melodies between guitars and violin, and poetic lyrics, while "The Forever People", "Vast Choirs", and "Erotic Literature" are mainly old school death metal tracks with the occassional more doomy touch.

The musicianship is strong on all posts, but Iīll give a special mention to drummer Rick Miah for his creative approach to doom metal drumming. Itīs not always easy for a drummer to make that part of a doom metal album interesting, but Miah understands the importance of variation, and to play some catchy and memorable rhythm patterns. Take for example the opening drum pattern to "Sear Me". Now thatīs one hell of a catchy rhythm pattern thatīll stick in your head forever.

"As the Flower Withers" features a powerful, raw, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well. The guitar tone could maybe have been a bit more defined, but itīs a minor detail, and overall the album is well sounding. So upon conclusion itīs a quality album and a seminal doom/death metal release from the early 90s. To my ears itīs not a perfect release though, and itīs mostly a result of the uneven songwriting and stylistic inconsistency. My Dying Bride shine when they play slow doom/death metal, but when they play more "straight" old school death metal they are pretty unremarkable (or at least nothing out of the ordinary), and as half of the tracks on the album are in that style, Iīd say a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fair.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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