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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Live Evil: My Dying Bride London Islington Academy Review


An appropriately cold December evening sees the return to the Vapital of Yorkshire’s finest doom-merchants, My Dying Bride. Following a storming set at last month’s Damnation festival, it’s fair to say that anticipation among the assembled masses is strong and judging simply from the ever-reliable t-shirt barometer, there’s clearly a huge number who are here for their second dose of British darkness in as many months.

Opening the ceremony is London’s own TALANAS [7] with a fairly unique progressive death metal horde that displays a strong combination of proficiency and heart. A relatively long set time means they have more than enough time to demonstrate the full range of their songwriting abilities. There’s a reasonable comparison to be made with the late, great Akercocke and when Jason Mendonca appears on stage for a guest vocal spot, it’s a set highlight that demonstrates a band with the ideas and abilities to go very far indeed.

My Dying Bride [9] have always been an incredibly weighty live experience. By the time they appear onstage to rapturous applause, there is a palpable atmosphere of anticipation and as the opening strains of Kneel Till Doomsday blast out into the room, it’s apparent that the band are more than capable of living up to expectations.

Turning in a set that spans the entire back catalogue, songs like To Remain Tombless and The Dreadful Hours resonate with devastating emotion. While on record, My Dying Bride have always been spectacular, it’s in a live setting that they really come to life, the sheer visceral force of each song being amplified by an order of magnitudes.

The juxtaposition between perfect melancholy and crushing brutality is marked and as the set progresses, it becomes easy to forget the outside world entirely. As the classic, timeless opening riff of The Cry Of Mankind open a triumvirate of closing songs, the emotional impact is complete and as the house lights come up it’s clear to all in attendance that My Dying Bride are one of the most powerful live forces in the entire heavy metal corpus.

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