My Dying Bride: A Map Of All Our Failures [2012] Review

Rating: 8.0

Released: 15 October 2012

01. Kneel Till Doomsday
02. The Poorest Waltz
03. A Tapestry Scorned
04. Like A Perpetual Funeral
05. A Map Of All Our Failures
06. Hail Odysseus
07. Within The Presence Of Absence
08. Abandoned As Christ
09. My Faults Are Your Reward [special edition bonus]


“My home was cleared, history sold
Empty was my place
‘Cept a picture on the wall
Of lovers in embrace.”

The wind, the rain, the urban grey landscape and the thunderbolt are ingredients of a fabulous deep autumnal afternoon. They could also be components of a grandiose My Dying Bride album and I know you’re not unaware of this. Especially when you start shivering to the sound of a weary church bell that so graciously managed to open the gates to a world you know you’ve been to before, but can always paint something different for you with the bleakest of colors.

A stripped down wallpaper, a nearly deceased candle, an empty chair for your soul to sit beside your cloaked existence in a desperate pilgrim stasis and a room filled with air that breathes through memories soon to follow your disembarkation; that’s all you may ask for. This could be the most appropriate canvas for A Map Of All Our Failures; and you should know by now it could never be a treasure map.

After the kind of indifferent For Lies I Sire and the failed, to my ears, experiment of Evinta, the only thing My Dying Bride could do was to return with an album worth their name and history in blood and that is no other than A Map Of All Our Failures. Everything you ever loved within their sound, corridors and faded street-lights, lies herein. Eight compositions complete piece by piece the puzzle that was never meant to be fulfilled.

An album like that could only open with scornful anger and “Kneel Till Doomsday” breathes toxic air and smog and spits gradual ardent outbursts. And everything takes its toll. Andrew and Hamish work together as one and there’s nothing in the world that could divide their sincere cooperation. You can witness the mournful guitar melodies or sound extensions and the powerful or accompanying riffing stepping upon the scorched earth with grandeur. And as expected, the rhythm section does justice to the compositions and holds together the overall sound by either being imposing or keeping up the tempo.

One of the characteristics of My Dying Bride that have been dearly loved throughout the years has to be the gentle use of the violin and it’s apparent once again since its comeback. Yet, not only does Shaun perform the violin in the most appropriate way, he also does great work in atmosphere-evoking terms concerning the keyboards. Who could ever forget the church organ sounding passage on “A Tapestry Scorned” which darkens with delight the overall ambiance?

Aaron has always been an instrument of various faces for My Dying Bride. Had the rest of the instrumentation been the body, he’d be the very soul of this entity. For one more time and with unparalleled passion he delineates the sound of silence that bursts into a universe of emotions. Whether he recites or interprets with his anguished clean voice he depicts a portrait of darkened overtones and whenever tranquility is nothing more than something fragile his grunts or more blackened cries escalate the turbulence within. It’s more apparent than ever before that his clean vocals can only get better and better through the passing of time, just like the good ol’ wine.

There’s no way I could think of how A Map Of All Our Failures couldn’t succeed in being cherished by all those that embraced My Dying Bride throughout the years. It’s all in here, the wrathful prayer “Kneel Till Doomsday” and the beauteous melodies blending with Aaron’s multifaceted emotional clean interpretation in “The Poorest Waltz”, “Within The Presence Of Absence”, “Map Of All Our Failures” and “Like A Perpetual Funeral”. “Hail Odysseus” with Aaron in the twofold role of author and main actor, the internal lamentation “Abandoned As Christ” and the devouring aesthetic of “A Tapestry Scorned” won’t seal your wounds, they’ll make them even deeper.

A Map Of All Our Failuresis poetry in motion. And to make things more coherent, “where was God when I most needed Him?”

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Production: 9

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