Autumn is coming, darkness is falling. And My Dying Bride comes with a new album, matching the mood of the season. Feel The Misery is a fitting title for all albums of this band, that has been around for 25 years now. The label describes this album as one of the heaviest and darkest albums in theme and music. The album starts off with a heavy introduction, Aarons clean voice however can sometimes feel a bit like a pop song. The lyrics however, do assure us what we are dealing with: “I would have given more, I tied my children to a dying horse”. And to be honest, although this first song And My Father Left Forever has some slight pop music feel to it, it does sound great and takes you deeper into the realms of My Dying Bride.
In the next song, To Shiver in Empty Halls, Aarons harsh vocals take the lead and take us down, down into the abyss and the world grows darker…
During the album, most songs, within their 6 to 10 minute length, change from harshness to darkness in a more ambient way, like we know from earlier albums. These ambient, stiller moments take more time and space on this album, however. It does not make the album ‘softer’, it makes the album alltogether more intense. There is always the threat of the horror getting darker, getting more under your skin: Feel the misery.
A Thorn of Wisdom and I Celebrate Your Skin are both songs that do not turn out for the best. The magic of the stillness does not seem to work for these songs. For the first time the keyboard brings moments of irritation instead of great atmosphere, during A Thorn of Wisdom. The great bass line halfway cannot give the song the body nor the intensity it needs. I Celebrate Your Skin brings more aggression, and darker lyrics: I am the coldest heart I am a servant of the sea. The song however is spun out to long and looses me as a listener.
However, the band is back and strong in I Almost Love You. A ‘ballad’ in the sense of omitting any loud instruments, but a dark balled, fragile as can be, a skill that the band is perfecting every album. Piano and violin, together with a tormented voice take us to the darkest place full of pain, where the pain of parting is made flesh.
The album finishes with the almost 11 minutes song Within a Sleeping Forest, that puts together the best of My Dying Bride: dragging keyboard melodies together with harsh vocals and stirring, emotional lyrics.
All in all, Feel the Misery is a nice album for those who like doom metal and My Dying Bride, but an album like Songs of Darkness, Words of Light are in my opinion much darker and heavier than this one. Giving just that extra inch would have made this album incredible.