My Dying Bride
My Dying Bride.jpg
Background information
Origin Halifax, England
Genres Death/Doom, Doom Metal, Gothic Metal
Years active 1990 - Present
Labels Peaceville, Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Anathema, Paradise Lost, Solstice, Hesper Payne, Conan, Abiosis, Severed Heaven, Nightshadows Lament, Talanas, Narcotic Death, Sermon of Hypocrisy, Blaze, Khang, Soldierfield, Valafar, Cradle of Filth, Sólstafir, Tiamat, Cryptal Darkness, Leafblade, Alternative 4, Godthrymm, Vestige of Virtue, Vagrant God, Combath, Ironside, Vallenfyre, Bal-Sagoth, Heathen Deity, A Forest of Stars, The Water Witch
Website My Dying Bride Official
Band Logo
My Dying Bride Logo.jpg

My Dying Bride are an English doom metal band formed in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Forming in 1990, they are known for their slow yet extremely heavy riffs and remarkably morose poetic lyrics. Along with former Peaceville labelmates Anathema and Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride is one of the pioneering acts of the death doom metal movement in the early 1990s, labeled as one of the "Peaceville Three".[1] However unlike their peers, My Dying Bride would remain on Peaceville from their signing in 1992 to their departure in 2017, making them one of the longest tenured bands on the label.

Along with being cited as a pioneering act in death/doom, My Dying Bride have also been cited as a pioneer and a major influential to the sub-genre of gothic metal. Consistently performing in a more gothic sound with hints of their death/doom roots, vocalist and original member Aaron Stainthorpe began with a death growl vocal but would evolve his voice into a more "clean" yet morose gothic delivery, complimented by the generally gloomy tone of founding member and guitarist Andrew Craighan.[2]

To date My Dying Bride have released fourteen studio albums among numerous extended plays, compilations and box sets, often containing extensive and thought-out liner notes and interviews.

History[edit | edit source]

Turn Loose The Swans: The Early Years (1990 - 1994)[edit | edit source]

My Dying Bride was formed in Bradford in the north of England on 6 June 1990 after guitarist Andrew Craighan and drummer Rick Miah co-formed the band after they had split from Abiosis, joining vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe and guitarist Calvin Robertshaw while ending Abiosis. After six months of rehearsing, the band recorded and released a demo circa February 1991 entitled Towards the Sinister, which was produced by Tim Walker of Voltage Records. Its title was taken from a line in the song "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium". The band would soon release their first single, God Is Alone, on a small French label called Listenable. After the single had sold out almost immediately, they were picked up by Peaceville Records, and they could release their first EP and label debut Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium on 12 March 1992, which also featured their latest recruit, bassist Adrian Jackson.

Around the recording of the EP would be the recording of the band's debut album, working with producer Paul Halmshaw and recording circa December 1991 - January 1992 at Academy Studios. as The Flower Withers would see release on 22 May 1992 and has since been praised as a key album in the development of the death/doom genre.[3] The band would tour through the UK and mainland Europe alongside At The Gates to support As The Flower Withers, followed by recording an EP that September and releasing The Thrash of Naked Limbs in 1993.

Notably a video was shot for the title track and plans were made for a tour surrounding it but would ultimately be canceled when drummer Rick Miah would suffer an injury from a bad fall. In 1993, Martin Powell joined as My Dying Bride's keyboardist and violinist, and they started the recording of their second studio album, recording that June and July at Academy Studios. Turn Loose The Swans would see release on 11 October 1993, utilizing more keyboards and violin along with vocalist Aaron Sttainthorpe switching his vocals between death metal grunts and clean spoken word vocals. Turn Loose the Swans is often considered to be important in the development of the death-doom sound My Dying Bride helped pioneer and also foreshadows the gothic metal elements that would dominate their subsequent albums. Touring through Europe would follow through 1993 and 1994 to support the album, followed by another EP in I Am The Bloody Earth, released on 24 January 1994.

The Angel And The Dark River: Shifting Sounds and a Hiatus (1995 - 2000)[edit | edit source]

By the Winter of 1994 going into 1995, My Dying Bride would work on a third studio album, notably with guitarist Andrew Craighan as the sole composer. Shifting further away from a death/doom sound, The Angel And The Dark River would see release on 22 May 1995 to generally positive reviews. My Dying Bride would make an appearance at Dynamo Festival to support the album, followed by a short tour of Europe. A collection of the band's first three EPs in Trinity would see release on 25 September 1995, followed by an extensive European tour alongside Iron Maiden.[4]

Work would quickly begin on a fourth studio album and Like Gods of The Sun would see release on 7 October 1996, an album that has been retroactively praised as a favorite by vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe. By October 2011 Like Gods of The Sun would sell over 75,000 copies throughout Europe and be awarded a Gold certification from the Independent Music Companies Association.[5] My Dying Bride would tour with Cathedral that Fall to support the album[6] followed by participating in the Out of The Dark touring festival the next year.[7] Lastly the band embarked on their first (and only) North American tour, supporting Dio.

Along with drummer Rick Miah leaving in 1997, keyboardist Martin Powell would leave the group to join Anathema (and later Cradle of Filth). Bill Law would take over on drums long enough for the recording of the band's fifth album, mostly handled by guitarist Calvin Robertshaw who had been going through personal issues at the time. 34.788%...Complete would be released on 6 October 1998 and be one of the band's more experimental efforts, evoking elements of ambient and electronica. It would be a controversial release among fans but despite this, several reviews were positive.[8][9] Calvin Robertshaw would leave the band soon after it's recording.

My Dying Bride would return to Academy Studio in Yorkshire from 7 June to 4 August to record their next album. The Light at The End of The World saw release on 12 October 1999, returning to the gothic doom sound the band became known for. Following Robertshaw's departure, only Craighan and Stainthorpe remained as founding members of the band. Hamish Glencross was soon after recruited as permanent guitarist. The keyboard parts were played by Jonny Maudling of Bal-Sagoth. It is also the first MDB album to feature the drumming of Shaun Steels, who would remain with the band until 2006. My Dying Bride entered a hiatus after this, releasing two retrospective albums Meisterwerk 1 and Meisterwerk 2. The Meisterwerk albums are compilations that contain previously released and rare material from My Dying Bride. At the end of the hiatus, Calvin Robertshaw left the band to become their tour manager and was replaced by Hamish Glencross.

The Dreadful Hours: Return and the mid-2000s (2001 - 2007)[edit | edit source]

My Dying Bride would return to touring in 2000 as work began on the next album.[10] The Dreadful Hours would see release on 13 November 2001 to positive reviews at the time.[11][12] To support the album My Dying Bride would announce a string of short tours through the Summer,[13] including an appearance at Wacken Open Air[14] and with Sarah Stanton taking over the keyboard role from Yasmin Ahmed.[15]

My Dying Bride would also release their first live album in Voices of The Wretched along with their first live DVD For Darkest Eyes that April.[16] Work would begin on a follow-up in the Fall of 2002.[17] With the tentative title of "The Thirteenth Chapter" in line with the band's thirtienth anniversary, the band's next album was originally intended for an October 2003 release.[18] However on 6 October the album would be delayed[19] with the reasoning being due to the artwork.[20]

With a new release date of 23 February 2004 and a renamed album title, Songs of Darkness, Words of Light would see release to generally positive reviews. Between 2003 and 2004, the band's label, Peaceville, re-released their entire back-catalogue in digipak format, with bonus tracks consisting of demos, remixes, and live performances added to each release (except "The Light at the End of the World"). A box set entitled Anti-Diluvian Chronicles would see thirty songs over three discs spanning the band's career to that point, many of which newly remixed.

On 24 January 2005 drummer Shaun Steels would injure his ankle in a canoeing accident.At first it was thought to be not very serious, but at the recent filming of 'The Blue Lotus' video it turned out that the drumming has caused the injury to reappear. John Bennett (The Prophecy) would initially take over the drumming role for a string of shows through 2005.[21] Notably at this point My Dying Bride rarely toured and largely performed at festivals, around the time of recording the next album appearing at a handful of festival events,[22] including a headlining appearance at Bloodstock.[23]

Recording at Academy Studios in Yorkshire between May and June 2006, A Line of Deathless Kings saw release on 9 October 2006 to generally positive reviews both at the time[24][25] and retroactively.[26] Prior to several festival appearances and marquee shows,[27] on 21 February 2007 it would be announced that bassist Adrian Jackson would leave the group upon relocating to the United States and drummer John Bennett would leave to concentrate on The Prophecy. Lena Abé would take over the bass role while Dan Mullins would become the band's new drummer.[28]

For Lies I Sire, Evinta and the 20th Anniversary (2008 - 2011)[edit | edit source]

In early 2008 My Dying Bride would announce a string of festival dates,[29] along with two special marquee shows alongside Anathema and Paradise Lost, the latter curating the shows for their twentieth anniversary.[30] Along with releasing An Ode To Woe on 28 April,[31] extending their deal with Peaceville on 16 May 2008[32] and announcing a new keyboardist/violinist in Katie Stone (Replacing Sarah Stanton who was pregnant at the time),[33] work would begin on the band's tenth studio album in the Fall of 2008 at Futureworks Studios in Manchester. Aaron Stainthorpe would state that it was the band's most depressing material to date at the time,[34] along with being encouraged to utilize violin on the new album for the first time in years.[35]

Further details on this tenth album would surface through the Winter of 2008 going into 2009.[36][37] For Lies I Sire would see release on 23 March 2009 to critical acclaim from the likes of AllMusic,[38] Blistering,[39] MetalSucks[40] and Your Last Rites[41] among several other critics. For Lies I Sire would also peak at #24 on the Finnish charts.[42]

The band would announce their most extensive tour in years, beginning with an appearance at Tuska Open Air circa 26 June 2009.[43] Before the tours however, Kaite Stone would leave the band with Shaun MacGowan taking over the keyboard role.[44] An EP in Bring Me Victory from the same sessions as For Lies I Sire saw release on 26 October 2009.

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of My Dying Bride's existence, the album Evinta was released on 30 May 2011. A two-hour album spanning three discs, Evinta featured some previous My Dying Bride material re-worked as neo-classical and ambient songs.[45] Soon after, the band announced the release of the EP The Barghest o' Whitby, which was released 7 November 2011, and consists of a single, 27-minute track.[46][47] The band would also compose a series of short tours in 2011, including the band's first ever shows in Russia.[48]

A Map of All Our Failures and Feel The Misery (2012 - 2016)[edit | edit source]

Following appearances at Circo Volador in Mexico and the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise Festival in what would be the band's first shows in North America in over a decade, My Dying Bride would begin work on their next album.[49] On 26 July details on this new album would be released, being recorded and mixed at Futureworks Studio in Manchester with producer Rob "Mags" Magoolagan.[50][51] A Map Of All Our Failures would see release on 15 October 2012 to positive reviews, followed by a tour to support the album. On 13 May 2013, the band released a four-track EP, The Manuscript. Three of the four tracks from the EP were recorded at the same time as A Map of All Our Failures.[52] Notably in 2013, along with appearances at festivals such as Inferno Metal Festival and Hellfest, My Dying Bride would perform in South America for the first time.[53]

2014 would see the band perform at a handful of festivals though notably after their appearance at Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore, Hamish Glencross would be fired from the band. Original guitarist Calvin Robertshaw would return to the band as his replacement.[54] On 18 September 2015 My Dying Bride would release their thirteenth album Feel the Misery to further critical acclaim, followed by several festival appearances including a headlining appearance at Hammer of Doom Festival. My Dying Bride would follow in 2016 with a tour of Europe to support the album.[55]

The Ghost of Orion (2017 - Present)[edit | edit source]

On 1 March 2017 it would be revealed that My Dying Bride had signed with Nuclear Blast Records for their fourteenth album[56] though the band would work with Peaceville for the archival box set A Harvest of Dread, released on 24 May 2019.[57] My Dying Bride would perform sporadically in 2017, notably an appearance at Roadburn Festival. However the band had canceled appearances at several festivals as Aaron Stainthorpe's five year old daughter had been diagnosed with cancer and went through numerous treatments to recover.[58] At one point Stainthorpe even considered finding a replacement vocalist while he cared for his daughter during the chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions.[59]

On 4 December 2018, the band announced that Shaun Steels had been replaced by Jeff Singer due to "unresolvable drumming issues" and that the drum tracks for the new album had been completed by Singer.[60] Also in 2019, Calvin Robertshaw had left My Dying Bride for a second time, and was replaced by Neil Blanchett on guitars.[61] Work would begin on the new album throughout 2018 going into the Autumn of 2019,[62] and revealing "Your Broken Shore" on 10 January 2020.[63] Describing it as "a very rich album",[64] The Ghost of Orion would see release on 6 March 2020 to critical acclaim from several publications.[65][66][67] A follow-up EP to further celebrate the band's thirtieth anniversary in Macabre Cabaret would see release on 20 November 2020.[68]

Discography[edit | edit source]


My Dying Bride – As The Flower Withers (1992)


My Dying Bride - Songs of Darkness, Words of Light Full Album


My Dying Bride - Bring Me Victory (from Bring Me Victory EP)



Studio Albums[edit | edit source]

  • As the Flower Withers (1992, Peaceville)
  • Turn Loose the Swans (1993, Peaceville)
  • The Angel and the Dark River (1995, Peaceville)
  • Like Gods of the Sun (1996, Peaceville)
  • 34.788%... Complete (1998, Peaceville)
  • The Light at the End of the World (1999, Peaceville)
  • The Dreadful Hours (2001, Peaceville)
  • Songs of Darkness, Words of Light (2004, Peaceville)
  • A Line of Deathless Kings (2006, Peaceville)
  • For Lies I Sire (2009, Peaceville)
  • Evinta (2011, Peaceville)
  • A Map of All Our Failures (2012, Peaceville)
  • Feel The Misery (2015, Peaceville)
  • The Ghost of Orion (2020, Nuclear Blast)

Compilations[edit | edit source]

  • The Stories (1994, Peaceville)
  • Trinity (1995, Peaceville)
  • Meisterwerk 1 (2000, Peaceville)
  • Meisterwerk 2 (2001, Peaceville)
  • Anti-Diluvian Chronicles (2005, Peaceville)
  • Introducing My Dying Bride (2013, Recall)
  • The Vaulted Shadows (2014, Peaceville)
  • Meisterwerk III (2016, Peaceville)
  • A Harvest of Dread (2019, Peaceville)

Other Releases[edit | edit source]

  • Towards The Sinister (Demo) (1991, Self-Released)
  • God Is Alone (Demo) (1991, Self-Released)
  • Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium (EP) (1992, Peaceville)
  • Unreleased Bitterness (Single) (1993, Unbridled Voyage)
  • The Thrash of Naked Limbs (EP) (1993, Peaceville)
  • The Sexuality of Bereavement (Single) (1994, Peaceville)
  • I Am the Bloody Earth (EP) (1994, Peaceville)
  • New Metal Messiahs! (Split with Cathedral, Paradise Lost, Pitchshifter) (1995, Kerrang! Magazine)
  • For Darkest Eyes (Video) (1996, Peaceville)
  • The Voice of The Wretched (Live Album) (2002, Peaceville)
  • Sinamorata (Video) (2005, Peaceville)
  • Deeper Down (Single) (2006, Peaceville)
  • An Ode to Woe (Live Album) (2008, Peaceville)
  • Bring Me Victory (EP) (2009, Peaceville)
  • The Barghest o' Whitby (EP) (2011, Peaceville)
  • The Manuscript (EP) (2013, Peaceville)
  • Hollow Cathedra (Single) (2015, Decibel Magazine)
  • Macabre Cabaret (EP) (2020, Nuclear Blast)

Members[edit | edit source]

Current Members[edit | edit source]

  • Aaron Stainthorpe - Vocals (1990 - Present)
  • Andrew Craighan - Guitar, Bass, Keyboards (1990 - Present)
  • Lena Abé - Bass (2007 - Present)
  • Shaun Macgowan - Keyboards, Violin (2009 - Present)
  • Jeff Singer - Drums (2018 - Present)
  • Neil Blanchett - Guitar (2019 - Present)

Former Members[edit | edit source]

  • Rick Miah - Drums (1990 - 1997)
  • Calvin Robertshaw - Guitar (1990 - 1999, 2014 - 2018)
  • Adrian "Ade" Jackson - Bass (1991 - 2007)
  • Martin Powell - Keyboards, Violin (1991 - 1998)
  • Yasmin Ahmed - Live Keyboards (1998 - 2002)
  • Bill Law - Drums (1998 - 1999)
  • Shaun Taylor-Steels - Drums (1999 - 2005, 2017 - 2018)
  • Hamish Hamilton Glencross - Guitar (2000 - 2014)
  • Sarah Stanton - Keyboards (2002 - 2008)
  • John Bennett - Live Drums (2005 - 2007)
  • Dan Mullins - Drums (2007 - 2017)
  • Katie Stone - Keyboards, Violin (2008 - 2009)
  • David Gray - Drums (2010 - 2013)
  • Robb Philpotts - Live Guitar (2014)

List of Known Tours[edit | edit source]

  • 1992 European Tour (With At The Gates) (1992)[69]
  • Turn Loose The Swans Tour (With GGFH, Crematory) (1993)[70][71]
  • 1994 European Tour (Select dates with Anathema, Sad Whisperings, At The Gates) (1994)[72][73]
  • The Angel and The Dark River European Tour (1995)[74]
  • The X-Factour '95 (With Iron Maiden) (1995)[75][76]
  • Like Gods of The Sun European Tour (With Cathedral, The Blood Divine) (1996)[77]
  • Out of The Dark III (Select dates with Sentenced, Therion, Secret Discovery) (1997)[78][79]
  • 1997 North American Tour (With Dio) (1997)[80]
  • 2000 Winter European Tour (With The Gathering) (2000)[81]
  • Peacefest 2001 (With Beyond Dawn) (2001)[82][83]
  • 2002 Mini-Tours (2002)[84][85]
  • Sinamorita Mini-Tour (With The Prophecy) (2003)[86][87][88]
  • 2005 UK Shows (With Novembre) (2005)[89][90]
  • The Unholy Trinity (With Paradise Lost, Anathema) (2008)[91][92]
  • For Lies I Sire European Tour (2009)[93]
  • Albion in Ruin 20th Anniversary Tour (With Ava Inferi) (2011)[94][95]
  • A Tour of All Our Failures (With Talanas) (2012)[96][97]
  • 2013 South American Tour (2013)[98]
  • Feel The Misery Tour (With Oceans of Slumber) (2016)[99][100]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Decibel MagazineThe Myth of The Peaceville Three, accessed ?? October 2020
  2. Chronicles of Chaos
  3. Noob Heavy
  5. Impala Music
  8. Decibel Magazine
  9. Metal Reviews
  11. Metal Storm
  12. Chronicles of Chaos
  13. Blabbermouth
  14. Blabbermouth
  15. Blabbermouth
  16. Blabbermouth
  17. Blabbermouth
  18. Blabbermouth
  19. Blabbermouth
  20. Blabbermouth
  21. Blabbermouth
  22. Blabbermouth
  23. Blabbermouth
  24. Blabbermouth
  25. Metal Storm
  26. Acta Infernalis
  28. Blabbermouth
  29. Blabbermouth
  30. Blabbermouth
  31. Blabbermouth
  32. Blabbermouth
  33. Blabbermouth
  34. Metal Hammer
  35. Ultimate Metal
  36. Blabbermouth
  37. Blabbermouth
  38. AllMusic
  39. Blistering
  40. Metal Sucks
  41. Your Last Rites
  42. Blabbermouth
  44. Blabbermouth
  45. Metal Underground
  46. Peaceville via Wayback Machine
  47. Metal Underground
  49. Blabbermouth
  50. Blabbermouth
  51. Blabbermouth
  52. Blabbermouth
  54. My Dying Bride Official
  56. Blabbermouth
  57. Blabbermouth
  58. Blabbermouth
  59. Blabbermouth
  60. Blabbermouth
  61. Rocker Magazine
  62. Blabbermouth
  63. Blabbermouth
  64. Blabbermouth
  65. Blabbermouth
  66. BraveWords
  67. Kerrang
  68. Blabbermouth
  71. Concert Archives
  76. Concert Archives
  85. Blabbermouth
  88. Blabbermouth
  90. Blabbermouth
  92. Blabbermouth
  95. Blabbermouth
  97. My Dying Bride Facebook
  100. Concert Archives

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