My Dying Bride is a veteran English doom and gothic metal band known for serpentine compositions, dark, brooding atmospherics, beautifully produced recordings and a theatrical stage presence. Though they began as a "slower-than-usual" death metal band, the slow, dark, atmospherically brooding nature of their later recordings, invested with both classical and romantic themes, found them ushering in gothic metal; they were also a prime influence on the second wave of doom metal alongside Anathema and Paradise Lost, the so-called "Peaceville Three" (all three bands were signed to the label at the time). After releasing a four-song demo just six months after forming, they got the attention of the tiny French independent Listenable Records, which issued their debut 7" single "God Is Alone." The record sold out its press run almost instantly and impressed Peaceville enough to sign them. Their move away from death metal occurred upon the release of their 1992 full-length debut As the Flower Withers, but their sound continued to evolve, becoming slower, moodier, and more tragically poetic. Later recordings such as 1995's The Angel and the Dark River, 1998's experimental concept offering 34.788%... Complete, and 2000's The Dreadful Hours cemented their place. They became a sell-out touring attraction and a festival stage headliner with a stature they have maintained since. With 2008's A Line of Deathless Kings, their sound attained a new level of softness while retaining its emotional poignancy and theatrical melodrama. 2102's A Map of All Our Failures was a return to form with its roots deeply planted in gothic rock and brought to the bleeding edge of doom.
My Dying Bride formed in June 1990. The four-piece first recorded the demo tape Towards the Sinister, and after the release of a 7" single for the French Listenable label, the group signed to Peaceville Records in 1991. My Dying Bride's first release was a 1991 EP, Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium. Debut album As the Flower Withers appeared the following year, and after touring Great Britain and Europe, the band released another EP, The Thrash of Naked Limbs. Third album Turn Loose the Swans coincided with another European tour, after which the band disappeared for a year. In the meantime, Peaceville issued a box set titled The Stories as well as the three-EP compilation Trinity.
In 2011, MDB celebrated their 20th anniversary by releasing Evinta. The album, it was claimed, was 15 years in the making and resulted in a double-CD (and special-edition triple-CD) collection of all new music, arranged "to the soundscapes of sorrows past and hopeless futures." Frontman Aaron Stainthorpe recorded new vocals to some older melodic and textural ideas with help from French soprano Lucie Roche. Evinta's material was arranged by keyboardist Jonny Maudling (Bal-Sagoth), who co-produced the album with Stainthorpe and guitarist Andrew Craighan.
After a European tour the band immediately re-entered the studio with producer Mags (Robert Magoolagan) and engineer Grant Berry. They wrote and recorded 14 songs, ten of which appeared on A Map of All Our Failures in the fall of 2012. The remaining four were released as an EP entitled The Manuscript the following year. In 2014, after returning home from an American tour, the band announced the firing of guitarist Hamish Glencross; he was replaced with founding guitar player Calvin Robertshaw. My Dying Bride celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2015. They returned to Academy Studios in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, the site of some of their earliest recordings. In July they issued the video single "And My Father Left Forever," followed in September by their 12th studio album, Feel the Misery. In March of 2017, the band announced they had signed with Nuclear Blast Records. The same year, drummer Dan Mullins left, and was replaced by Shaun Taylor-Steels, who held down the kit chair from 1999 to 2006, and performed drums on A Map of All Our Failures in 2012 as a session member. In December 2018, the band announced that Taylor-Steels had been replaced by Jeff Singer due to "unresolvable drumming issues" and that the drum tracks for a new album had been completed by Singer.
In May of the following year, My Dying Bride released a retrospective box set entitled A Harvest of Dread, comprised of five discs' worth of rarities, early works, previously unheard pre-production demos, band favorites, and live audio. They also released a reissue of their initial Towards the Sinister on vinyl for the first time with original cover art, lyrics, and rare photos on red wax. Towards the Sinister was My Dying Bride's first professional recording. ~ Thom Jurek