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All posts for the month May, 2013

My Dying Bride circa 2013.

My Dying Bride circa 2013.

By Jennifer Elizabeth Rose (Social/Cultural Writer and Music/Arts Historian)

British doom metal band, My Dying Bride, has a career which spans two and a half decades and dozens of records. As the featured act of all May’s picks of the week, an attempt was made to span this chronology, going back all the way to the 90’s during which we could describe them first as death, then gothic with progressive qualities. MDB was one of the first in these genres, very influential to many modern acts who attempt true darkness of whatever the subgenre without gimmick.

Around the late 90’s/early 2000’s, MDB saw more hard hitting, tight riff oriented works which were very straight up “doom.” They gained new fans by standing out with hooky yet dark riffs, often within more compact presentations, (singles/videos) but progressive elements were not lacking and their sound wasn’t like any other act. Many of their shorter 5-7 minute songs could in fact, have 5-7 changes.

Recent releases that were featured here at the Raw Alternative, A Map of All Our Failures (full length) and The Manuscript (EP) show a return to the earlier progressive elements but with perhaps a less decidedly death or gothic vibe. Works are still darkly themed, yet more thought provoking and wise. Many songs are long and progressive, yet tie together tighter and more polished sounding. As for progressive, compositions are not always necessarily long or droney; the structure has expanded. For example, the title track of The Manuscript, changes many times and even to major chords at the bridge.

Still amazingly relevant beyond just fan sentimentality, My Dying Bride is perhaps going a conceptual route that is exciting but that won’t lose old fans or beguile new ones.

Throughout the span of this project, there have been many lineup changes, but the current bill is one of the most polished sounding. Throughout many of the records by MDB, piano and violin have been incorporated both live and in the studio. This newer period differs in that beautiful polished violin parts are now imperative to the whole song. Live, there is seamless flow between the older songs which oftentimes had violin or synth parts within rough death metal recordings through the present period.

It has been a daunting task to show newcomers where to begin with My Dying Bride, though this seems a good place to start: http://www.metalarchives.com/albums/My_Dying_Bride/Introducing_My_Dying_Bride/375072

You may go back to the Raw Alternative Facebook page for the My Dying Bride’s picks or click:

The Manuscript for the week of May 5 Pick:

“The Poorest Waltz” and Interview about A Map of all Our Failures for the week of May 12 Pick:

“A Pale Shroud of Longing” on May 13 (Date of the new EP’s Release):

The Dreadful Hours for the week of May 19 Pick:

“Scarborough Faire” May 22 for “World Goth Day”

“Black Voyage” for the May 26 Pick of the Week

And for a final pick, here’s the title track of their second record, “Turn Loose the Swans..”

Discography:

Towards the Sinister Demo 1990

God Is Alone Single 1991

Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium EP 1992

As the Flower Withers Full-length 1992

The Thrash of Naked Limbs EP 1992

Unreleased Bitterness Single 1993

Turn Loose the Swans Full-length 1993

The Sexuality of Bereavement Single 1994

I Am the Bloody Earth EP 1994

The Stories Boxed set 1994

The Angel and the Dark River Full-length 1995

New Metal Messiahs! Split 1995

Trinity Compilation 1995

Live in Kracow ’96 Split DVD/video 1996

Like Gods of the Sun Full-length 1996

For Darkest Eyes Video/VHS 1997

34.788%… Complete Full-length 1998

The Light at the End of the World Full-length 1999

Meisterwerk 1 Compilation 2000

Meisterwerk 2 Compilation 2001

The Dreadful Hours Full-length 2001

For Darkest Eyes DVD 2002

The Voice of the Wretched Live album 2002

Songs of Darkness, Words of Light Full-length 2004

Anti-Diluvian Chronicles Compilation 2005

Sinamorata DVD 2005

Deeper Down Single 2006

A Line of Deathless Kings Full-length 2006

An Ode to Woe Live album 2008

For Lies I Sire Full-length 2009

Bring Me Victory EP 2009

Evinta Full-length 2011

The Barghest o’ Whitby EP 2011

A Map of All Our Failures Full-length 2012

Introducing My Dying Bride Compilation 2013

The Manuscript EP 2013

By Jackie Polo

August sweeps her blonde locks of hair
from her sweet, emerald eyes
Velveteen lips long to whisper into stale air,
like secrets of quiver & sigh
Her breath like fire, a scorching breeze
travels the heightened skies
Taming desire, like billowing seas
trailing her inner thighs.

Be mine again, my sweet,
my love, or may I be swift to die
For I can bear absence nor deceit
without your summer rain lullaby.

By Joel Anderson

So this is the end…or is it?

I just can’t take it anymore.

How did things get so bad?

 

We were inseparable like Siamese twins.

How do we get back to days like those?

Days where we were happy.

 

Let’s make a toast to the good days gone by

Let’s give this one more try

Because I’m not ready to say goodbye.

 

Do I have to leave now?

Let me stay one minute more

It’s so hard to leave your side.

 

Lying next to you on your bed

Five AM come to us so quickly

Because I’m so happy to be with you.

By Joel Anderson

Bite my lip

Clench my knees

What man will be my next squeeze?

Whose cock will be my next tease?

 

Wrap it up

And I’ll take it baby.

Are you the man I’ve been looking for? Maybe

There’s only one way to find out. Come over and fuck me.

 

Just my luck

He’s a rotten fuck.

Isn’t there a man that knows how to use his love gun?

Isn’t there a man that can make me cum?

 

My search continues

I must keep looking

One of these days I’ll find him

Until then, I’ll just keep fuckin.

Northern Whale. Photo courtesy of the band's official Facebook page.

Northern Whale. Photo courtesy of the band’s official Facebook page.

By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)

Over the last few years, four high school kids from Boardman, Ohio have been jamming, writing songs and dreaming of conquering the world. And in April of 2013, that band, Northern Whale, took a giant leap toward that dream by taking advantage of a unique opportunity and making an eyebrow raising impression along the way.

“We got invited out to LA by the Indie Music Channel, which is basically an internet radio station that streams online,” said lead singer and guitarist Jake Capezzuto. “And we won the awards for Best Teen Band and Best Teen Performance. While we were out there we played at the Hollywood House of Blues and Sunset Studio. It was really a different kind of experience.”

The band, consisting of Capezzuto, along with guitarist Brandon Fisher, bassist Jake Stephens and drummer Seth Donchess, has a refreshing alternative rock sound. Influenced by the likes of The Cure, Arctic Monkeys, The Vaccines and Walk the Moon, Northern Whale’s debut EP, Sailor of the Seven Seas, incorporates indie sensibility and catchy modern alternative with a fresh young twist. Songs like “All I Want,” “New Beginning” and “Red and White” indicate a songwriting maturity that exceeds their years, and hints at exciting creative steps to come.

“A lot of people think they’re meaningful and kind of deep meaning, but we don’t really read into any of our songs,” said Stephens.

Although the band are now playing high profile gigs both locally and regionally, they made their live debut at a school talent show a few years back.

“Our first show was, awful,” laughed Capezzuto. “It was for an eighth grade talent show.”

Despite the rough start, Northern Whale forged ahead, continuing to perfect their craft and establish themselves as serious musicians.

“We just kept playing and writing songs,” said Donchess. “And then we finally got to a point where we were ready to make an EP and play some bigger shows.”

Several months ago, the band seized an exclusive opportunity to broaden their audience and put their name on the mouths of music industry moguls. Through Indie Music Channel, they submitted music from Sailor of the Seven Seas and were eventually nominated for five awards. Because of this, they headed out West and made an impression.

“It was an almost surreal experience,” said Capezzuto. “We got to perform in the same studio that the Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded in. That was really cool. On the way home we did a show in New York. The responses have positive and we’re excited to do more shows nationally.”

Northern Whale plans on more live shows and heading back into the studio this summer.

“We all want to take it as far as we can, doing as much as we can, but I think if it doesn’t go that far, we’re not going to beat ourselves up because we’re enjoying it. We’re having fun, and we wouldn’t trade that for anything,” said Fisher.

By Rick Polo (Editor-in-Chief)

AIC Album

Artist: Alice in Chains

Album: The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here

Release Date: 5/28/13

Rating: 5/5

Since 2009’s Black Gives Way to Blue, alt-metal icons Alice in Chains proved that despite the loss of one of the most iconic singers of a generation, their creativity and passion can extend into new territory and a different era successfully. Now, on their sophomore effort as a resurrected unit, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, the band have taken a disparaging look at the effects of extremist religious ideals.

“There are two things you never want to get into a conversation or argument about: Politics and religion. But fuck, I guess we’re going to be talking about this for awhile,” said guitarist and lead songwriter Jerry Cantrell in an interview with Rolling Stone.

The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here is exactly that. The album boldly asks uncomfortable questions an inevitably concludes with the harsh realities and the de-evolution of the human species in the information age.

The world got its first glimpse of new AIC material back in January, when they premiered the single for lead off track “Hollow.” With the signature sludgy riffs and eerie harmonies in tact,  the track sounded as though it fit perfectly anywhere in the band’s repertoire. The accompanying music video was, in true AIC fashion, disturbing and thought-provoking, featuring an astronaut isolated in a space station for 500 days slowly beginning to loose his grip on sanity.

From there, the album hits full on with the delightfully rocking “Pretty Done” and the droning second single “Stone.” Cuts like the title track stir up the controversy with lyrics such as, “The devil put dinosaurs here, Jesus don’t like a queer. No problem with faith, just fear.”

The tracks continue to flow with ease and absolutely no fillers. They’re a tightly-woven piece of art, with every song clearly serving its purpose. The insane sludgy riffs of Cantrell, backed by fellow singer/guitarist William DuVall and pounding rhythm section of bassist Mike Inez and drummer Sean Kinney, are firmly in place. Although it’s a unique record unlike anything they’ve done in the past, it’s still Alice in Chains.

“We made a unique record that’s completely different from anything we ever did. It encapsulates a period of time, like all records do. You see growth and that the band is moving ahead in new territory that we haven’t been to before, but we haven’t lost our identity,” continued Cantrell. “There’s some real filth in there. That’s intentional, and that’s also just how we sound together. We’re trying to make a record that we dig and we’re trying to keep the bar high for ourselves and see if we can get past it, and I think that we did again. And of course you want people to dig it too and to respond to it, and to have that start happening is satisfying.”

The attack continues on songs like “Lab Monkey,” “Low Ceiling” and “Hung On a Hook,” but the album does come up for air often, providing a variety of sonic textures throughout. A standout track, among many great tracks, would be “Phantom Limb.” Clocking in at just over seven minutes, the track is a rollercoaster ride, filled with many twists, turns and interesting musical moments. Concluding the album is the somewhat experimental “Choke,” experimental in the face of the various guitar textures placed throughout, somewhat of a new step for the band.

One of the most noteworthy elements to The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here are the vocals. DuVall steps out more on this album, which is very pleasing to here. You can tell he had somewhat of a new guy vibe on Black Gives Way to Blue, leaving most of the fronting to Cantrell. Now, probably more comfortable with his position, he shines all throughout the album. With DuVall’s involvement, Alice in Chains is not trying to replace their irreplaceable late leade singer Layne Staley, put simply adding another element to the existing structure.

The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here does not feel like an album from a band from a distant era who’s reunited and is trying to take a stab at new material. However, it’s a solid continuation of their musical journey, and stands up to anything and everything in their catalogue. It receives a perfect rating because in an era of a dead music industry and the now “classic rock” acts trying to “keep rock alive,” its a bold artistic statement from a band who has never released anything considered less-than-stellar. Track-by-track, it’s a flawless effort from one of the front running voices of a generation.