My original experience with My Dying Bride was not a good one. I felt like they overdid it on the gothic aspect, creating something cheesy rather than dark and beautiful. In their latest record, Bride rejects their roots somewhat and goes with a much more straightforward, and down to earth sound that baths you in a sea of despair, engulfing you in unrelenting melancholy and sadness. The sound is quite clean, but it never feels plastic, as I’d describe it more as modern and forward thinking. Listening to the album, you wouldn’t think it would be made at any time other than the present, however the mood transcends dates and years. The lyrics are a bit on the obvious side, but in my mind that’s part of the charm. Fell the Misery is upfront about what it’s about and how it wants you to feel, and what’s amazing is that Bride managed to do this without alienating the listener. I feel like when an album is too upfront about its intentions it leaves all the mystery out of it. I like to make my own interpretations of music and how I want to feel about it, I don’t need the band to tell me what to feel. However hear I don’t think it matters. The intent of the music on this album is to have its content accessible, universally understood, yet lovable all the same, which is succeeded in scores. I feel like just about anyone could listen to this, no matter what their background, and instantly understand, yet nothing here feels dumbed down, rather to put it simply, this is all around good shit.
I feel like the death vocals are completely unnecessary and ruin the mood a bit however. I know that’s a part of My Dying Bride’s sound, but I’ve never been married to that aspect of the band. It’s not that vocals of intense pain can’t coincide with soft depressive music, but I don’t think the death vocals are utilized enough to be a constant force, and utilized just a bit too much to be a special treat. I feel like if Bride had been on the latter side, it would’ve made more of an impact on me, while still keeping part of their traditional sound.
Gothic metal is a hard act for me to be pleased by, but My Dying Bride, against my previous notions of what they were, managed to do just that. Feel the Misery really makes you quite literally FEEL the misery, pronouncing itself as one of the better doom metal albums this year, if at the cost of the listeners hearts sinking into their stomach a few dozen times.