My Dying Bride @ 013 Tilburg, 7 April 2016

My Dying Bride is probably the most consistent of the three “big” doom death bands. Even though some albums are a little less inspired, they have remained quite true to their style. Unfortunately I had not been able to see them all that often, so a European tour is much welcomed, but even three gigs in the Netherlands alone seems a little bit too much. So the gig isn’t sold out by far. Still the renewed small hall of the 013 is quite full as the balcony remained closed.

They started this gig at 19.00 which is quite early on a working day and basically impossible due to traffic. So I arrived a little late for the opening act Oceans of Slumber and missed half the gig. I didn’t know them but they kind of create a bit of a buzz around the internet, so I was curious to hear what they sound like. The band is now centered about a female vocalist with a very soulful sound – unlike most female vocals she doesn’t use the operatic soprano vocal style as most gothic metal bands seem to do. Musically they vary from death, doom and other metal styles, but they include other influences as. Where as one song is quite aggressive with blast beats and all, the other is very restrained. During one song one of the guitarist took over the drumkit and the drummer took control of the keyboards; a bit of an odd move. The last song was a cover of a pop song, namely Nights in White Satin. The songs is by large lead by the vocals only near the end the instrumentation took over. Although I am quite sure there aren’t any blast beats in the original. Quite an interesting approach that seemed to work out well. And a decent gig too, even though I’m not a fan mostly of female vocals.

After the change-over the acoustic intro of Your River sounded through the PA, and soon My Dying Bride appeared on stage, kicking of the rest of the song. Aaron claims most of the attention; while the rest of the band is mostly concentrated on their instruments, he puts on a performance expressing the lyrics. And the vocals being a bit loud in the mix, helps too. The second song is one of my favourite songs off the Angel and the Dark River album, titled From Darkest Skies. So that is a hell of a start. From there on, they play more newer songs, like And My Father Left forever, and My Body, a Funeral. Only to return to older material with the odd choice of The Prize of Beauty. There are more odd choices on the set, like Erotic Literature, which Aaron confirms with Andrew whether it is off the first LP (it is). And the encores Like a Perpetual Funeral and the very old Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium. Quite a tight performance I must say. The return of Calvin seems to work out quite well. So all in all quite an excellent gig that ends after 12 songs in an hour and 40 minutes.

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