what do people think, and what specific records do you like/dislike.
i think they've built up a very serious and impressive canon of work over the years. as far as my personal favourite record, while it's hard to go past 'turn loose the swans', which is impossibly dark and sobering, i'd go with 'the dreadful hours', which is dense, brilliantly sequenced, and immensely satisfying.
― Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Sunday, 8 October 2006 03:34 (twelve years ago) link
― scott seward (scott seward), Sunday, 8 October 2006 03:45 (twelve years ago) link
― scott seward (scott seward), Sunday, 8 October 2006 03:46 (twelve years ago) link
― scott seward (scott seward), Sunday, 8 October 2006 03:48 (twelve years ago) link
i'll put aside my disposable income for the week and pick up a copy.
refreshing to see ackercocke mentioned as well. one of the best live shows i've seen, and the last record was mega
and yeah, i loved the last mdb, so of course i'm necessarily expecting this one to be at least very good
― Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Sunday, 8 October 2006 03:51 (twelve years ago) link
― Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Saturday, 3 February 2007 06:44 (twelve years ago) link
'she came, she saw, she took anything she liked'
― Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Thursday, 8 February 2007 07:56 (twelve years ago) link
very bleak stuff. but that riff is storming.
hard to pick a darkest mdb record, but '34.788...% complete' doesn't offer much light.
― Charlie Howard (the sphinx), Thursday, 8 February 2007 17:11 (twelve years ago) link
oh my god, the foghorn in 'the cry of mankind'!
― Charlie Howard, Wednesday, 27 June 2007 07:50 (twelve years ago) link
That lone mantra-like guitar line in that song is the best they ever did and maybe even the best thing in that whole genre. Shame about the godawful vocals on that album, that rediculous overwrought yodeling ruins the whole thing.
― Siegbran, Wednesday, 27 June 2007 20:19 (twelve years ago) link
It's weird that the vocalist is much better at growling than singing but my favorite album is probably "The Angel and the Dark River". Nothing they released after "Like Gods of the Sun" is as good as the old stuff.
The "Trinity" EP collection is also very good; "Symphonaire Infernus..." and "I Am the Bloody Earth" are two of their best songs.
And I still haven't heard the "%" album, will give it a try one of these days.
― no-nonsense, Wednesday, 27 June 2007 20:43 (twelve years ago) link
I still don't know where to start
― Edward III, Saturday, 4 August 2007 02:53 (eleven years ago) link
i find the understated whiney vocals work really effectively on 'the cry of mankind', specifically. but, i agree that the vocals aren't necessarily up to scratch throughout the record. pity he wasn't growling on that disc, since his contrasting vocal style are one of the more intriguing elements of the band.
no-nonsense, apart from tlts, my fave mdb stuff is actually post-lgots
edward, i suggest you start with 'the dreadful hours' if that was a comment pertaining to the best place to start with mdb's catalogue.
― Charlie Howard, Saturday, 4 August 2007 07:33 (eleven years ago) link
that was a comment pertaining to the best place to start with mdb's catalogue. I thank you, kind sir.
― Edward III, Sunday, 5 August 2007 15:06 (eleven years ago) link
no worries. :)
you also couldn't go wrong with 'the light at the end of the world' which is perhaps their most definitive work. but 'the dreadful hours' is extremely rich and varied - you'll definitely enjoy that one.
― Charlie Howard, Sunday, 5 August 2007 15:21 (eleven years ago) link
greatest single mdb track?
cry of mankind? turn loose the swans? return to the beautiful? what does everyone think.
along with tiamat's 'wildhoney', 'the angel and dark river' has been keeping me very busy these last couple of days
― Charlie Howard, Tuesday, 27 November 2007 04:26 (eleven years ago) link
search--Turn Loose the Swan, As the Flower Withers
Angel and the Dark River is meh.
Trinity I'm not sure what I think...haven't heard the rest
― Bo Jackson Overdrive, Tuesday, 27 November 2007 04:33 (eleven years ago) link
The only one I've ever owned is Dreadful Hours (which I liked but apparently sold). All this is about to change though as I am determined to make gothic doom part of my vocabulary once and for all.
I own "Lost Paradise" and "Pentecost III" (by genre-mates Paradise Lost and Anathema respectively) but I think I'm finally ready to hear the slick stuff too... maybe.
― Nate Carson, Tuesday, 27 November 2007 05:02 (eleven years ago) link
Then start with Turn Loose...you'll really like it. some clean vocals, some growls....really good songwriting/ doom riffage.
― Bo Jackson Overdrive, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 03:19 (eleven years ago) link
tlts is also very dark. hope you don't mind ;)
― Charlie Howard, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 03:40 (eleven years ago) link
Haha. Dark I can handle. All those folks on the Swans vs Sonic Youth thread are talking about how the Swans are "too ugly" "too brutal" "too heavy" "too serious".
I mean, how can you use those descriptions as pejorative? What a bunch of fucking sissies.
― Nate Carson, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 04:43 (eleven years ago) link
i tend to agree with you there. while a band like swans certainly isn't music for all moods or purposes, it's perfect for a certain time and place and you wouldn't want to change anything about them - certainly not the ugliness, brutality etc.
― Charlie Howard, Wednesday, 28 November 2007 09:44 (eleven years ago) link
'two winters only' is like an epic power ballad. really pretty though. i'd overlooked this song for years/
but, this band just works the best when they're really fucking dark. 'turn loose the swans' and 'songs of darkness...' are probably the two darkest.
― Charlie Howard, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 17:04 (eleven years ago) link
They've done an awful Portishead cover:
They actually get one of the chords wrong.
― chap, Wednesday, 4 June 2008 17:10 (eleven years ago) link
they did that one quite a while ago.
misguided and pointless to be sure.
― Charlie Howard, Friday, 13 June 2008 04:39 (eleven years ago) link
Turn Loose the Swans is fantastic. I just found it the other day, and it's hitting the spot. As I dig in more I'm realizing that I don't like stoner-y doom nearly as much as funeral-y or goth-y doom. I also just found As the Flower Withers which I'm eager to check out. Charlie Howard, I applaud your years of repping hard for them here; more people should check them out. Side question: who are the bands that are closest to them sound/mood-wise?
― Clarke B., Tuesday, 29 January 2013 21:34 (six years ago) link
yeah, i used to rep crazy hard for these guys, didn't i? :) TLTS is the one that holds up for me to this day; unremittingly miserable with a truly original and organic sound from start to finish. i'd probably point to the title track as the best thing on there these days. in terms of similar bands in terms of sound and mood, most people would point to early Anathema and Paradise Lost. i guess a lot of funeral doom like Shape of Despair and Skepticism would also fit the bill. if it's the jarring violins you want more of, i'd even suggest the first At the Gates album, which is kind of all over the place, but very atmospheric at the same time. also, i take it you've heard dISEMBOLMOWELMENT's Transcendence into the Peripheral, Clarke?
― charlie h, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 01:02 (six years ago) link
Thanks for the recommendations! The only other stuff in this vein I've heard is Stormcrowfleet by Skepticism, which I absolutely love. I'm also really into Into Darkness by Winter, though that's further from this world, it feels like at least. I've got Stream From the Heavens by Thergothon on order right now, and I'm eager to check that out. I looked for that dISEMBOWELMENT record online kind of half-assedly recently and it seems pretty OOP/expensive, but I'll track it down. I'm loving the cold elegance of this stuff, this very deliberate sort of austerity that, unlike the more stoner-y doom, feels totally separate from rock.
― Clarke B., Wednesday, 30 January 2013 02:24 (six years ago) link
that Thergothon album is a great example of early Finnish funeral doom -- you should love that one. and yeah, Winter's In Darkness is a stone cold classic. i'm pretty sure i discovered it on ILM; such a raw and uncompromising sound. i agree with you about the austerity of a band like MDB. i actually think a lot of people have difficulty trying to pigeonhole them, because slot into a middleground between more extreme death doom leanings and traditional doom along the lines of, say, Candlemass. and then the funeral doom genre is different again. i think as far as slow doom-y atmospheres go, my very favourite release could well be Dance of December Souls. that wasn't always the case.
― charlie h, Wednesday, 30 January 2013 07:01 (six years ago) link
Oh I love the fact clarke is getting into funeral doom. come to daddy...
― pfunkboy (Algerian Goalkeeper), Wednesday, 30 January 2013 07:52 (six years ago) link
Listening to them for the first time now, on Turn Loose The Swans. Liking it but sometimes the vocals borrow too much from Michael Gira (who I recall particularly dislikes people imitating his voice, can't remember who in particular he taken issue with).
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 18 August 2015 21:14 (three years ago) link
Really digging this. If it weren't for the occasional Gira impressions and death growls that I don't feel are always that well integrated, I'd embrace this wholeheartedly. I hear that they mostly drop the death growls later albums on or use them quite sparingly.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 1 September 2015 10:24 (three years ago) link
Doesn't seem like there's much of a solid consensus among fans of what is their best albums and songs. A lot of people think the title track is among their best but it's not really grabbing me like the rest of the album.
I'll probably get more of their albums soon. New album out later this month.
Somehow I always got the impression that goth metal and doom metal wouldn't have the high quality gothic imagery that a lot of black metal does. So I've pretty much ignored them a long time. Always wondered how goth metal would even work and I think that question bugging me has made me want to check it out as much as any other reason.
Having read a bit more into goth metal, it doesn't really seem like much more than some trends within other metal genres. But I guess you could almost say that about goth music in general just being darker versions of punk, post-punk, hard rock, neoclassical, ambient, dreampop, cabaret and whatever else.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Wednesday, 2 September 2015 22:00 (three years ago) link
i looooved these guys live when i saw them at mdf, sort of a perfect headliner in that i was too tired to really endure anything too relentless so i could just settle into their gloomy thing. still have never heard a record but maybe i'll fix that tonight
― insufficiently familiar with xgau's work to comment intelligently (BradNelson), Wednesday, 2 September 2015 22:07 (three years ago) link
Bought today: Angel And The Dark River, The Dreadful Hours and A Map Of All Our Failures (along with Paradise Lost - Draconian Times, Entombed - Left Hand Path, Cathedral - Forest Of Equilibrium. My first albums by each band. I nearly also bought more Paradise Lost, Candlemass and Anathema but wasn't sure which ones to get. Need to research a bit more.) Hope to listen to all this relatively soon.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 3 September 2015 19:20 (three years ago) link
2nd and 3rd tracks of Turn Loose The Swans are so damn good.
Another reason for delaying getting into this band is the name. Got them confused with other bands I hadn't heard like My Chemical Romance and Bullett For My Valentine. Fortunately I was already familiar with My Bloody Valentine. Three are metal bands and My Chemical Romance is the only band name without a violent/deathy word.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 19 September 2015 22:07 (three years ago) link
I think today this album has the I Am The Bloody Earth EP tracks tacked on right? I imagine that'd make the album a bit overlong.
― Siegbran, Saturday, 19 September 2015 22:49 (three years ago) link
it's all about the title track of Turn Loose The Swans for me.
― charlie h, Sunday, 20 September 2015 05:24 (three years ago) link
new one is dope. at times it sounds like 80s pop if it was nihilistic and sung by Gargamel
― Hammer Smashed Bagels, Monday, 21 September 2015 23:54 (three years ago) link
Cool. I'm hoping to hear a metal band fronted by a guy who sounds like Cobra Commander (or a lot of the other villains Chris Latta voiced) someday.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 22 September 2015 08:46 (three years ago) link
Feel a bit mixed about Angel And The Dark River. "From Darkest Skies" is terrific but none of the other tracks won me over in their entirety. "Two Winters Only" would have been perfect without the loud bits, the rest of the song is so lovely. The bonus track "The Sexuality Of Bereavement" is really strange and impressive. It's like this dizzy swaying funeral march with a swirling darkness about it.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 7 June 2016 23:42 (three years ago) link
"Songless Bird" and "Your River" really are extraordinary.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 18 February 2017 19:27 (two years ago) link
Still in awe of those two.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Monday, 10 July 2017 23:36 (two years ago) link
of interest: https://www.decibelmagazine.com/2017/11/21/track-premiere-godthrymm-grand-reclamation/#.WhRco7yjhpg.facebook
back when I used to find MDB just too corny. my ability to take stuff on its own terms has gotten a lot better over the last ten years or so though and I am gonna listen to their entire discography this week because their music is completely doing the trick for me right now. listened to Songs of Darkness, Words of Light twice last night. Fuckin great stuff
― she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Friday, 24 November 2017 13:35 (one year ago) link
Listening to The Dreadful Hours these days. I cant think of another band who switch on and off what I love about them so frequently. Really beautiful parts and then parts that don't do anything for me.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 6 April 2018 17:31 (one year ago) link
Really enjoying this now, the last song is particularly good.
"I can see from your smile that you're not here for the sunset"
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 20 April 2018 19:19 (one year ago) link
"She came, she saw, she took anything she likedMy eyes burned with her horrorThey fell, they screamed, they wept but they diedFrom hands of the abhorrer"
Great part from "Black Heart Romance", one of the best on the album.
There's a part in the last track not in the lyrics book, I think he says "to you that lies dying, right beside the river"....? His voice sounds really awesome there.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 4 May 2018 19:39 (one year ago) link
Started A Map Of All Our Failures recently and was cheered by the thought that I probably only have 3 to 5 MDB albums to get, but I checked and it's more like 13 albums! Annoyingly the Meisterwerk compilations have album tracks on them.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Sunday, 5 August 2018 15:46 (eleven months ago) link
Not that thrilled by this album but "Within The Presence Of Absence" and "Like A Perpetual Funeral" are great.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 24 August 2018 16:49 (ten months ago) link
MDB never really made a bad album but I can imagine it’s diminishing returns once you get away from the 4-5 best ones. Might be more interesting to check out some of their contemporaries who made records (nearly) as good as peak MDB:Saturnus - Paradise Belongs To YouOctober Tide - Rain Without EndParamaecium - Exhumed Of The EarthCelestial Season - Forever Scarlet PassionDecomposed - Hope Finally DiedCeremonium - Into The Autumn ShadeEnchantment - Dance The Marble Naked (dodgy vocals keep this one down tho)
(assuming you’ve already heard the first three Anathema records and Paradise Lost - Gothic)
― Siegbran, Friday, 24 August 2018 18:40 (ten months ago) link
Thanks. I have heard Gothic but I haven't started on Anathema yet. Havent heard of those other guys.
Of the 4 I've heard so far (Turn Loose, Angel, Dreadful Hours and A Map) my favorite is definitely The Dreadful Hours.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 24 August 2018 19:27 (ten months ago) link
It’s interesting to read your experience with them, I was a huge fan of them from the debut onwards and most of their contemporaries when this gothic/doom/death thing absolutely exploded, easily a hundred bands got signed around 91-94 with the same formula, but the bonanza didn’t last that long (Angel And The Dark River was probably the last record that really felt relevant at the time, the metal hype machine had by then moved on to black metal and Gothenburg-style melodeath).
But MDB returned after a short stylistic detour and steadily kept making excellent records way after everyone else had sunk into oblivion (bands like Sadness, Orphanage, Paramaecium, Decomposed, Ceremonium etc) or changed style completely (Celestial Season, The Gathering, Paradise Lost, Nightfall, Katatonia, Anathema).
― Siegbran, Sunday, 26 August 2018 20:21 (ten months ago) link
I really liked Feel the Misery despite the ridiculously on the nose title
― fuck the NRA (Neanderthal), Sunday, 26 August 2018 20:33 (ten months ago) link
A bit let down by Light At The End Of The World. A few good songs, mostly at the end. Seems to have been remastered a few years after its first release.
― Robert Adam Gilmour, Friday, 10 May 2019 16:36 (two months ago) link