My Dying Bride

Trinity

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This timely collection from 1995 rounded up the odds and sods released amidst My Dying Bride's initial brace of long-form albums in a single, handy CD. Named Trinity, not in reference to the tormented Christ depicted on its garish cover, but rather to the three EPs from whence the bulk of its material originates, it also provides an alternate travelogue through the British band's eclectic career. The songs culled from 1991's flamboyantly entitled Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium EP, for example, find My Dying Bride still virtually immersed in pure, unadulterated death metal, only breaking ranks on the gothic violins sawing away at the epic title track's first half and the Morricone-like melodic wails that occasionally blare like some kind of ghostly afterthought atop "God Is Alone." The key new ingredient adopted upon the unveiling of 1992's morbidly named The Thrash of Naked Limbs EP (which followed first album proper, As the Flower Withers) was the leaden march of doom, thus bringing My Dying Bride to the style for which they, along with countrymen Paradise Lost and Anathema, would ultimately most frequently be associated with. But those buzzing violins once again make a gothic entrance midway through the title cut, while "Le Cerf Malade" breaks off into eerily droning voices and tolling bells before embarking on a surprisingly minimalist mission through to its conclusion. For its part, "I am the Bloody Earth," from the 1993 EP bearing that same name, takes a metaphorical broom to the deathly cobwebs and intentionally crude production in MDB's past, yet relinquishes none of the death/doom hallmarks while making much smarter use of Martin Powell's violin than earlier efforts. And a previously unreleased outtake from the Turn Loose the Swans sessions named "The Sexuality of Bereavement" provides a final, irresistible morsel of melancholy misery that makes Trinity a semi-necessary item for any fan of My Dying Bride's definitive years, and indeed of the death/doom style itself.

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