Thursday, April 1, 2010

My Dying Bride - The Thrash of Naked Limbs (1993)

The Thrash of Naked Limbs marked somewhat of a turning point for My Dying Bride. It was recorded in September 1992 and released in early 1993, between their first and second full-length albums. The band's sound had been, gradually, improving with each release. However, this E.P. represented the birth of their classic guitar tone. This sound would remain with them for the next four or five years. It wasn't only the guitar tone, but the overall sound seemed to be slightly cleaner and a bit more full. Whereas the previous material still had more of a raw and harsh production, that which is found on here (and subsequent releases) is more refined. That's not to say that it lacks harshness. Aaron's vocals are still powerful and razor sharp, at times.

The E.P. begins with "The Thrash of Naked Limbs", and there is a dismal feeling present from the very first riffs. The violin accentuates this with its own sorrowful wailing. There is a sense of dread that exists in the riffs; Some songs may create an atmosphere of mourning but here you also get to experience the loss as well. The song is mid-paced and crushingly heavy, destroying your feeble spirit with ease. The brief bits of violin are much like icy daggers tearing into your flesh. There are several changes in pace, as the old tendencies to toss in faster Death Metal parts still remains. It's not as out of place as on earlier songs, and works well to create contrast between that and the absolutely lifeless riff that follows.

"Le Cerf Malade" is an ambient/instrumental track that utilizes some eerie effects to help set a dark mood. It's nothing exceptionally noteworthy, and I would not say that it stands on its own in any way, but it's not a bad addition to this E.P. As a part of the greater whole, it works fine.

The third and final song is "Gather Me Up Forever". It starts with a rather generic Death Metal riff before things slow down to a bleak and hopeless Doom riff. They seem to be onto something for a few moments, before the speed picks up again. I can appreciate the desire to add some sense of dynamics to this, but the faster riffs could have been shortened and still had the desired effect. The slow, miserable riffs are the ones that they should have expanded upon.

"The pain never stops"

In the end, The Thrash of Naked Limbs is a solid release, but I would say that only the title track would be deemed worthy of repeated listens. The original slimcase version of this is long out of print, so try to collect these tracks on the Trinity compilation.