Saturday, 21 May 2011

Gig Review: My Dying Bride: Albion in Ruin (20th Anniversary) @ Islington Academy 18/5/11

My Dying Bride w/Ava Inferi

Sorry this is a little late at being uploaded, Internet Explorer decided it didn't like my review and froze when i tried to post it yesterday. Luckily, Google Chrome is a little more metal. So, first of all, here are my criteria for gig reviews:

1-2 Zzzz

3-4 Forgettable

5-6 Good, but no cigar

7-9 Immense

10 Legendary

Ava Inferi (Support)

I'm sure what myself or the rest of the crowd were expecting from these Portugese gothic doomers, but it certainly wasn't...this:

After a 45 minute wait, Ava Inferi took to the stage; and from there it all went wrong. Looking like they'd much rather be backstage with a beer than on stage in front of an eager crowd. Opening with a track from their latest opus 'Onyx', the band simply looked bored. There was no movement, no crowd interaction, so inevitably the crowd responded with nothing but polite applause and one or two sarcastic 'woops'. Their performance, sadly, wasn't helped by eccentric front woman Carmen Susana Simões. It did little for the performance, and even hindered it at times. It's a shame they couldn't pull off a live performance to do justice to their albums. Their mediocre performance is only highlighted more by the flawless performance of My Dying Bride (3/10).

My Dying Bride

"Only we could open with a 9 minute doom epic sung in Latin, who else?" Who else indeed? A fitting start to celebrating 20 years of metal's most prolific doom outfit. The song in question, 'Sear Me', was beautifully sung and lovingly performed. As was every song, old or new. Airing some of their rarest songs, including the never-played-before 'The Sexuality of Bereavement' and their most recent including 'My Body, A Funeral'; it's easy to see why My Dying Bride have had the staying power of 20 years. Front man Aaron Stainthorpe performs with such sincerity and emotion, that it is difficult not to get caught up in it. During the rendition of 'The Dreadful Hours' the whole crowd was mesmerised. It was an honour to be in the crowd tonight, and i genuinely believe i saw something special and unmissable. Long my they reign! (9.5/10).

Set List

Sear Me
Bring Me Victory
The Whore, The Cook And The Mother
Like Gods Of The Sun
Catherine Blake
The Crown Of Sympathy
For You
The Cry of Mankind
The Sexuality Of Bereavement
She Is The Dark
Your River
My Body, A Funeral
The Dreadful Hours


  1. Nice review there Sarah! It was a good gig & i wasn't overly impressed by Ava Inferi either. I was quite surprised by My Dying Bride as i'd never given them much of a listen before. I was pretty taken back by the emotion put into the performance, so i'll definitely be checking more of them out :)

  2. I was just disappointed that Ava Inferi's music didn't seem to translate well from album to live. I like all their stuff, from 'Burdens' to 'Onyx' and i just couldn't get my head round the lead singer. She looked so odd when everyone else looked normal...well, as normal a metal gig gets i suppose lol.

  3. Yeah the image just didn't quite fit and i think it distracted you from the music a little bit. I think sometimes an image can compliment a sound or style but sometimes whats worse is remembering someone for their image rather than their music. It's all i can think of anyway when i think of their set the other night.

    It's a shame that their music didn't translate as well live and as rare as it may be i've seen it with a few bands before where their recorded material comes across better than the live experience. However, the reverse is also true for some bands lol.

  4. Yeah i was disappointed their music didn't translate live, but i think if they put a bit more thought into their performance and maybe get rid of the pantomime then they could do a good live show.