In year 2010, we as a webzine, had the honour to host MDB’s frontman Aaron Stainthorpe in a rather rare video interview, where amongst others discussed, he globally revealed first to us, the work the band had in the process for the past 15 years, with classical rearrangement on some of their songs from their entire carrier, due to release for the 20th anniversary of the band’s existance. Here we are after almost 1 year after to have our impressions and listenings.

First of all, I would like to inform everyone that this surely isn’t a regular release of the band. Here you will NOT hear drums. You will NOT hear electric guitars nor bass. You will NOT hear brutal vocals. There’s an overall different listening approach and a rather too extremely open and experimental interpretation, of some musical themes of many old songs. Pianos and keyboards dominate this effort. Soprano vocals performed by French opera singer Lucie Roche while Aaron’s unique and passionate clean vocal performance, appears here and there in many tracks as the only recognisable MDB element. All titles are new but almost every one of those, have some riffs co-rearranged for other instruments by the band and maestro Johnny Maudling (BAL-SAGOTH).

As for the result though, apart from the curiousity someone might have, it varies. It is surely mysterious and experimental, almost chilling and cleansing , but as a big fan of the band, I have to be honest and say that some of the tracks sounded great, others just made the sandman approach me faster than expected and others really made me angry listening how they turned out. It is rather bizarre to listen some of your favourite riffs performed in a rather apathetic keyboard…By all means this is a unique way to listen your favorite Doom/Death metal band messing around with their songs and their non-metal influences…Dead can dance, Swans etc. But does it work as a beautiful way to celebrate?

For me it sounded beautiful, but I’ll have to admit, that 14 songs of experimentation and rather low tempered interpretations, was way too much to handle, even as a fan. For anyone who is a fan, maybe it would be interesting to have a few listenings and try to figure out which songs have been chosen to experiment -you know- as a game…For all the rest of you, please stay away!

Track List Line Up
Disc I
01. In Your Dark Pavilion
02. You Are Not The One Who Loves Me
03. Of Lilies Bent With Tears
04. The Distance, Busy With Shadows
05. Of Sorry Eyes In March
Disc II
01. Vanité Triomphante
02. That Dress And Summer Skin
03. And Then You Go
04. A Hand Of Awful Rewards
Disc III [deluxe edition bonus]
01. The Music Of Flesh
02. Seven Times She Wept
03. The Burning Coast Of Regnum Italicum
04. She Heard My Body Dying
05. And All Their Joy Was Drowned
Aaron Stainthorpe – Vocals
Andrew Craighan – Guitar
Hamish Glencross – Guitar
Lena Abé – Bass
Dan Mullins – Drums
Shaun Macgowan – Keyboards/Violin