My Dying Bride’s 10 Most Emotionally Devastating Songs, by Frontman Aaron Stainthorpe

My Dying Bride vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe reveals the band's ten songs that gut him completely.

My Dying Bride’s 10 Most Emotionally Devastating Songs, by Frontman Aaron Stainthorpe
Jordan Blum

For a generation of fans, My Dying Bride are the kings of all things miserable. Founded and still led by vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe and guitarist Andrew Craighan, the British band are widely hailed as a progenitor of the death-doom and gothic metal subgenres (alongside siblings Paradise Lost, Type O Negative, Winter, and Anathema). Having started in 1990, they've since released roughly a dozen studio LPs that masterfully interweave chaotic and cathartic arrangements alongside poetically scribed angst. Rarely have examinations of mortality and heartache felt so simultaneously brutal and beautiful.

This Friday (March 6) sees My Dying Bride releasing their newest triumph of doom, The Ghost Of Iron, their first full-length album since 2015's Feel The Misery. Written in the wake of several hardships – including Stainthorpe's very young daughter being diagnosed with cancer (a battle she eventually won) and the departures of guitarist Calvin Robertshaw and drummer Shaun Taylor-Steels – the record is as captivating, honest, and purifying as anything else the band have done.

In honor of both the band's latest sonic accomplishment and their long legacy of overwhelming darkness, we asked Arron to pick the songs from throughout My Dying Bride's career that he finds most emotionally devastating. Encompassing their earliest gems, their latest opus, and plenty in between, here are his 10 standout choices...

The Cry Of Mankind (The Angel And The Dark River, 1995)

“A God-bothering track, questioning the existence of a higher spiritual entity. The haunting melody plays almost throughout this song, winding its way into your soul; picking you up, and transporting you to a place of contemplation and sincere thought. A classic song we always play live, as it’s a favourite of fans and ourselves.”

Two Winters Only (The Angel And The Dark River, 1995)

“Oh God, how I can relate to this song now, after what I recently experienced with my daughter. Although it was written sixteen years before she was even born, I had a weird premonition of having a small child – just two years old – stricken by a life-challenging sickness that one, sadly, does not survive. A truly heartbreaking song and one that I shall never sing live.”

READ THIS: My Dying Bride singer talks candidly about daughter's cancer diagnosis

For My Fallen Angel (Like Gods Of The Sun, 1996)

“Tragedy had to raise its broken head somewhere in this list, for the lover we lost. This might as well have been called My Dying Bride, for that is the subject matter at hand. The cold and visceral knowledge that the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with is about to be removed from your life – and theirs – forever. It is heartbreaking, to say the least, and one hopes that friends and family close by will be a shoulder to weep upon.”

See Me III (The Light At The End Of The World, 1999)

“Here we have pure and all-conquering love, deeply felt and binding for a lifetime. The unspoken caress along the contours of another’s warm flesh. When, as powerful as this, tears fall freely in the knowing that a soulmate has been found and destiny and eternity are spelled out.”

My Wine In Silence (Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light, 2004)

“Softly spoken to begin with, but leering and brooding as the time passes between them. It has a slow build, testing the waters and pushing the boundaries until something gives. A suggestion of sadomasochism looms within, but for this couple, it’s only one-sided.”

And Then You Go (Evinta, 2011)

“Violins, French horn, a female voice, and sombre narration: this lush composition is a soundtrack to a fantastical journey. Choirs lead the listener along a snow-covered path in this original piece, which has elements used from other My Dying Bride songs to bring familiarity to this dark surrounding. It’s haunting and utterly beautiful.”


In Your Dark Pavilion (Evinta, 2011)

“It is the beauty of the music and, if I say so myself, the delivery of the words that create the crucial ambience of this classic piece. Part orchestra, part piano, and all conviction, this is a new composition but contains previous elements of MDB songs. With additional dramatic vocals from mezzo soprano Lucie Roche, this will raise the hairs on the back of your neck.”

A Map Of All Our Failures (A Map of All Our Failures, 2012)

“The complete breakdown of the human body, both physically and mentally. A challenging song in my opinion, as this may well come to most of us – the bitter end – alone in a bed somewhere, unable to even understand anything anymore. Just waiting for the man in black with the big scythe to come around the corner, sit with you for a while, and then...”

I Almost Loved You (Feel The Misery, 2015)

“This is one of those moments many of us will have had – a missed opportunity where confusion and misreading leads to separate ways. Despite both parties actually wanting a mutual gathering, fumbling and awkwardness prevents the coupling from taking place. The courage to simply take that daring first kiss had abandoned you.”

Tired Of Tears (The Ghost Of Orion, 2020)

“It relates directly to how I felt during the illness that almost took my daughter’s life. Diagnosed with cancer at age five, her body was ravaged by this heinous disease, and she needed the poison that was poured into her body in order to defeat it. Having wept for nine months, I was a physical and emotional wreck. Gratefully, she survived and made me look weak and foolish.”

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