Label: Peaceville Records
I know it wasn’t that long ago that I named an album by My Dying Bride as an album of the day, but that I do so again so quickly should say a lot about how highly I regard this band, and this album. Turn Loose the Swans is an album of infinite sorrow and grace, its sense of drama matched only by the quality of the music contained within. Grandiose to the point of self-parody, it succeeds simply because the songs themselves are so good, and played with such conviction, that to protest about the album’s weaknesses is to miss the point of it completely.
For a long time, this was the only My Dying Bride record I owned or had listened to – partly down to non-mainstream music being less available in my teens than it is now, but also because Turn Loose the Swans was/is so good, I didn’t want to risk being disappointed by other albums by the band. Of course, that risk is unfounded, but when you first encounter songs such as ‘Your River’, ‘The Crown of Sympathy’, or the title track – and especially when this album is your first encounter with doom metal of any type – your young mind cannot imagine anything that will compare. Even now, it is the My Dying Bride album I am most likely to turn to; not just for the nostalgia it brings about, but also for the catharsis and simple quality of its metal.
Turn Loose the Swans is available from the Peaceville webstore, and can be streamed on Spotify. If you haven’t listened to it before, then ignore the bonus tracks – anything after ‘Black God’ is superfluous.