The Forever People
The Bitterness and the Bereavement
The Return of the Beautiful
A landmark release in the nascent doom-metal genre when this first full length from My Dying Bride appeared in 1992, As the Flower Withers features moments of delicacy followed by crushing passages of Sabbath-slow guitars and the guttural croaking of lead singer Aaron Stainthorpe, for which the band, and doom metal itself, are known. Later in their career, the long-running British group took a divisive tack into baroque goth-metal territory but here, "Sear Me," "The Return of the Beautiful" and especially "The Bitterness and the Bereavement" are among the heaviest songs in metal, with strings providing a beauty translated into balefulness that ultimately resulted in previously unheard of combinations co-existing peacefully together. "The Bitterness and the Bereavement" is the key track, and proved to be one of their signature songs in the years since its release but "Vast Choirs" is as sweeping as the images its title suggest, and "The Forever People" is a concert staple even today. The final track is a 1991 rehearsal recording of "The Bitterness and the Bereavement" that was originally made available as a limited edition 7" in 1993.