One thing longtime fans will notice about For Lies I Sire is the return of violins. Katie Stone is the band's new keyboardist and also a violinist. It's the first time since Martin Powell left the band a decade ago that My Dying Bride will have a violinist.
Those violins are a really important addition to the songs. They add another layer of emotion and depth to MDB's music, and also increase the melancholy vibe. There's plenty of melancholy, sadness and despair throughout the album, with the depression dripping from Aaron Stainthorpe's voice on songs like "Echoes From A Hollow Soul" and the title track.
For Lies I Sire isn't as aggressive as some of the band's previous work. There are some heavy guitars, but there's not a lot of anger. The decline in growling vocals probably has a lot to do with that. There are growls scattered throughout the album, such as on "Shadow Haunt" and "A Chapter In Loathing." They have an edge lacking from some of the other tracks on the album, and are some of the strongest songs.
I like For Lies I Sire a little better than 2006's A Line Of Deathless Kings. My Dying Bride isn't reinventing the wheel here, but there's plenty of variety and the violins are a welcome return.
(released April 21, 2009 on Peaceville Records)