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3.07 | 12 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1998

Filed under Doom Metal


1. The Whore, the Cook and the Mother (11:59)
2. The Stance of Evander Sinque (5:31)
3. Der Überlebende (7:38)
4. Heroin Chic (8:03)
5. Apocalypse Woman (7:37)
6. Base Level Erotica (9:54)
7. Under Your Wings and Into Your Arms (5:57)

Total Time: 56:41

Bonus track for Japan:
8. Follower (5:12)


- Aaron Stainthorpe / Vocals
- Andy Craighan / Guitar
- Calvin Robertshaw / Guitar
- Ade Jackson / Bass
- Bill Law / Drums
- Jonny Maudling / Session Keyboards

About this release

Full-length, Peaceville Records, October 6th, 1998

Recorded at Academy Studios, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
Englang, Engineered & Produced by Mags.
Assisted by Calvin
Mixed at Chapel Studios
Lincoln, by Mags and Calvin, Summer 1998
Asstistand engineers Stevie Clow
and James Anderson

Thanks to UMUR for the updates

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MY DYING BRIDE 34.788%... COMPLETE reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
All great bands who experience some level of success face the same conundrum if they manage to stick around long enough to face it and that is the classic dilemma of simply following the same formula of the era that launched them into the limelight of their classic period or to sally forth into new experimental battlefields and tackle hitherto unexplored nooks and crannies of the musical world. While MY DYING BRIDE had already developed their classic sound before they released their debut album “As The Flower Withers,” they successfully walked the tightrope of retaining their unique stylistic approach while changing things up slightly on all of their first four albums. However after the release of “Like Gods Of The Sun,” big changes took place mostly by the departure of the one member, Martin Powell, the major component of the bands signature sound with his stellar violin and keyboard playing. Powell left MY DYING BRIDE and joined Anathema.

Instead of replacing him, MY DYING BRIDE decided to take the opportunity to leap into the world of the unexpected and crank out something unlike anything they’d done before and in the process, the electrifying violin of their previous albums had been completely dropped and would not return until 2009’s “For Lies I Sire.” If that wasn’t enough drummer Rich Miah also jumped shipped and his shoes were filled by Bill Law. Like it or not big change was in the air and MY DYING BRIDE simply took the bull by the horns and cranked out the most out of character albums of their career with 34.788%…COMPLETE which fully embraced the quirky 90s values and steered their gothic doom metal vessels into the the seas of alternative metal, trip hop and the avant-garde. While boldly sailing into the unknown, this album has remained their most controversial moment which in many ways demonstrates the complacency of the metal fans in how they usually frown upon such departures from what came before.

There is no doubt that 34.788%…COMPLETE is a strange album indeed, not only for MY DYING BRIDE but for metal in general. Despite a radical new approach, this album for the most part is unmistakably performed by the doom metal pioneers who came before even without the violin as the synthesized atmospheric backdrop usurps the role albeit in a less effective way. While “Like Gods Of The Sun,” opted for shorter more digestible tracks, 34.788%…COMPLETE jumps back into the sprawling epic approach of their earlier albums with most tracks having around the eight minute mark and the opening “The Whore, The Cook And The Mother” extending all the way to twelve. While the first chugging riffs and new vocal style of Aaron Stainthorpe buried under the muddy distorted riffs may sound like a completely new band, the compositional style renders clues with familiar musical flow, alternations between heavier passages and subdued ambient breathing time. This is MY DYING BRIDE, just a very strange version as if this was released in an alternate dimensional reality.

Perhaps the most identifying feature of 34.788%…COMPLETE is the liberal use of production techniques that allow electronica influenced reverberations, echoes effects and synthesized timbres decorate the otherwise heavy plodding doom riffs. Another different feature is the more dynamic use of the dual guitar attack of Andrew Craighan and Calvin Robertshaw as one relentlessly delivers heavily accented doom stomps while the other offers licks that implement pig squeals and even an occasional solo. Perhaps no other feature seems as alien as the trip hop techniques adopted from 90s acts such as Portishead and Massive Attack. While the eight minute track “Heroin Chic” is the standout in how it takes a simple electronic beat and structures minimalistic counterpoints around it while Stainthorpe and guest vocalist Michelle Richfield offer a strange back alley ritualistic salute to the drug scene, the truth is that the overall musical construct of the compositions retains a rather nonchalant trip hoppy free floating vector.

MY DYING BRIDE seemed like they could do no wrong with several albums delivering some of the most sophisticated take on doom metal that fans had ever heard however the response to 34.788%…COMPLETE was not a positive one as it alienated most fans expecting the next subtle step away from “Like Gods Of The Sun.” Personally i don’t find this album to be the horrible monster that it’s made out to be. After all, MY DYING BRIDE were masters of adapting their goth doom sensibilities to the most extreme opposing musical forces and that is still the case with 34.788%…COMPLETE. The problem with this album is that it lacks consistency. While the initial tracks establish an acceptable new strain of their goth doom / alternative hybridization, the album derails in the middle with the admittedly irritating “Heroine Chic” which serves as an eight minute blackhole that completely extinguishes any acceptance of what could have been.

The track is followed by the mediocrity of “Apocalypse Woman” but regains steam with the bass heavy and return to doom guitar prominence splendor of “Base Level Erotica,” which sounds most like a more familiar MY DYING BRIDE of yore complete with Stainthorpe’s plaintive goth-tinged vocal style. For my money, 34.788%…COMPLETE is actually a decent album with a few fatal flaws. With a running time of approaching a full hour’s length, the two aforementioned tracks should have simply been nixed from the final cut since they inconveniently slice through the alternative doom prowess established during the first part of the album and continued with the ending tracks “Base Level Erotica” and “Under Your Wingers And Into Your Arms.” Yeah, experimentation is never guaranteed even for the most successful bands who feel they can take any liberties that they wish. 34.788%…COMPLETE was a bold move indeed and mostly works for me. If the two overlong middle tracks were removed this would be a 4 star album for me but as it is only a 3.5 since the remaining tracks are really strong examples of the unlikely mix of alternative goth doom.
Ew, guys, no, come on. 34.788%...Complete finds My Dying Bride radically experimenting with their sound, and whilst I can respect them for not simply settling into the mode established by The Angel and the Dark River and Like Gods of the Sun, it seems to me like they would have been better off saving these rough experiments for demos and practice sessions, and wait until their experiments had come up with some really solid results before recording an album.

The basic problem of the release is that it's trying to combine a more accessible and commercial sound with a deeply inaccessible compositional approach, with the band pivoting towards gothy-industrial rock in a sort of Marilyn Manson or Stabbing Westward vein in terms of their musical style but still basing their approach around long compositions. Unfortunately, unlike their superior doom and death-doom releases of the past, that length doesn't quite work this time around - more or less all the compositions end up somewhat flabby and could do with being extensively trimmed back. The overall impression is that the band really didn't seem to have much of a firm plan for this one and ended up meandering in all sorts of different directions which don't come together to form a pleasing whole.
"34.788%... Complete" is the 5th full-length studio album by British doom metal act My Dying Bride. The album was released in October 1998 through Peaceville Records. There have been a few lineup changes since "Like Gods of the Sun (1996)" as drummer Rick Miah had been forced to leave the band because of health issues and violin/ keyboard player Martin Powell left because of musical differences. Apparently Martin Powell had stopped showing up at rehearsals and at some point resigned. The latter is replaced here by session keyboard player Jonny Maudling while the former ( Rick Miah) is replaced by Bill Law.

The music style on "34.788%... Complete" is in many ways very different from the band´s earlier output, but at the end of the day still sounds unmistakably like My Dying Bride. One of the main reasons for the different sound is of course the lack of violin on the album. The violin parts had become one of the trademarks of the band´s sound and had been a dominant part of every album release up until "34.788%... Complete". Instead My Dying Bride opted to incorporate a lot more keyboards on this album compared to the earlier releases. Lead vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe had left the death metal growls behind a couple of albums ago and on this album he also exclusively sings using his clean voice. There´s an experimental aura surrounding this album, and you´ll find some of the most adventurous and ( dare I say) progressive ideas ever recorded by My Dying Bride on "34.788%... Complete". The track "Heroin Chic" is probably the most obvious example of a track that sounds very different from earlier material. There´s an electronic edge to the song, and reciting type vocals in the vein of Nick Cave. The lyrics are also unusually brutal and vulgar with the use of multible swear words. Pretty far from the more usual romantic albeit depressive lyric style. Most songs feature unusual experiments though, so it´s not exclusively "Heroin Chic" that´s different. One of my favorite moments on the album is the atmospheric section in the opening track "The Whore, the Cook and the Mother", which features only clean guitar, keyboards and samples. That section really moves me, like very little music possess the power to do.

The production is professional and powerful, suiting the music perfectly.

"34.788%... Complete" is probably the most unconventional album yet released by My Dying Bride, and there are very different opinions about the album among fans and critics alike. I´m one of those that really appreciate that the band had the guts to do something a bit different and I think they fully succeeded in their quest. "34.788%... Complete" is among my favorites by My Dying Bride and I´d say a 4 - 4.5 star rating is deserved.

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