Vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe of U.K. doom metal veterans MY DYING BRIDE has opened up about the circumstances that led to the cancelation of the band's four festival appearances in late 2017. At the time, Aaron said the reason for the concerts being called off was "a severe and fearful illness that has struck a family member of my immediate family for which I have now dedicated all my time until signs of improvement." He also shot down rumors that the group was splitting up and assured fans that he and his bandmates were working on the follow-up to 2015's "Feel The Misery" album.
Earlier today (Tuesday, September 18), Stainthorpe released the following statement via MY DYING BRIDE's Facebook page:
"Many of you have been wondering what has happened to the band since we cancelled all our shows back in late 2017. Well, here is the answer.
"In September 2017, my beautiful little daughter, just five years old, was diagnosed with cancer. This event devastated the whole family as well as close friends and of course all of MY DYING BRIDE and related colleagues. A black hole of worry and panic opened up before me and I was fearful of what was to come. The horror that surrounds this terrible disease is real and brutal and relentless.
"The highly destructive but very necessary poison that is chemotherapy was started and, after a time, surgery removed the main tumour but it had spread. Early 2018, a second major operation was needed to finally get rid of the visible mass but cells were still in her body, so radiotherapy took place to destroy these. The side effects of both chemo and radio therapies left her a broken and sorry little thing and my heart was aching like never before. As the father of a deeply sick child, I was on the brink of total implosion.
"After the worst year of our lives, and stress beyond belief, we were gifted the news that so many other people never get; she is clear. She has beaten one of the cruellest of God's bitter and loveless creations.
"Despite this positive outcome, there will be years of tests and potential complications which may result in many returns to hospital. I will fear for her every day for the rest of my life and hope that when I finally go to my grave, she will be a strong and forthright woman.
"We really need to thank the wonderful people at the NHS Children's Hospital in Leeds for everything they have done and also the wonderful Candlelighters, children's cancer charity for their endless and loving support.
"The band took a small hiatus at the devastating news but gradually began to muster forces and start work on the next LP which we can happily tell you all, is well under way and, in fact, is almost complete. I have not taken part in any writing as yet, but will return to the fold this week, pen in hand and a new focus and eagerness to fulfil my role as wordsmith and vocalist for this remarkable band. We have returned!"
For 28 years, MY DYING BRIDE from West Yorkshire has been the voice of the hopeless and broken, combining haunting sounds with crushing misery and melancholy. With their signature sound, they've shaped the doom metal scene like barely any other act and integrated both soft violin melodies and violent death metal growls into their music, while always staying strictly loyal to themselves. And since the early '90s, the band's masterminds and founding members Andrew Craighan and Aaron Stainthorpe forged beautiful grief into 12 studio albums with songs of epic length.
Peaceville Records celebrated the 25th anniversary of MY DYING BRIDE with a deluxe 92-page 12-inch hardback book on the rise of the U.K. doom metal legends. The book contains five discs of rarities, early works, newly unearthed and never-before-heard pre-production demos, band track favorites, and live audio.