My Dying Bride was booked for European festivals Eindhoven Metal Meeting, Madrid Is The Dark, Aalborg Metal Festival, and HRH Doom vs. HRH Stoner throughout 2017, but ended up canceling all their appearances. Fans assumed this was the end of the band, but frontman Aaron Stainthorpe said it absolutely wasn't. Instead, Stainthorpe said the band was working on a new album and the reason they cancelled all their shows was "due to a severe and fearful illness that has struck a member of [his] immediate family for which [he] have now dedicated all [his] time until signs of improvement."
Stainthorpe has published a lengthy statement on the band's Facebook revealing the "fearful illness" was that his 5-year old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Stainthorpe says she's in the clear now, but I, and I'm sure everyone else, absolutely cannot imagine the horror he and his family had to endure during the time. We wish Stainthorpe and his family all the best, and the best of health to his daughter.
You can read the full statement below, which ends with good news about a new album.
“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 Gods 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 Childrens Hospital in Leeds for everything they have done and also the wonderful Candlelighters, childrens 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!