My Dying Bride - The Barghest O'Whitby
Peaceville Records
Doom Metal
1 songs (27:04)
Release year: 2011
My Dying Bride, Peaceville Records
Reviewed by Goat

We've been spoilt of late, we My Dying Bride fans. The band has consistently grown and improved, stretching its bleak wings in subtly different directions with excellent results, never compromising on their miserable vision but never content to stand still and allow themselves to stagnate. Recent albums have been excellent, showing off a grasp of natural songwriting skill that leads to such tuneful hip-grinders as Deeper Down and Bring Me Victory, as well as solid, solemn doom anthems like Death Triumphant that mark them out as the best of the Big Three of British Doom, in my opinion at least.

Naturally there's nothing that tugs at a doombah's heartstrings like the thought of a single twenty-seven minute track, and this EP from My Dying Bride delivers just that. It's pretty darn old-school from the band. Little of the modern, catchy drum rolls and anthemic catharsis for you here, but a slow, epic trudge that tells the story of the eponymous barghest (a Yorkshire legend of a huge ghostly black dog, as depicted on the artwork) in poetic lyrical form. Musically, as you'd expect from a piece of music nearly half-an-hour long, this takes its time, building up from crackling thunder and howling wind in the initial seconds, instantly setting an atmospheric scene. The wild, miserable moors of Yorkshire are your mental setting as doom-laden riffs and crashing drums, mournful violins and Aaron Stainthorpe at his snarliest begin to work their collective magic.

Slowly gathering pace, the music takes an epic build-up with some wonderful use of violin (always one of the band's biggest strengths, to me) and guitar melodies. It doesn't have a natural peak - you'll be at the eighteen-minute mark before you really notice the time has gone by - but carries you along with it, slowly and majestically and somehow rather tragic. Notably lacking is that chink of light which doom reaches so hopefully and hopelessly for, although there's plenty of melody; this is doom at its most exhaustive emotionally, wolfish howls in the background a subtle yet potent reminder of the animal nature withheld. Speeding up near the end into a blastbeat-fuelled charge, the beast unleashed at last, thunderous drum rolls and neckhurting riffs drawing the saga to a close. And, of course, it's excellent, My Dying Bride proving their worth and relevance as gloomy kings of misery once again.

Killing Songs :
The Barghest O'Whitby, obviously!
Goat quoted no quote
Other albums by My Dying Bride that we have reviewed:
My Dying Bride - The Ghost of Orion reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
My Dying Bride - Feel the Misery reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
My Dying Bride - The Angel and the Dark River reviewed by Goat and quoted CLASSIC
My Dying Bride - The Manuscript EP reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
My Dying Bride - A Map Of All Our Failures reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
To see all 13 reviews click here
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