My Dying Bride
The Barghest O’ Whitby


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
December 6th, 2011 | 52 replies | 11,088 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The sound of My Dying Bride partying like it's 1992.

There was a time when I would have never believed that My Dying Bride were capable of an album like The Barghest O’Whitby. Even as far back as The Angel and the Dark River, it seemed pretty apparent that the band were intent on ditching the death doom that had started their career. No one would have blamed them, of course, since all of their peers were doing the same thing, but My Dying Bride’s attempts to branch out were never as successful. Case in point – by the time they had released the garbage that was 34.788%... Complete, there were many people that started to believe that the band were finished; that they had lost whatever spark they once had. Every fan knows that the band did rebound and even returned to their roots a bit, but those albums still never held a candle to the band’s earliest material – until now. The Barghest O’Whitby is a single twenty-seven minute track that reaches all the way back to As the Flower Withers for the bulk of its inspiration while maintaining a bit of the melodic sound that they’ve been working on since The Light at the End of the World and it’s pretty damn good.

The song begins with rolling thunder and a bit of wind – which, while not groundbreaking, does a good enough job of setting the mood. That mood, in case you’re new, is darkness and despair. When the first gritty riff comes in with a despondent violin melody played over the top, it instantly reminded me of the band’s earliest album; a feeling that is only enforced by Aaron Stainthorpe’s throaty growls. During this section, the pace is gut-wrenchingly slow, the main guitar melody is dirty and raw, and the violin part (while sparse) is excellent. Eventually, the song picks up the pace and Aaron transitions to his (love-it-or-hate-it) clean singing. From that moment on, the song seamlessly transitions from one idea to the next with regularity, eventually hitting just about every element that has ever made the band good. Throughout the twenty-seven minute runtime there are moments of oppressive funeral doom, gritty melodic passages similar to the band’s current direction, dirty old-school riffs, quiet ambience and noisy feedback, and even a fast-paced death metal part. By the end of “The Barghest O’Whitby”, it’s obvious that the band made an effort to really pay homage to the raw sound of their earliest material while still including their current direction, and the result is very satisfying.

My Dying Bride have released some excellent doom during their history and they are no stranger to extended track lengths, but this is still something new for them. This is the band finally integrating their current melodic sound with the grit and gloom of their earliest material without a single nod to the questionable middle part of their career. It’s an ambitious undertaking that will force fans to indulge in multiple listens before they can fully appreciate the entire opus, but the payoff is definitely worth the effort. Even during the first listen, though, “The Barghest O’Whitby” is a satisfying journey thanks to its multiple transitions and moods that almost make it feel like the band collaborated with their 1992 selves and returned with the best of both worlds. If My Dying Bride can hold onto whatever inspiration set this song in motion, I see an exceptional album in their future.



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user ratings (29)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
December 6th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Still cleaning out that closest. Another long-forgotten half-finished review completed.

Go here for song samples, etc:

http://www.peaceville.com/mydyingbride/thebarghestowhitby/

Digging: Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse - 20th Year Anniversary

Gyromania
December 6th 2011



15200 Comments


I love this band! I'm surprised I didn't know about this =/

Good review, Trey.

Willie
Moderator
December 6th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's pretty good. It's still no Turn Loose the Swans, but it definitely shares a lot with their debut.

Gyromania
December 6th 2011



15200 Comments


That's cool. I like their debut, but I still say The Dreadful Hours is their crowning achievement. I'll make sure to give this a spin sometime soon.

gabethepiratesquid
December 6th 2011



4521 Comments


These guys' best days were when they grew out of death doom.

GodL1ke
December 6th 2011



804 Comments


does this share the same sound as the dreadful hours? if yes then i'm checking it out

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 6th 2011



8747 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

it's less melodic than the dreadful hours and unlike the dreadful hours it's actually dreadful

Willie
Moderator
December 6th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not melodic enough for you? Weird.

GodL1ke
December 7th 2011



804 Comments


a 2? :o

ah well i think i'll check it out anyway if only for their return to harsh vocals. i cant stand that guy singing for too long

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
December 7th 2011



8747 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Not melodic enough for you? Weird.


not necessarily but the riffs just weren't any good and nothing was good enough to carry the song for me

the riffs literally sounded like they didn't care about what notes they put together

also the production is absolutely infuriating. the drums were recorded way too loud and then turned down thinking no one would hear the difference. and it all just sounds too digital. but then i'm a bit of an audiophile so i can understand other people not noticing that.

johnnydeking29
December 7th 2011



8996 Comments


I agree with Dark; there's not really anything memorable and the guitar tone is awful
It sounds a bit like Opeth's Morningrise gone wrong (not comparing the bands, just this song)

Digging: Naked City - Radio

Apollo
December 7th 2011



10266 Comments


Trey you are easily my fav person on this site

Can't wait to check this out

Willie
Moderator
December 7th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the riffs literally sounded like they didn't care about what notes they put together
I have to disagree. I think that they were actively trying to create melodies that could still remain dissonant and dirty. So the sounds they used were just the slightest bit atonal.

I agree with Dark; there's not really anything memorable and the guitar tone is awful
Again, I think it was a conscious choice. I think they were shooting for that low budget old sound that they started with. I don't think they wanted to have any part of the song be clean or easily accessible. It's an EP -- that's where a lot of bands try different things that might not appeal to the broad fan base.

Trey you are easily my fav person on this site
Thanks. Ha ha.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2011



5921 Comments


I agree with Dark; there's not really anything memorable and the guitar tone is awful

Try to listen to the Vallenfyre album, it's exactly that raw early 90's death/doom metal sound.

While I'm saying this, I haven't listened to this EP yet.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

Willie
Moderator
December 7th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've heard that album and it's the perfect comparison. I think My Dying Bride and that band were both shooting for the same vibe.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2011



5921 Comments


My Dying Bride's guitarist Hamish Glencross is in Vallenfyre along with Paradise Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost), that's why ;)

Willie
Moderator
December 7th 2011



15877 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Come on. Did you think I didn't already know that ;)

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2011



5921 Comments


I know you know Trey :-D


I just put my previous comment on record here, so whoever is interested should grasp the dissemination of info on both bands.

Acanthus
December 7th 2011



9537 Comments


Cool, might have to check this one out.

Digging: The Cure - The Head on the Door

Dreamflight
December 7th 2011



1760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

" the garbage that was 34.788%... Complete"

Neg neg neg neg.... shit I can't. :P

Nice read Willie, will check this out soon.



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