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My Dying Bride : The Barghest O'Whitby

You cannot miss the new masterpiece by My Dying Bride.

Something dramatic has happened to the members of My Dying Bride. All their families died in a shipwreck in the Orkney Islands... Or they've been possessed by the ghosts of brutally murdered women while investigating the ruins of an old castle in the deepest of the Yorkshire moors... Whatever did happen, it just changed something. For the fourth time in a row, My Dying Bride have defied expectations. And they didn’t disappoint. First, there was 'For Lies I Sire', a frantic album rooted in old school extreme Metal, oozing with funeral despair and gothic frenzy. Then came the 'Bring Me Victory' EP on which, beside the cover of a Swans classic, we had the surprise to hear the band playing two originally chosen and well-performed versions of an old English folk song. Next came 'Evinta', a bold re-interpretation of their old classics by a chamber music orchestra. And now 'The Barghest O'Whitby', a single 25 minutes long track.

For a start, let's just say that I strongly doubt that this ghost-dog haunting a town renowned for its old abbey and its yearly gothic festival would be the one under the appearance of which the ‘famous Romanian vampire’ left the shipwreck of the Demeter on the same location in 1897. Still, considering how brooding and dark the music is, it could be. The song starts with sounds of an incoming storm, then the guitars hit, soon followed by the violin. And the sound...! This is the sound of 'Turn Loose The Swans', albeit a bit less heavy, but darker! And what is more important: it's also very raw. Aaron’s voice is more spoken word-like, declaiming verses in the night, amidst isolated chapel shrouded in cold mist.

Musically, this is some of the best Gothic Doom/Death ever created by the band. The atmospheric parts complement well the heavier ones, and the alternation of the different passages is so well crafted that you easily get lost in the story told. The guitars are some of the more morbid ever created by the band and, together with the violin, the riffs just convey a suffocating atmosphere of foggy cemeteries and open graves. Some clean guitar’s chords brings a breath of fresh air in a song that is reeking bitter tears and fearful madness. This is the soundtrack for some of the best gothic horror stories ever written, conjuring the ghosts of Poe and William Hope Hogdson to gather round and listen to the tale. And it's also a bold move for the band, which they've made the best of.

Once again, My Dying Bride have managed to surprise me in a very good way. The only question left is: 'What the hell will they come up with next time?' Fans of morbid Doom/Death, as well as fans of more Gothic-oriented stuff, simply cannot miss this masterpiece.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. The Barghest O' Whitby

Duration : Approx. 25 minutes

Visit the My Dying Bride bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-10-26 by Laurent Lignon
Hate Your Guts Records
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