Review: My Dying Bride — 'The Barghest O' Whitby'
MY DYING BRIDE
The Barghest O' Whitby
When British doomers My Dying Bride released Evinta back in May, fans knew they were in for something different. The full-length CD featured some of the band's early works reanimated by classical-music instruments.
After dismissing the conductor's baton, the band — vocalist Aaron Stainthrope, guitarists Andrew Craighan and Hamish Glencross, bassist Lena Abé and drummer Shaun “Winter” Taylor-Steels (who last played with the band in 2006 before joining up with Frode Forsmo and Kjetil Ottersen in the Norwegian melancholic outfit Vestige of Virtue) — returned to its dynamically dirge-inspired metal. Band members found themselves on England's moors exploring folk tales about the barghest, a demonic black dog, which was the inspiration for the descriptions in the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes entry, The Hound of the Baskervilles.
My Dying Bride conjured up the concept of a supernatural creature “hell-bent on revenge” for the EP, released November 8 on the Peaceville label.
Incidentally, the tale takes place in Whitby, the same town as Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Originally idealized as a multi-song release, the band stitched the tracks together into one, 25-minute gloom-laden epic that pays homage to Black Sabbath's stormy-night soundscapes and Candlemass' sustained riffages and erupts into a growling double-bass climax.
It would have been easy for Stainthrope and his coven to unleash an unruly and meandering beast of a release, but was able to structure the work as a mini-, metal concerto.
Opening with a thunder crack and moving into cemetery-gate guitars, the piece opens up when Stainthrope's throaty delivery emerges from the shadows.
Craighan and Glencross intuitively team up and break off, which gives the work some effective disarray, while Abé's bass and Taylor-Steele's pounding finds the deep dark pit of foundation on which the others lay their tracks.
Giving the work some old-world dust, My Dying Bride recruited Shaun Macgowan to string in some lonely violin to tint the composition's already ritualistic pentatonic tunings.
Unlike the band's 1993 single-song EP, Unreleased Bitterness, which was basically an eight-minute rehearsal of the song “The Bitterness and Bereavement,” The Barghest O' Whitby is a fully realized project produced by long-time engineer Mags at Futureworks Studio in Manchester.
The new EP will only whet the appetites of rabid fans for the next offering, whatever and whenever it may be.
Pays homage to Black Sabbath's stormy-night soundscapes.
Just an Appetizer
Great stuff, but too short.
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