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Dirge For A Haunted Dog - 90%

Papyrus11, April 15th, 2012

Maybe it’s because this is just an EP but My Dying Bride have really let rip here, letting the metal fury reach its hellish potential while fully existing in their individual plaintive and emotional style. Doomier and gloomier than they’ve sounded for a while, all facets of this great band’s unique style have been combined in to what, I believe, is their longest song ever, and it’s an absolute monster. There’s the sound of thunder to set the desolate atmosphere of the moors along with a wretched dog howl at certain points; the violins are present creating the melodic glory of MDB in their heyday; a dirty guitar tone grinds away in misery before speeding up for a few thrilling moments, giving the song peaks and valleys of tempo and mood. The guitar sound actually reminds me of MDB’s first two albums and the song as a whole makes me think that they really wanted to get back in touch with the death/doom roots here, which they do spectacularly.

Aaron Stainthorpe’s vocals are, of course, a highlight featuring some plaintive clean singing and his most wretched death vocals we’ve heard for some time. This highly iconic and individual vocalist seems to be getting better with age, judging by this, and he relates the story spectacularly over the most horrific, churning and brutal song My Dying Bride have put their name to for some time - if you’re a fan you need this song.

Realistically, this kind of things sells itself – you’re not going to promote a 27 minute gothic doom dirge to the majority of people, but if you are a fan this album is some kind of bleak heaven. I’m not going to say that it’s better or worse than any other MDB album because each release is a masterpiece in its own way, but The Barghest O’Whitby is another chapter in their ongoing story, and one that seems to reach a whole new tier of fevered misery that must be experienced to be believed.

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