"The Barghest O' Whitby" is an EP release by UK doom metal act My Dying Bride. The EP was released through Peaceville Records in November 2011. "The Barghest O' Whitby" consists of just a single 27:04 minutes long track. It´s the first My Dying Bride release to feature new keyboard player/violinist Shaun Macgowan. The EP also sees a session performance by former My Dying Bride drummer Shaun "Winter" Taylor Steels.
It´s not that My Dying Bride aren´t known for writing long tracks, but "The Barghest O' Whitby" is the longest track yet released by the band. It´s an interesting track as it features almost all of the band´s trademark elements in the same song. Über melancholic violin parts, atmospheric keyboards, crushingly heavy guitar riffing (as well as great harmony work), heavy yet rythmically intriguing drumming and of course the growling and clean vocals by lead vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe. Unfortunately it´s also a track that´s a bit fragmented and repetitive and it doesn´t always flow as well as it could have (sometimes I´m reminded a bit of the band´s debut album "As the Flower Withers (1992)" in that respect). The fact that the track is divided into two parts to fit the vinyl format, isn´t exactly good for the flow of the track either. It´s a track that wins upon repeated listens, but I think it drags a bit after the first 15:38 minutes (or on side 2 of the vinyl version). The last 11:28 minutes are definitely not as interesting as the first part of the track.
...so I´m a bit reluctant to call "The Barghest O' Whitby" an excellent release. It´s well played and well produced (I enjoy the rather raw quality of the sound), but the songwriting is slightly lacking. Still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved. I guess that says something about the generally high quality of the band´s output. Even when they release something that isn´t up to their highest standards, it´s still a great listen.