My Dying Bride - _The Voice of the Wretched_
(Peaceville, 2002)
by: Pedro Azevedo (10 out of 10)
Nearly 75 minutes of live My Dying Bride, recorded between _The Light at the End of the World_ [CoC #44] and _The Dreadful Hours_ [CoC #55], is what _The Voice of the Wretched_ has to offer. No fluff, no silly dialogues with the crowd, no filler material: just pure My Dying Bride. Powerful live sound, an excellent choice of songs that embrace the entire spectrum of My Dying Bride's lengthy existence, and a practically flawless performance by the band complete this black bouquet of wretchedness. Classic studio tracks seem to expand in weight and majesty live, as the band perfects every riff and break and Aaron's vocals grow exponentially in terms of demonic, guttural power whilst becoming more confident than ever in terms of melodic, heartbroken melody. The track listing: "She Is the Dark" (_The Light at the End of the World_), the title track from _Turn Loose the Swans_, "The Cry of Mankind" (_The Angel and the Dark River_), "The Snow in my Hand" (_TLtS_), "A Cruel Taste of Winter" (first live performance of the track from _The Dreadful Hours_), "Under Your Wings and Into Your Arms" (_34.788%... Complete_), "A Kiss to Remember" (_Like Gods of the Sun_), "Your River" (_TLtS_), "The Fever Sea" (_TLatEotW_) and the first track MDB ever wrote, "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium", which represents both the EP of the same title and its continuation, _As the Flower Withers_. For those who know and appreciate the quality of MDB's music, this is an essential purchase. Those yet unfamiliar with the band, consider this: what you will find here ranges from brutal outbursts of death metal to sorrowful and melodic passages, and I am yet to find a band capable of reaching the level of doom metal excellence My Dying Bride consistently showcase in their music. 10 out of 10, obviously.

[David Rocher: "Beholding My Dying Bride live, as I did in 1995, is an experience indeed -- Aaron's incredible vocals and charismatic presence mesh flawlessly with the touchingly forlorn melodies and the majestic, powerful rhythmic assaults which My Dying Bride have, in time, learned to play so impeccably. The most striking point about My Dying Bride's first live recording, well over a decade into their career, is the beautiful finesse with which it recaptures the textures, emotions and subdued intensity of their unique songwriting -- from the distorted death metal influences apparent at the time of the band's inception ("Your River", "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium"), to the more resolutely avant-garde tones of _Turn Loose the Swans_ (the inevitable "Turn Loose the Swans", "The Snow in My Hand"), right over to the sheer beauty of their mid-nineties meisterwerks (the magnificent "The Cry of Mankind" and "A Kiss to Remember") and their harsher latest works ("She Is the Dark", "The Fever Sea", "A Cruel Taste of Winter"). Although former violinist Martin's presence is direly missed, Yasmin's ivory-tickling skills grace this fantastic recording with the beautiful, typical atmospheres these wretched Britons have always been renowned for; in fact, in my humble opinion, this impeccable live capture of the Bride's enchantment only falls short of perfection owing to two anthems whose presence is cruelly missed -- the monumental "A Sea to Suffer In" and the classic "The Forever People". Not only does _The Voice of the Wretched_ easily fill the previously vacant space left by a live recording to be in My Dying Bride's discography, it also reveals itself to be a totally indispensable item in any melancholic, atmospheric doom/death lovers CD collection."]

(article published 3/7/2002)

7/3/2002 P Azevedo My Dying Bride: Thus Spake the Wretched
1/14/2002 A Bromley My Dying Bride: The Hand of Doom
12/9/1999 P Azevedo My Dying Bride: The Bride Returns to the Bleak Rainy Moors
11/19/1998 P Azevedo My Dying Bride: The Bride No Longer Wears Black
4/9/1997 A Bromley My Dying Bride: Behold the Bride
3/14/1996 A Bromley My Dying Bride: Dying With Pride
11/27/2012 P Azevedo 8.5 My Dying Bride - A Map of All Our Failures
6/15/2009 K Sarampalis 6.5 My Dying Bride - For Lies I Sire
7/13/2008 P Azevedo 7 My Dying Bride - An Ode to Woe
10/23/2006 P Azevedo 7.5 My Dying Bride - A Line of Deathless Kings
9/26/2006 P Azevedo 7.5 My Dying Bride - Deeper Down EP
12/17/2005 Q Kalis My Dying Bride - Anti-Diluvian Chronicles
10/10/2005 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - Sinamorata DVD
3/23/2004 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
7/3/2002 P Azevedo 9.5 / 9 My Dying Bride - For Darkest Eyes DVD
Anathema - A Vision of a Dying Embrace DVD
10/19/2001 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - The Dreadful Hours
8/12/2001 P Azevedo 8.5 My Dying Bride - Meisterwerk II
1/10/2001 P Azevedo 8 My Dying Bride - Meisterwerk I
12/9/1999 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - The Light at the End of the World
11/19/1998 P Azevedo 7 My Dying Bride - 34.788%... Complete
2/4/1997 P Azevedo 10 My Dying Bride - Like Gods of the Sun
3/14/1996 A Bromley 8 My Dying Bride - The Angel and the Dark River
7/3/2002 P Azevedo My Dying Bride / Mysterium Catharsis in Doom
3/13/2001 V Anderson My Dying Bride / Katatonia / Soundisciples / Beyond Dawn / Thine The Snow in Their Hearts
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