My Dying Bride - _Sinamorata DVD_
(Peaceville, 2005)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
_Sinamorata_ is My Dying Bride's second DVD and third live release overall. Their first DVD _For Darkest Eyes_ (originally a VHS release) showed the band's first few years, up to _The Angel and the Dark River_, while their live CD _The Voice of the Wretched_ spans their career until _The Light at the End of the World_ (with just a little preview of _The Dreadful Hours_ thrown in as well). Both were superb releases, each a classic in its own right; therefore _Sinamorata_ had a lot to live up to. This wasn't such a difficult challenge as it might seem, however: the two studio albums My Dying Bride released after _The Voice of the Wretched_ would certainly provide fine sources of material with which to build this new live DVD. But wait, that's not quite what they have done, is it?

Rather than a collection of tracks from their last two albums -- the ones that hadn't been featured in live releases before -- with just a couple of older tracks thrown in for good measure, _Sinamorata_ instead tries to span the band's entire career. That's right: everything between 1992's _As the Flower Withers_ and 2004's _Songs of Darkness, Words of Light_. Everything? Alas, no. For all their laudable ambition and careful picking of at least one track from each full-length album, they somehow left out arguably the biggest classic of them all: _Turn Loose the Swans_. _TLtS_ has already been covered in the previous DVD, and there was no real need to do it again; but it would have given avid fans a nice feeling of completeness considering the rest of the set list. So why pick two tracks from _The Angel and the Dark River_, which was equally featured in the previous DVD, and none from _Turn Loose the Swans_? But this is ultimately just a detail, so let's move on.

The gig that makes up most of this DVD was recorded at Hof Ter Lo in Antwerp, Belgium, in late 2003. It is a quality venue, and both visuals and sound are of a similarly high standard. There is nothing amateurish about the gig, the looks of the DVD or even its menu structure. If you read the previous paragraph, you will have gathered that the twelve-song set list is as varied as it can get for MDB, and covers a multitude of stages in their career -- hell, no less than seven full-length albums are represented. The band's performance cannot be faulted, and their rendition of the original "Sear Me" from _As the Flower Withers_ is stirring, to say the least. Even better: it is followed by potent concert finisher "The Fever Sea". The gig also starts in sublime fashion, with the extremely suitable "The Dreadful Hours" followed up by the intense "The Raven and the Rose". The newer material, represented by three tracks from their latest album _Songs of Darkness, Words of Light_ and two from its predecessor _The Dreadful Hours_, works unsurprisingly well with the older songs.

Aside from my relative complaint about the omission of _Turn Loose the Swans_ from such an otherwise complete set list, the only other negative point in that gig for me concerns Aaron's woefully inadequate white outfit and a little of his more exaggerated stage acting. His vocal performance is excellent however, more assured than before yet still retaining the same frailness. None of this is a real stain on the quality of the gig and its capture onto DVD, which is sure to please virtually any fan of MDB.

For dessert, four video clips have been included: two professionally shot and two created by fans. "The Prize of Beauty" is a competent band-centered video with some unnecessary winking at gothic crowds, while "The Blue Lotus" takes on a more abstract approach with rather tepid results. With a much more home-made feel, "My Hope, the Destroyer" and "My Wine in Silence" mix interesting images and ideas with some cringe-inducing, excessively youthful ones. Still a nice touch, with the label providing this opportunity to some select fans.

Overall, MDB fans will find this a mandatory purchase. It is a solid release, and while it is not without its minor faults, it should definitely please said fans. It will hardly make any naysayers change their mind about the band, but it does provide a very good starting point for those who are not yet familiar with this fundamental doom metal act.


(article published 10/10/2005)

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
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
7/3/2002 P Azevedo 10 My Dying Bride - The Voice of the Wretched
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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