My Dying Bride - _For Darkest Eyes DVD_
(Peaceville, 2002)
Anathema - _A Vision of a Dying Embrace DVD_
(Peaceville, 2002)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9.5 / 9 out of 10)
These are re-releases of the original VHS tapes that originally came out in 1997. The My Dying Bride DVD features a few extra features, whilst the Anathema contains nothing new. As a result of this and the fact that the original MDB video already contained more material than the Anathema, the MDB DVD has more than twice the total length of the Anathema. Anathema's _A Vision of a Dying Embrace_ features four promotional videos ("Sweet Tears", "Mine Is Yours to Drown In", "The Silent Enigma" and "Hope"), whilst My Dying Bride's _For Darkest Eyes_ contains six of them ("Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium", "The Thrash of Naked Limbs", "The Songless Bird", "I Am the Bloody Earth", "The Cry of Mankind" and "For You"). It goes without saying that the older videos are rather more amateurish than the more recent ones, but their presence is nonetheless well justified. The main section of both DVDs is comprised of each band's respective live performance in Krakow, in March 1996, a show that was professionally recorded in terms of video and audio. The camera work is very good, and on DVD you get a great audio experience as well. (For some reason, however, the MDB DVD comes with Dolby Surround 5.1, whilst the Anathema is just Dolby Stereo 2.0.) My Dying Bride were headliners on that gig, hence you get to hear more of them than Anathema. The Anathema track listing included a selection of tracks from their classic _The Silent Enigma_, plus a couple from the _Pentecost III_ EP and a re-working of "Sleepless" from their equally classic debut _Serenades_. My Dying Bride's set was based on _The Angel and the Dark River_ and _Turn Loose the Swans_, an era which many believe to have been their finest. This means you get to see Martin Powell on violin and keyboard playing live with MDB, as well as original drummer Rick Myah and guitarist Calvin Robertshaw. Both of their live performances are excellent, although one does need to keep in mind that both bands were a lot younger back then. Having seen them live since, I can appreciate that but it doesn't hamper my enjoyment of these DVDs. This is also partly because both bands were captured at a very good stage in their careers, although one might argue that Anathema were still going through a transition with Darren White leaving the band. In fact, had this been a longer gig following _Eternity_ -- featuring the songs off _The Silent Enigma_ that we can find here plus a good selection from _Eternity_ -- it would have been the equal of My Dying Bride's set. The My Dying Bride DVD also include a relatively lo-fi 1993 gig in Holland and a 1992 performance of "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium", as well as the band's 1995 Dynamo appearance and a photo gallery. Overall, these are two superb DVDs for the music they contain, although flawed in the sense that the Anathema is rather brief and both could have had more enticing extras. As a result, it may be a rather frustrating purchase for those who paid for the VHS editions a few years ago. But the quality and commodity of DVD is far superior to that of VHS, and the contents are well worth it.

(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 7 Anathema - Weather Systems
11/27/2012 P Azevedo 8.5 My Dying Bride - A Map of All Our Failures
12/8/2010 P Azevedo 9.5 Anathema - We're Here Because We're Here
6/15/2009 K Sarampalis 6.5 My Dying Bride - For Lies I Sire
9/17/2008 P Azevedo 9 Anathema - Hindsight
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
1/31/2005 P Azevedo 9 Anathema - Were You There?
3/23/2004 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - Songs of Darkness, Words of Light
1/30/2004 P Azevedo 8 Anathema - A Natural Disaster
7/3/2002 P Azevedo 10 My Dying Bride - The Voice of the Wretched
10/19/2001 P Azevedo 7.5 Anathema - A Fine Day to Exit
10/19/2001 P Azevedo 9 My Dying Bride - The Dreadful Hours
8/12/2001 P Azevedo 9 Anathema - Resonance
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
7/7/1999 P Azevedo 9 Anathema - Judgement
11/19/1998 P Azevedo 7 My Dying Bride - 34.788%... Complete
7/8/1998 P Azevedo 9 Anathema - Alternative 4
2/4/1997 P Azevedo 8 Anathema - Eternity
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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