My Dying Bride

For Darkest Eyes (Live In Krakow 1 Mar 1996)

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For a 2002 release, My Dying Bride's DVD compilation For Darkest Eyes oddly focuses on nothing newer than 1996. However, a strong argument could be made that this collection of live performances and promo video clips captures the British doom-goth merchants during their creative prime, before the group was wracked with lineup changes and possibly questionable songwriting decisions (see the experimental 1998 album 34.788%...Complete). The centerpiece of this DVD is a Krakow, Poland, gig recorded in 1996, presented here with a little more flair than your typical cheapie concert video; the show is very nicely mixed in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, and offers a slightly more dynamic assemblage of camera angles than usual. However, whether you'll sit through an hour-plus of agonizingly slow, depressing doom metal depends on your dedication to these proficient navel-gazers -- and the same goes for the rest of the DVD's contents, including six promotional videos (ranging from the amateurish to the overdramatic, especially "The Cry of Mankind," which features vocalist Aaron Stainthorpe as a bleeding Jesus Christ complete with crown of thorns), a four-song live set from 1995's Dynamo Festival (which fans will recognize as the same show from the bonus CD packaged with the Angel and the Dark River album), some photo galleries, and a couple of shoddily recorded early gigs. Over three hours of footage does not a bad value make, especially for diehards, but fans of MDB's latter period will be a bit disappointed.

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