My first reaction when I heard of the impending release of a My Dying Bride live CD was, "It's about time!" Then, after I'd read the recording date (4 march 2001), my second reaction was, "A shame they didn't use a performance by the classic line-up."

I am glad to say that the current line-up (in the mean time minus session keyboardist Jasmin Ahmed) turns out to be capable of performing just fine, and the result captured on this CD is rather good to say the least. For starters there's an excellent choice of tracks, including "She is the Dark" (one of the finest tracks on "The Light at the End of the World") and plenty of old stuff. There's "The Snow in my Hand", for example, and the CD closes with "Symphonaire Infernus et Spera Empyrium"! Although the track is not played in its entirity, it is played up to and including the incredibly heavy and bombastic two-chord rhythmic part (i.e. longer than they did during the "Turn Loose the Swans" tour). The rather too experimental "34.788%...Complete" CD is represented by one of its better tracks, "Under Your Wing and Into Your Arms".

"The Voice of the Wretched" is a long playing and long overdue album featuring an excellently produced My Dying Bride show. My only gripe - which is to be expected - is that the violin parts on the pre-"34.788%..." tracks are but a shadow of the originals.

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Written May 2002


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