without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
When I nabbed this DVD for about 9 bucks used I thought I’d gotten a nice companion to the MDB DVD (For Darkest Eyes). After all, the main concert performances are from the same gig. Also this is the last document to Anathema’s existence as a Metal band, as the influences of Radiohead and Pink Floyd permeated this band afterward and led them eventually to their present state of radio friendly mediocrity. But whereas Peaceville made a very nice effort on the reissue of the MDB DVD, adding lots of extra live footage, this DVD reissue reeks of pure laziness. The DVD is precisely the same as the VHS release with only an added photo-gallery as an extra.
First up are the promo videos, which are done competently. My favourite video would be for Mine Is Yours to Drown In (Ours is the New Tribe), but none of the videos are remarkable in any way. Thankfully the pompous spoken word intro of Hope was removed for the video version.
The live performance, the centerpiece of this release, does suffer as well. The main weakness is Danny Cavanaugh’s inexperience as a frontman. It's not his fault really but his lack of poise is clear to see, and during spoken-word segments of some songs (Shroud of Frost for example) he just continues to use his weak growl as opposed to the spoken word style, but this may be more traceable to the limitations of a live environment.
I also have qualms with the song selection, as all but 3 songs were taken from The Silent Enigma. I realize they were touring on this disc and they were the opening act but I would’ve liked to see another song or two from Serenades, Crestfallen or Pentecost III. Another qualm I have is the song selection itself. Although they picked many of the stronger cuts from The Silent Enigma, some songs (Shroud of Frost and the Sunset of Age most notably) come trough poorly in the live arena due to the fact that partly what made those songs so brilliant was the usage of studio effects. For example, the multitracked vocals on Sunset of Age created a really haunting aura to that song, in the live arena it comes through flat sounding, the band didn’t even have someone doing backup vocals to help.
Another pet peeve is the inclusion of the song Kingdom from Pentecost. This is one of my favourite songs by this band, and it seems ideally suited to a live performance as it contains the heaviest riff of this band's entire career. But the song is extremely truncated; the band only playing the climactic heavy part of the song, and without that slow build-up the crescendo loses much of its impact.
Overall, This isn’t a terrible DVD; songs like Restless Oblivion and Sleepless do come through well. Its rather mediocre and I’m at a loss as to why neither the label nor the band added anything of substance to this reissue. This isn’t worth the value of a full-priced DVD, get it used if you can but this isn’t worth 20$. As I mentioned earlier, its probably best viewed as a document to see what this band was like while they still played Metal.