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My Dying Bride
Meisterwerk I
January 2001
Released: 2000, Peaceville Records
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson

Ah yes, part one of a two-part My Dying Bride best-of compilation! Through the band’s web site, fans were allowed to choose their favorite songs for inclusion on these compilations, the first few of which appear here! I say the “first few” because there are only eight tracks on Meisterwerk I. The band’s songs are so long, what can you expect!? And out of these eight songs, four of them are rare! Damn right brothers and sisters, rare material is were it’s at! Two songs have been taken from the band’s four-song Towards the Sinister demo. They are “Symphonaire Infernus Et Spera Empyrium” and “The Grief of Age”. “Symphonaire…” opens the disc and this demo version is amazingly dark! This is My Dying Bride at their heaviest! The extremely thick, detuned, and distorted guitars meshed with keyboards that lurk in the shadows of the cold, dark forests and ruins of abandoned building ruins outdoes the final version of this song that ended up on the EP of the same name. “Grief of Age” is pure early My Dying Bride, complete with blast beats. This song was never recorded for an album or EP release, so revel in its glory here! Another rare track is the “Portishell Mix” of “Grace Unhearing”. No, this is not a bullshit dance/techno remix of the song, just a different mix. Nothing too special, but it is at least interesting. “Unreleased Bitterness” also rears its head. This early version of “The Bitterness and the Bereavement” is extremely rough-sounding, but for diehard fans like me, it is a welcome surprise! The other four tracks on Meisterwerk I are all album-version classics and include the twelve-minute depressive masterpiece “The Crown of Sympathy”, the aggressive yet tranquil “A Kiss to Remember”, the I’m-surprised-this-song-was-included-even-though-it-does-kick-ass “For You”, and finally the already-classic “Sear Me III” from the band’s latest album The Light at the End of the World. But it doesn’t merely end there. Also included is the freakin’ awesome video for one of my favorite My Dying Bride songs, “The Cry of Mankind”! Like I said, awesome video, even if the song is edited to shorten it. And you know that repetitive guitar line that opens the song and continues throughout its entire length without ever changing? Pay attention to Calvin, he plays that throughout he video, which I thought was surprising. Also included in the multimedia portion of the disc is a simple discography section that shows what each album, EP, 7”, and demo looks like. The packaging for this CD is an excellent multi-foldout digipak, with lyrics for every song. The only thing lacking is liner notes and photos. I’ve seen Meisterwerk I advertised as including “liner notes”, but there are none, unless my copy of the CD is missing something. Every My Dying Bride fan needs this CD! I anxiously await part two! Check out the band’s web site at:
Track Listing






Next review: » My Dying Bride - Songs Of Darkness, Words Of Light
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