Theatre Of Tragedy

Forever Is The World

Written by: PP on 09/10/2009 16:57:53

Theatre Of Tragedy come roaring out the gates with a deep "Look at me" growl and a bleak atmosphere that quickly transitions into delicate, high pitch female vocal driven symphonic soundscape on the album opener "Hide And Seek". Yeah, we're dealing with gothic metal once again, but at least Theatre Of Tragedy have a tendency of being among the better bands in the genre, especially back in the 90s when their older albums influenced more or less the entire gothic metal genre. Their previous effort, "Storm", didn't particularly impress me though because it was their first without the excellent and renowned Liv Kristine (who can now be found in Leaves' Eyes), and new vocalist Nell was forced to fill shoes a good couple of sizes bigger than what she was used to.

But that was three years ago, and much has changed since then. From the opening notes of "Forever Is The World", Nell comes across as much more confident and prominent singer than she used to. Her voice is stronger, has more haunting melody to it, and it feels like she's trying to bring her own personality into her singing instead of just trying her best at sounding like Kristine, which was a problem on the previous album. Instrumentally, however, the band are still quite far from their past greatness, which you can see in a five minute track like "A Nine Days Wonder". Yeah, the high pitch symphonies are decent in places, but are they really the sort of stuff that warrants lots and lots of replay? I highly doubt that, unless you're a die hard Theatre Of Tragedy fan. Same goes for "Revolution": it's problem is exactly the same as I mentioned in my recent Echoes Of Eternity review - it follows the genre playbook slavishly without suggesting anything new to it. In fact, as soon as the band introduces a new element, such as the almost playful vocals in the industrial piece "Astray", the band are immediately infinitely more interesting. Another element that could've made a huge difference on this album would've been a more extensive usage of the deep growls, because whenever these appear right before or after Nell's delicate style, they bring a nice contrast that makes the songs just that much more interesting.

It's just too bad there aren't too many moments where Theatre Of Tragedy dare to experiment outside the box dimensions as defined by the genre. When they do, they are very good, but when they resort to gothic metal on auto pilot, they aren't very interesting. Nell has definitely become a better and more fitting singer for the band since the previous album, but even today, I still can't help but think that the band were just so much better when Liv Kristine was still around.


Download: Astray, Hide And Seek
For the fans of: Within Temptation, Tristania, Trail Of Tears
Listen: Myspace

Release date 18.09.2009
AFM Records

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