Tempting Tragedy

Descent Into Madness

Written by: PP on 24/01/2011 02:27:48

Seeing the word 'gothic' used in connection of a band I'm about to review makes me cringe. So often does the categorization lead into generic, nothing saying, unoriginal symphonic metal fronted by an identikit female vocalist who you can't tell apart from the next chick. One exception exists in gothic rock, the softer and usually male-dominated side of the genres. These kind of bands tend to originate from Finland, I've found, with bands like The 69 Eyes, HIM, For My Pain..., Poisonblack and countless others showing how gothic can also equate to catchy and enjoyable alternative rock. Nothing fancy, just simple, straight-forward riffs and some good dark vocals laid on top.

Tempting Tragedy, from Eastern Canada, attempt just that on their sophomore album "Descent Into Madness". The opening song "Calamities" makes a HIM connection pretty damn obvious with some tortured male vocals in the start, though later the band move towards a cleaner and more alternative rock sound of bands like The 69 Eyes. Sentenced is a possible influence as well, but Tempting Tragedy aren't really melancholic, just dark in their sound, both vocal and instrumental. They've stringed together a couple of reasonably catchy tracks, but not much more than that, hence my earlier use of the word 'attempt'.

You see, while the premise of straight forward gothic rock guarantees at least some level of satisfaction to the listener, as a whole their expression is a little underwhelming. The vocalist hits the notes alright, but lacks an identity you'd remember. The riffs are decent, but never more than that. The inclusion of some subtle keys is a nice touch, but it won't save this album from what it essentially is: a middle of the road, average alternative/gothic rock album, stressing the word "average" here. I'm left wishing for a few powerful choruses that'd sweep me away, instead you just get a bunch of 'OK' tracks but none that you'd seek out when browsing your playlist. Ok effort, but better songwriting is needed to improve on our rating scale.

5

Download: Deep Divide, Calamities, Ignite
For the fans of: The 69 Eyes, HIM, Entwine, Poisonblack
Listen: Myspace

Release date September 2010
Self-Released

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