|Although being highly impressed when I first heard Theatre of Tragedy's work, I must admit the more I listend to their albums, the more boring it got. Musically weak; based around simple melodies that quickly start to repeat and having one of the weakest female vocalists around, Liv Kristine. The music needs the piano to keep it interesting and without this, it quickly falls apart. Shamefully however the piano parts are not the best around either. As such my intentions to review this album might be questionable.|
However, not only considering the huge fan base this band has (and as such they must do something right), I can not blindly bash this album. Being one of the first bands doing the so called "beauty and the beast" style (a female angel vs. male grunts), they have done ground breaking work for the later gothic-metal genre. Also as long as the piano accompanies the songs and both Raymond and Liv are engaged in vocal battle, the album remains interesting.
In respect to what I just said, it might sound strange that for me the highlight of the CD is the tearjerker '... a Distance there is ...'. Featuring just a piano, Cello and Liv, who for once does not sound like she's singing through her nose, this track will always appeal to me.
All in all, Theatre of Tragedy are not as bad as I'd like to make them out to be, but they are also not as good as many of their fans think they are. This band and this album is a good example of the start of a genre that later spew forth a lot of better bands like Trail of Tears, Within Temptation and After Forever. All bands that perfected the ideas Theatre of Tragedy never could make work just right.
1. A Hamlet for a Slothful Vassal
2. Cheerful Dirge
3. To these Words I beheld no Tongue
4. Hollow-Heartèd, Heart-Departèd
5. ... a Distance there is ...
6. Sweet art Thou
8. Dying - I only feel Apathy
Duration : Approx. 44 minutes.
Visit the Theatre of Tragedy bandpage.