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Theatre of Tragedy : Velvet Darkness They Fear

After the release of their debut album, Theatre of Tragedy tried to find the perfect kind of music that was suited for the band, combining faery female vocals with a deep male grunt or parlando voice. This blended into this album, called 'Velvet Darkness They Fear' being a milestone in the metal genre, as it has lead to the appearance of that specific genre labelled "Beauty and the Beast metal". After this album, a lot of other bands emerged, trying to imitate the perfect vocalist duo of Theatre of Tragedy, with slow, dirging guitar melodies, a heavy layer of keyboards and a huge amount of atmosphere. Some bands reached the same level, but many didn't.

'Velvet Darkness They Fear' does not really have better or worse songs. The album floats gently on on the same high level. Climaxes maybe being the single 'Der Tanz der Schatten' and 'And When He Falleth', with a (very long) sample in the middle of it, coming from the movie The Masque of the Red Death, based on a novel by E.A. Poe. The band has very well looked at song structures and melodies, to match with the great pieces of word art (lyrics would be doing short to Raymond's efforts) written by their vocalist. Poems, little stories and even little plays are worked out between the two opposing voices.

The artwork of the booklet has become a stereotype for the genre too: purple velvet, an almost naked woman and the crossed roses that are the sign of Theatre of Tragedy. With releasing this album, Theatre of Tragedy set high standards for all bands in the genre, including themselves. Just too bad they couldn't live up to those standards with later releases...

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Velvet Darkness They Fear
2. Fair and 'Guiling Copesmate Death
3. Bring Forth ye Shadow
4. Seraphic Deviltry
5. And when He Falleth
6. Der Tanz der Schatten
7. Black as the Devil Painteth
8. On whom the Moon doth Shine
9. The Masquerader and Phoenix

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes.

Visit the Theatre of Tragedy bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Arnstein H. Pettersen
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