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Theatre of Tragedy : Aégis

This album is the real follow up to 'Velvet Darkness They Fear'. It includes a change of style of the band. Apparently they didn't want to end up as a stereotyped band, that always gets labelled "Beauty and the Beast". The evolution of their sound is one that turned some of the older fans off. The difference with their self-titled debut album is very big indeed.

On this album, Theatre of Tragedy chose a more electronic, softer direction. The guitar distortion is left away, Raymond doesn't growl anymore and a mere minimalistic and mellow atmosphere come to the front. The songs are backed up by programmed drum loops now and then. But the same down atmosphere of the previous releases is still there, that kind of feeling you also have when listening to The Sisters of Mercy and similar bands.

Again this album has no real ups and downs. But this time, also the similarities between the songs are bigger. Whereas on 'Velvet Darkness They Fear', every song had an outspoken identity and was different from the other ones, the songs on 'Aégis' form a closer story. A main disappointment in this album might be the disappearance of the dynamic dialogues between Raymond's and Liv's vocals. The lyrics still contain a few parts of interaction, but mostly both vocalists sing their own part, at times in support of or together with the other part. Needless to say that, with the lack of grunts, the singing flattened out a bit too. Positive points are the well written songs and the great guitar melodies. Both guitar players are new members in comparison to 'Velvet Darkness They Fear', but they seem to know their instruments very well.

After this album came a big tour through most of Europe, including the big D.O.A. festival. After that, the band left Massacre Records to join the Nuclear Blast label, on which they explored totally different paths, into the electro/gothic genre.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Cassandra
2. Lorelei
3. Angélique
4. Aœde
5. Siren
6. Samantha
7. Venus
8. Poppæa
9. Bacchante

Duration : Approx. 50 minutes.

Visit the Theatre of Tragedy bandpage.

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