I do not have a problem when a band experiments with its sound because this proves the artist's unrest and creativity urges. But when this experimentation reaches the point when this band has nothing to do with the past apart from the moniker then I become furious. If you want to gravely change your sound or even find another musical path to follow then you just have to change your name. This has nothing to do with artistic freedom; it is all about the family being formed from the band itself and the loyal fans that surrounded. But this is not all from me since there is another case that I cannot stand. Some of those bands realize that the new artistic direction does not work and decide to 'return' to where they have been rejecting the first decision and pretend that it didn't exist. If you have the 'balls' to make such a change then keep them to support it! Of course, this is a vicious circle that goes on and on if you think harder but on the end of the day it is just a matter of taste. Nevertheless, one of the bands that have been in and out of the Metal scene is THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. Many believe that they manage to get the beast and the beauty vocals into a higher level in Gothic Metal albums Velvet Darkness They Fear and Aegis.Liv Kristine became a strong persona through her 'fragile' looks that created the perfect contrast to the Metal music and Raymond's deep growls. But something happened in the 00s and THEATRE OF TRAGEDY took a 180 degrees turn entering the techno realms turning off almost all of their fans. Seasons do change and the Norse band decided to end this bizarre break and get back to their Gothic Metal territories. In this attempt they enlisted Nell Sigland who made her debut to Storm three years ago. Forever Is The World is their second step towards their prime sound where -as the promo sheet reads- have dismissed all the electronic sounds. Hide And Seek is the album opener that underlines the term Gothic Metal. Growling male vocals join the mid and -yes- heavy tempo into a mould that seems to have more to do with THEATRE OF TRAGEDY's past than their previous electronic works. Nell appears somewhere before the chorus bringing to mind the THE GATHERING days of Mrs. Anneke. The bass guitar sounds dominates the songs enhancing the Metal profile that we all missed having. Regardless of the band's opinion I believe that Nell has many similarities with Liv leaving aside the soprano profile. Nell has a Rock oriented voice and in moments is close to SIRENIA's Ailyn. The Gothic tag in the album's description is totally justified through the down mood atmosphere and the keyboard melodic additions that have little to do with the recent non-Metal past. The THE GATHERING feeling of the How To Measure A Planet days are found in the most melodic Transition and Frozen that have managed to be my choices for the album's highlights. But this is not all; the TIAMAT -in the Wildhoney vein- linings in Hollow and the FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM finishing touches in Deadland are also in the Gothic-to-check-list that gives THEATRE OF TRAGEDY some additional kudos. On the other hand, the mainstream approach in Forever Is The World and Transition in the vein of Storm is the major drawback to this alleged 'turning back to their' roots thing. I just wish the record labels to stop using such as these pompous statements that surely confuse the listener and raise expectations for something totally old-school. The bottom line is that THEATRE OF TRAGEDY made a solid step towards rehabilitation from the techno days with a nice album that can bring some of the old fans back or at least make them reconsider re-installing this band in their Metal list.
Hide And Seek A Nine Days Wonder Revolution Transition Hollow Astray Frozen Illusions Deadland Forever Is The World
Nell Sigland - Vocals Raymond Istvan Rohonyi - Vocals Frank Claussen - Guitar Vegard K. Thorsen - Guitar Hein Frode Hansen - Drums Lorentz Aspen - Keyboards