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On disc: Theatre Of Tragedy

Forever Is The World - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
Last Curtain Call - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Last Curtain Call

Last Curtain Call
(AFM Records - 2011)

After 17 years in the business Norwegian gothic metal outfit Theatre Of Tragedy call it quits. The end this chapter with a concert in their home town Stavanger which they recorded for a double CD and DVD incl. one CD. I only have the tracks from the double CD at hand, so I can't tell you anything about the DVD, just that if it comes with only one CD, there will be some tracks missing... To get a better idea about the DVD watch the DVD trailer here:

So let's talk about the live album! The 16 tracks covering pretty well their entire career, but I miss a bit a real live atmosphere... If Nell Sigland wouldn't talk a little to the fans - usually just a 'tusen takk' - it would be like a studio album with applause taking up the 2 second pause between the songs. A die-hard fan might hear differences between the originals and the live recording - beside that you get Nell singing Liv Kristine's songs.

Personally I would prefer the DVD/CD package, but at the end of the day you have to make up your mind what to buy.

Track list:

CD 1
01. Hide And Seek
02. Bring Forth Ye Shadow
03. Frozen
04. Ashes And Dreams
05. A Rose For The Dead
06. Fragment
07. And When He Falleth
08. Venus

CD 2
01. Hollow
02. Storm
03. Image
04. A Hamlet For A Slothful Vassal
05. Fade
06. Machine
07. Der Tanz Der Schatten
08. Forever Is The World

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Forever Is The World

Forever Is The World
(AFM Records - 2009)

Theatre Of Tragedy started in the early 90's from Norway and presented an interesting mix of death / doom and gothic with male and female vocals. In the early years singer Raymond Rohonyi was joined by Liv Kristin Espenaes. The band released several albums and made themselves known in the dark and gothic metal scene. They started into the new millennium with a more electro / industrial sound, something not everybody welcomed. Now they seem to turn back and re-discover their early sound.
Forever Is The World kicks off with Hide And Seek, a dark rocker which shows the 'beauty and the beast' vocals. And reminds me of their early albums... At A Nine Day Wonder they are more symphonic and singer Nell Sigland is performing this one without her male counterpart Raymond. The guitars partly remind me of Paradise Lost at Draconian Times, but the song is less heavy and aggressive, more a bittersweet-kinda tune. At Revolution Nell Sigland is again alone handling the vocals, this time in a higher timbre - and actually I think she's doing better when she sings slightly deeper... She's more expressive then. The symphonic track is soon forgotten, it has nothing catchy or memorable. The following Transition doesn't differ much, only the riffs are heavier... more aggressive. Hollow shows them more vivid with an interesting drum beat and varying vocals. One of the highlights off Forever Is The World, partly because Raymond joins in again. Theatre Of Tragedy are best when they combine the vocals, the songs have more depth. At Astray they bring back the electro sounds, but combined with heavy riffs, angelic vocals and the dark male voice of Raymond who is doing spoken words instead of growls. At Illusions, a slow symphonic tune, Nell's vocals are a bit more expressive and Raymond's words are almost whispered, then they speed up and get heavier. Another cool tune. After the up-tempo rocker Deadland Lorentz Aspen's keyboard leads you into the symphonic title track. Later the band joins in, the song get a bit heavier. But don't expect a real rocker with crunchy riffage!
Forever Is The World is reviving the 90's sound of Theatre Of Tragedy, even if you'll find some other elements, too. But it would have done the album good, if Raymond would be more present. Fans of their electro / industrial era will be disappointed, but some old fans will welcome the return to the darker sounds, even if they are less heavy. Check out: Hide And Seek, Hollow, Deadland and Illusions.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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