Theatre Of Tragedy
Theatre of Tragedy


4.0
excellent

Review

by manosg CONTRIBUTOR (62 Reviews)
May 19th, 2014 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Doomy guitars with ethereal female vocals, death growls and piano combined seamlessly on a highly atmospheric debut.

In 1995 when people heard of a new band hailing from Norway, they expected blast beats, corpse paint, shrieked vocals and lo-fi production. Without a doubt, Theatre of Tragedy was an unconventional party from day one but not only because they distanced themselves from their Norwegian counterparts. Consisting of seven members and using instruments such as cello and piano along with heavy doomy guitars was a strong antithesis. However, even more peculiar for the time was the use of deep male growls along with female operatic vocals, a technique that became later popular by the term “Beauty and the Beast” vocal style. Moreover, Theatre of Tragedy’s debut features unconventional lyrics sung in Victorian English which also adds to the end result’s charm. All the above, resulted in a highly interesting hybrid that evoked feelings of melancholy and romanticism with a death metal twist.

Musically, Theatre of Tragedy can be categorized as a mix of doom and gothic metal similar to early Anathema, My Dying Bride, Paradise Lost or The Gathering’s debut. One moment the band uses harsh guitars and the next the listener enjoys an ominous, minimalistic piano melody that serves as introduction to the male or female vocals. Granted, when people hear of Theatre of Tragedy the “Beauty and the Beast” vocal style comes to their mind. Liv Kristine is very gifted at creating haunting and ethereal vocal melodies whereas the male singer Raymond Rohonyi plays the role of evil in a very convincing way with his death grunts. Nevertheless, the band’s debut features some very catchy melodies in tracks such as "A Hamlet for a Slothful Vassal" or "Dying - I Only Feel Apathy". Going back to the minimalistic statement mentioned above, the album’s standout track is probably "...A Distance There Is...". One of the most characteristic tracks in the band’s discography and a perfect winter theme, it is centered around Liv Kristine accompanied by piano, cello and the sound of falling rain.

Overall, Theatre of Tragedy is probably not the best or the most refined album in Theatre of Tragedy’s discography but it is a highly interesting work that influenced a number of bands that came after the Norwegians. The quality of music along with Dan Swano’s cold and dry yet fitting production, will probably be enjoyed not only by fans of gothic metal and The Peaceville Three but by those who seek highly atmospheric music for cold winter days or nights.



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user ratings (75)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
manosg
Contributing Reviewer
May 19th 2014


8130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great album for those of you who are into atmospheric metal of the ‘90s.



Full album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfTCJhGPqeQ



Your comments are much appreciated.

Digging: Hammer King - Kingdom Of The Hammer King

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 19th 2014


6724 Comments


Good review, pos.

First three Theatre of Tragedy albums were reissued recently, so that's saying something about the merit of this album.

Digging: Sacri Monti - Sacri Monti

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
May 19th 2014


8130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man.



That's good news. The production was really good on those albums so I guess they must have some additional tracks and stuff.

deslad
May 19th 2014


483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid review, and quite informational I might add. I haven't listened to their debut yet, however I will do so soon since I enjoy listening to this band.

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
May 19th 2014


8130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers! Seeing as you like Velvet Darkness so much, you'll enjoy this one too. However, this is a bit more harsh and may need a few more listens so give it some time ;)

EvoHavok
May 19th 2014


2205 Comments


Pos! Velvet Darkness They Fear is incredible.

Digging: Howls of Ebb - The Marrow Veil

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
May 19th 2014


8130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks man. Yeah, Velvet Darkness is awesome, one of my favorite albums ever.

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2014


8130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks dude. Knowing your taste a bit, I think you'll find it enjoyable.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
May 20th 2014


20758 Comments


sweet review bro, gonna have to check this band out

Digging: The Kinks - Muswell Hillbillies

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
May 21st 2014


8130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Much appreciated man! Whenever you're in a gloomy and atmospheric mood, give it a try.

deslad
June 30th 2014


483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I just listened to this and despite the fact that I didn't like it quite as much as their second album, this is still great.

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
July 3rd 2014


8130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed. Velvet Darkness is more theatrical than this one and it was also the album that got me into the band. Overall, it's a greater experience for me too.

bahlof
July 9th 2014


46 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh man I was not expecting this to be this good. I think I actually like it better than VDTF so far.

VermTheNedSlayer
July 9th 2014


291 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Band needs more love here

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2014


8130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely.

deslad
July 10th 2014


483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed; such a great band.

manosg
Contributing Reviewer
January 4th 2015


8130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Demo versions of,



A Hamlet for a Slothful Vassal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW3mP5aO8es

Dying -- I Only Feel Apathy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBrizP9SPjs



Not much in terms of sound quality but it's pretty cool to listen how this band evolved.



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