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When I hear the name “Theatre of Tragedy”, the image of a band which had a great impact on the development of the gothic metal genre with its early albums pops up in my mind. But here we are, yet to face another, completely different face of the band. Yes, this is not metal, it’s not even goth music. This is electro pop/rock. However, I think the goths who listen to industrial and EBM would enjoy it.
But let’s concentrate on the music. It’s happy, it’s up-beat, it’s full of positive emotions and you can chill out while listening to this album. Well it’s not something really unique but the band has put their talent in making this a nice and interesting album. Its mood really fits the modern nightlife in a big metropolis. While listening to “Assembly” I feel like I’m in a club where the people are dancing wild on the floor. So it’s logical that the lyrics deal with flirting and modern life in somewhat a funny way.
There are two main elements that build up the music:
The popish synthesized sounds that actually are complex and a bit eccentric, so that they cannot be found in a song by some pop diva. They are the key part of the melody and are responsible for the pleasant club atmosphere. I personally “see” them as strange floating and intertwining neon lights.
And the guitars, simple and not heavy at all. But they load the music with energy, which is actually their main purpose, because here the synthesizers are in the front place, as in most electro rock bands.
I assume there are drums but it seems that they were killed by the electronic beats.
The vocals are, of course, perfectly performed by Liv. She doesn’t sing in the same vein as in the first albums, and has approached in somewhat pop-manner to her singing, which really fits the atmosphere. However, although I don’t really like the robot voice of Raymond, especially in their last album “Storm”, here he finds his place.
Of course it’s not a perfect release, there are some weak parts, some mediocre tunes. But as a whole it’s a well-done album and most of the songs have their memorable parts. I would recommend this album to all open-minded music fans or those who would like to explore the territory or the electronic music.
After the near fatal horror or Musique, Theatre of Tragedy continued their descent into electopop, but unlike Musique- Assembley is good electropop. Now don't get me wrong, I like gothic metal and it hurt like hell to watch one of the most important gothic metal bands turn into some sort of club music, but where Musique was bad club music, Assembly is at least a better album.
In the world of electronica that means catchy, fun and happy. And somehow a band called "Theatre of Tragedy" managed to make a happy pop sort of album. There is no variety in the sound, all electronic, all sung with light voices and lighter lyrics about space, flowers and sex. There is no real quality beyond the fact that it sticks in your head with funny little phrases and notes repeated so much that you can't help but start thinking them. It all plays like the soundtrack to a sci-fi romantic comedy.
If you like real gothic metal, stick with the first 3 albums. If you need a break from gothic induced depression and good music, get this. That's not sarcasm, that's a good review. Kind of.
What I first noticed when listening to this album was the text. The (very) stupid lyrics. The music sounded pretty interesting during the first song (Automatic Lover) but the title of the song and the lyrics pretty much defined the rest of the album: idiotic text and techno/rock music. While I don’t particularly dislike this kind of stuff, it’s definitely Theatre Of Tragedy’s worst album. Their previous release, Musique, was much better than this and Aegis is light years away. Since I like Theatre Of Tragedy, I'll make an exception to my own rule and spend some time in writing a review about something I don't love. I don't hate this album, but it's definitely a disappointment.
What annoys me most are the lyrics. I can’t really stand listening to music when stupid words are being shot at me ears like bullets in my stomach. Even so, I’m going to try and make a super-human effort and ignore this aspect (even if it’s so hard considering the lyrics are sang, not screamed, which makes them more understandable, unfortunately!). So, let’s concern ourselves only with the music on this lowly release.
I don’t know what they were thinking when they recorded this stuff. ‘cause it wasn’t metal, that’s for sure. On some songs, the guitars are used only as filling material and dare-say, the entire album revolves around keyboards, not around guitars. While this might be okay in other situations, it’s not here, since the guitar arrangements are too simple and… simply dumb. They might as well have used a keyboard simulation of a guitar. Anyway, the music isn’t terrible. It’s just… the worst I heard from Theatre Of Tragedy. However. Some songs have really good parts, such as the beginning of “Episode” or “Starlit” or “Automatic Lover”. There are highlights, no doubt about this. But this isn’t enough. The album seems like a happy-horse-shit collection of songs with meaningless lyrics, stretched on a techno-rock instrumental platform. Liv Kristine’s last album as vocal for Theatre Of Tragedy is a sad piece of sound compared to their past works. It looks like it’s turning into a habit with these girls… Tristania’s last album with Vibeke was also their worst. I wouldn’t buy this CD and I would even advice people against it. Go get Aegis instead, it’s a fantastic album. Or, at the opposite ends, Velvet Darkness They Fear (old style) or Musique (new style) are better options.