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THEATRE OF TRAGEDY : Storm : AFM Records
Its a sad but true fact that you can't actually review this album without comparing Theatre Of Tragedy to both Within Temptation and Evernescence. Not that there is anything wrong with the former comparison (we reserve our judgement on the latter), in fact many a band would consider it an honour to be alined to such a strong outfit. The sad fact comes into play when you realise that Theatre Of Tragedy have been around for longer that either comparison and making head strong Gothic tinged Metal for a good few years.
As is always the case though, its never genre forefathers that reep reward, just the bands that follow in their footsteps.
By now you'll have a pretty good idea of how Theatre.... sound, but don't think they are a reinvented identakit offering. This is a band that have been pouring their collective hearts out for far to many years to suddenly start bandwagon free rides. The similarities are obvious in that the sound is full of hooks, polished production and a rather attractive front woman with a set of lungs that will undoutably seduce you into their world of big hitting choruses and hooks that will simply capture your very soul.
The album kicks off in fine style with the title track which sees a strong trade off of vocals between long standing member Raymond I.Rhonya and new girl Nell Sigland, who although having been in the band for some years makes her recording debut replacing Liv Kristine. Again comparisons are going to happen, but its fair to say that although Nell doesn't sound to different to Liv, she has added another dimension to the overall sound, making it all feel a lot warmer.
The vocal trade off's continue between Nell and Raymon throughout with neither overpowering each other, only succeeding in complimenting each other and of course the underling music which in itself is rich and full of flavour. The guitar work is strong and perfectly matched to an orchestrated keyboard set up that displays at times some supreme touches.
The pace is varied throughout, with only one power ballad which is practically obligatory in this day and age. All in all this is a very strong album and one that sort of took me by surprise. In saying that though with a pedigree such as the one that Theatre Of Tragedy display no one should have expected anything different.