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Excellent return! - 100%

grimdoom, May 31st, 2008

Starting their life the way many Goth Metal bands do, as a Doomdeath act, Theatre of Tragedy raised the bar a bit higher than many of their contemporaries with the addition of a female singer. This in and of itself isn't revolutionary, however, the fact that she had just as much if not more time singing than the male is.

Shortly after their third recording the bands leader decided to shed their metallic skin for a far more trendy/radio friendly synth-pop sound. A few albums later the female singer departed for heavier wears and Theatre was left with a decision. Thankfully they made the right one and returned to a more Metal sound.

On 'Strom' we hear an excellent Gothic Metal release with more than a few passing nods to 'One Second' era Paradise Lost (specifically in the Keyboards). The production is very good, and overall there is little to get upset about. The worst part of this is male vocals which are nothing more than spoken word parts.

The guitars sound is if they are nothing more than amp overdrive. The bass is clean and drums are competent. The keyboards, while not as brilliant as on prior releases certainly hold their own, but they add an underlying pop feel to many of the songs (not a terrible thing mind you, but not necessarily what you would expect to hear).

New comer Nell has well honed chops of her own. She has a very different voice but it fits the music well. She certainly has a wide range that is a mid to high (almost child like at times) that adds an ethereal quality to the music at large.

The songs are in the verse chorus verse format and are mostly energetic love anthems. There are slight dirges of sorrow that are accented by Nell’s unique vocals. There honestly aren't any weak links here; this is a pretty solid release from these prodigal children. Here's to hoping they keep it up.