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True romantic music - 95%

Lasombra1750, February 26th, 2013

Macbeth's debut album, Romantic Tragedy's Crescendo, is one of the finest gothic metal albums I've heard and the best one that the Italian band has released. At first I was attracted by the cover of the album which, by the way, is one of the best and most beautiful covers I have ever seen, but I loved the disc after listening it because of the many emotions that the lyrics and the music make you feel.

Despite Macbeth being a traditional "Beauty and the Beast band" at this point, their music has something very particular in it and huge staying power. The vocals certainly are the most interesting feature on this album, especially Cristina's tender baby-like voice which, despite lacking the range of the sopranos that rule the genre, has a lot of emotion and is quite unique. Her vocals remind me of Anneke van Giersbergen and Annie Haslam. On the other hand, Vittorio's vocals also have their own charm as they are not the traditional death metal growls. In fact, they are nearer to black metal since they are way harsher and sharper, so think of Marcus Ehlin from Siebenbürgen if you want to associate them with something similar.

The music has a little pinch of melodic black metal influences, the most notorious being the harsh vocals, and examples of this are "Forever..." and "Thy Mournful Lover" with their violent outros featuring Vittorio's shrieks and "Black Heaven" with some tremolo-picked guitar riffs at the end of the song. The softer symphonic gothic side is also present with some passages of sheer beauty such as "The Dark Kiss of my Angel" with its piano-driven mid-section and its spoken female voice outro, "The Twilight Melancholy" mixing both upbeat and slow tempos, and the piano ballad "Moonlight Caress".

The lyrics mostly talk about love in its different forms. "Forever..." is a song about eternal love and the fear of losing the beloved person. "The Twilight Melancholy" talks about falling in love with a beautiful maiden and the burning desire of being at her side. But not all the lyrics are based around love. "Black Heaven" is a song about the cruelty of this world and God allowing such terrible acts. "Moonlight Caress" is an anthem to the moon and the night. "Sweet Endless Sleep" is obviously a song about death. The lyrics, though having some grammar and spelling mistakes since English is not the mother tongue of this band, are pretty simple, but very well-written and smart.

The guitar work is pretty simple, but very catchy and solid including some melodic guitar solos in "Forever..." and "Sweet Endless Sleep". After the vocals, the best aspect of the album is the drum work with Fabrizio giving an enthusiastic and technical performance behind the drum kit, showing off his best in "Black Heaven"'s relatively fast drumming and "Shadows of Eden"'s waltz-tempo drum work. If there is a word to define the keyboards, I would say "elegant", varying from string arrangements, church organs, and sad piano melodies. I cannot say anything about the bass since it is buried underneath the layers of guitars and keyboards.

As a whole, this is one of the best gothic metal albums and arguably one of the best metal albums released in the last years. It's such a shame that this album is pretty much overlooked and very hard to get, and that Macbeth has changed a lot after this album, losing their touch in favour of doing more accessible music. If you want to listen to Macbeth's music, this is the only album you need.

Highlights: the album as a whole, but if I have to choose: "Black Heaven", "Moonlight Caress", and "Sweet Endless Sleep".

The Twilight Melancholy Takes Form in Music - 93%

CHRISTI_NS_ANITY8, October 1st, 2007

I’m not a big gothic metal fan, not at all and now you surely want to know why I gave this album a mark like that, and I’m gonna explain you why. First of all, it’s not right to identify this album as a simple gothic one because it has something more. First of all, forget fucking Nightwish and all those commercial, boring bands that I don’t know even if they’re metal, because this album is different. This album has something raw in the vocal lines (growls) and in the music that is hard to explain but it gives to the sound the purity of a jewel.

The sincerity and the music that come out from this great album are like magic that captured me since I bought it (honestly I bought this album only for the cover art at first but after I started to love it). The gothic melodies, so sad and obscure, are well supported by a good production and the vocal lines give even something black metal to the sound. The growls are well balanced with the simple but tincredibly evocative clean vocals of the female singer, Cristina. Her voice draws landscapes of pure sorrow, sadness and love that in some parts are incredible soft and tender (Moonlight Caress song).

It’s too difficult to choose the best songs among these here, but the great “Forever…” is so beautiful with his great melodic solo; the violent and obscure “Thy Mournful Lover” or “Black Heaven” with his intro made of the only melody of keyboards supported by the sound of a bell and the rolls of drum, so evocative. The refrains are so catchy, but always extremely desolating and in some parts they give you the idea of a blessing that comes from a magic love, bringing your soul to another sky, where she will enjoy the light of another sun.

This album, honestly is almost unbelievable in its ability to give me different feelings that no one other ever gave me. I recommend this album to anyone who loves music for days of pouring rain and fog…awaiting something or someone that can give us the same emotions and I recommend this album especially to those who are tired of the new “gothic”-commercial music. Listen to this one instead and if it has captured me (a big black/death/thrash metal fan), surely you are gonna love this beautiful black gem.

A black diamond - 95%

Stormhelm, March 3rd, 2003

Macbeth may not be one of the most well-known gothmetal bands, but is certainly one of the better ones. The theme for the album is what one could probably call "dark love", tales of broken hearts, betrayed lovers and love gone bad. Quite typically gothic one could say, and also a bit "Romeo and Juliet-ish".

It starts off with the mood-creating "A gothic overture", where the sound of falling rain and thunderbolts sets the mood for the rest of the album. Then we have "Black Heaven" and "Forever...", which really brings out Cristina's beautiful vocals. Furthermore along the tracklisting we have songs like "Shadows Of Eden" and my personal favorite "The Dark Kiss of My Angel".

All in all a brilliant album, whose sound one could probably compare to early Tristania. I truly recommend it if you like gothmetal, and even if you don't, it is fully worth a listen or two.