When it comes to gothic metal, Theatre of Tragedy is arguably the most popular and well known band around. Well, until they officially call it quits in October of this year. Anyway, from classic albums like VELVET DARKNESS THEY FEAR, through musical changes (adding electronica / industrial influences), to the acrimonious break-up in 2003 with femme fatale singer Liv Kristine (Leaves’ Eyes / Atrocity), the band has been at the forefront of the gothic metal scene since 1993. The band made a bit of a comeback in 2006 with the back-to-the-roots stylings of STORM, and returned in 2009 with what looks like their swansong album, FOREVER IS THE WORLD.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Theatre of Tragedy’s music. I’ve heard VELVET DARKNESS and AEGIS, but neither did much for me – I just don’t really dig gothic metal. However, I’m happy to report that FOREVER IS THE WORLD is an above-average gothic metal album that contains none of the industrial trappings heard on some of the band’s earlier output. From “Hide and Seek” through to the closing title track this is classic Theatre of Tragedy. Nell Sigland is an excellent vocalist for this type of music, her ethereal voice soaring over the music while the occasional appearance of original growler Raymond Rohonyi brings the grit the songs often lack. Make no mistake – this is a relatively light album, almost more goth-rock than metal.
However, this album suffers from the same problem that I find in almost all gothic metal; that is, lack of diversity. Despite some truly catchy songs like “Deadland” and “A Nine Days Wonder”, the album is too samey throughout its 40-minute run time.
I suspect that if this truly Theatre of Tragedy’s last album, that their long-time fans will be satisfied. FOREVER IS THE WORLD is as solid a goth-metal album as you’re likely to hear, even if it doesn’t match the heights of the band’s glory years.
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