Theatre of Tragedy / Where Angels Fall / To-Mera / Pythia / The Mariana Hollow – Underworld, London

April 1st, 2010
by Hanntu

THEATRE OF TRAGEDY

with WHERE ANGELS FALL

and To-Mera, Pythia and The Mariana Hollow

The Underworld, Camden, UK

14th March 2010

Words by Ben Spencer

Live pictures by James G @ Altercarnated Photography 

Theatre Of
Tragedy was a band that reminded me of my long haired, gothic trench
coat wearing youth. Between the ages of 17-18, I was gradually treading
through the gothic genre of music that was originally sparked by
symphonic metal band Nightwish and their CENTURY’S CHILD album. This
album unlocked a genre of music at the time that I was ignorant of and
yet longed to pursue. My journey began with Lacuna Coil, Tristania and  Flowing Tears. One day I came across an album cover where a white
rose lay across a red one with the italic font ‘Theatre of Tragedy’. This
band intrigued me and so I very quickly obtained this album along with
the more cohesive and better produced AEGIS album. My interest in this
particular genre of music desensitised over the course of the next year
and without sight or sound of these guys on music channels, I merely
assumed that their flames had extinguished with the changing of times.
To discover that the band was still around and that their show at Camden
Underworld would in fact be their last was an opportunity I did not
want to miss out on. 


The South Eastern train services were
experiencing several delays on this particular Sunday, so I was
unfortunately unable to witness the opening performance of The Mariana
Hollow
. However upon my arrival second band Pythia were assuming
positions on stage and with a ‘on your marks, get set, go’ energy, they raced through their set with an adrenaline that held these guys as
one of my favourite acts of the evening. I had never personally heard
of them before but with anthemic moments found in ‘Sarah (Bury Her)’ it
becomes almost impossible for anyone not to feel sucked in, the
experience itself felt like regaining consciousness from a deep slumber
and to be welcomed with the aroma of strong coffee. The quintet led by
Emily Alice and her metal comrades are indeed worthy defenders of their
realm.

The third band to continue tonight’s show was another female
fronted act To-Mera. To-Mera were perhaps one of the more ambitious bands
of the evening and yet as their set progressed what became evident was
an overambitious semblance of music that presented them as a disjointed
puzzle: with pieces that were either missing or pieces that did not fit
the overall picture itself. I personally have a strong passion for
progressive music and musicians who emphasize upon technicality, however
what holds a band like To-Mera back from being one of these bands is
their inability to rope ideas together and create a cohesive journey.
The set delineated itself from the other bands over the night as To-Mera
spoke a foreign language that seemed indecipherable. These guys will
turn most bangers into confused head scratchers.
Main support Where
Angels Fall
stood out in my mind as ‘a return to form’ act of the evening.
The performance flowed organically into its genre however the vocalist
failed to project herself against a truly worthy wall of sound, one that
was dark and sinister. I was left wanting to discover more from them as
Where Angels Fall display strong potential. Give these guys a couple of
years and I am sure they’ll be stealing hearts of the current Christina
Scabbia fans.

 

The moment we had all been waiting for had arrived.
Theatre of Tragedy entered the stage majestically and was ready to paint
their final portrait. The lighting in the Underworld brightened for the
headliners and then contracted as if the band themselves could swallow
any such source with the dark void of their set. The set could best be
described as a juxtaposition between angelic vocalist Nell Sigland and
the husky demonic growling of Raymond Rohonyi. Together these two
polarized forms of vocals battle it out in a world of darkness and
desperation. Although I have been exposed to this method of dualistic
emphasis of dark and light shared between a clean vocalist and one that
growls, the balance between both in Theatre of Tragedy felt like a scale
that constantly tilted either way and it was their mastery of this
concept that kept the crowd glued to their set. 

I was also able to
recollect certain songs the AEGIS album that I had spinning on my CD
as a young metal fan. Raymond weaved imagery through the whispering
narrative of ‘Cassandra’ which lay between the melodic guitars and slow bass. Meanwhile the energy of ‘Lorelei’ sent shivers down my spine. The
gothic six-piece from Norway tell a story of romance, love and
ultimately demise, one that you could imagine Catherine dying in the
arms of Heathcliff in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.

Like all
tragedies a sense of balance suffices during the closing curtain of any
performance. The closure of Theatre of Tragedy left a somewhat nostalgic
and bittersweet sentiment on my part as I had witnessed the end of
their era and the end of the show. These headliners were indeed worthy
of surpassing all prior acts in terms of performance and even though
they disappear into the wilderness the unparalleled passion put into
tonight’s show is one that will stay with these loyal fans as they bid
farewell to this theatrical experience.

Theatre of Tragedy

Where Angels Fall

To-Mera

Pythia

The Mariana Hollow 

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