Rating:
9.5
Theatre Of Tragedy - Theatre Of Tragedy
1995


01. A Hamlet For A Slothful Vassal
02. Cheerful Dirge
03. To These Words I Beheld No Tongue
04. Hollow-Heartéd, Heart-Departéd
05. ...A Distance There Is...
06. Sweet Art Thou
07. Mïre
08. Dying - I Only Feel Apathy
09. Monotonë


Anything someone may say about Theatre Of Tragedy and their brilliant first era would be so poor in front of the beauty their music evokes. Well, Paradise Lost on "Gothic" were the first band to harmonize ethereal female vocal lines with grunting male vocals. But they had only slight references on what would follow a few years later, with Theatre Of Tragedy being the first to develop this sound and haunt the scene that would soon rise for ever.

Theatre of Tragedy with their debut album bearing as a title the name of the band, a name so poetic and intense that represents their aesthetic in the most appropriate way, offered back in 1995 a masterpiece for the dark/atmospheric metal scene. Incorporating in their sound gothic and doom elements along with a dramatic and poetic approach they became one of the few bands to really succeed in it.

The guitar riffing is doom oriented and has a doleful sound, becoming more intense during the emotional outbursts or turning to more gothic rock oriented guitar chords when the overall feeling becomes more fragile. The role of the rhythm section is more gentle rather than imposing in its overall approach if I may say so as to pace with the feeling of the band. When the time comes to refer to the important role of the piano/keyboard passages I cannot say enough simply because such melodies speak for themselves in the most appropriate way. Whether they sound lachrymose and melancholic or more bittersweet and dreamy they never fail to sound artistic, having an intense sense of drama and standing in the most ideal way for the name and the atmosphere of the band. Of course I shouldn't forget the heart-rending sound of the cello that makes the compositions more emotional when it makes its appearance.

A special mentioning goes to the vocals and the lyrics, one of the two important characteristics of Theatre Of Tragedy's music (the other is the music and atmosphere of course). Raymond's grunting vocals are really powerful and imposing and make the atmosphere more intense for sure. Liv Kristine's ethereal and personal voice lends that beautiful, bittersweet and fragile feeling to the aesthetic of Theatre Of Tragedy's sound. But what is the most important in the vocal factor is the fact that both voices pace together in such a gentle way making you think that there would be no other way for them to sound better. Concerning the lyrics which are written in ancient English, I think they are of most poetic ones ever written in the whole atmospheric metal scene, deeply emotional and soulful and, above all, they have been given voice and life by Raymond and Liv in the most appropriate and beautiful manner.

The album flows as a whole entity, as a dramatic act of melancholy, but some songs that stand out for the album are definitely the monumental "A Hamlet For A Slothful Vassal", the lachrymose "A Distance There Is", the dark and fragile "Mïre", the intense "Cheerful Dirge", the emotional and at the same time powerful "Hollow-Hearted, Heart-Departed" etc

All in all, "Theatre Of Tragedy" is a monumental emotional/poetic gothic/doom metal album that may surround the listener with a veil of a faded romance.

"A distance there is"


Band profile: Theatre Of Tragedy
Album: Theatre Of Tragedy


 



Written on 20.12.2005 by
DerRozzengarten
"It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."
More reviews by DerRozzengarten ››



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The Alchemist - 10.07.2006 at 06:53  
What a great review! The way to describe the album elements is awesome DerRozzengarten

This album is definetely one of the best ones in Gothic Metal, and the best of Theatre Of Tragedy of course, with excellent atmospheric, beautiful and one of the darkest metal stuff I know.
I agree with the comments about the piano/keyboard and vocals. The piano management is awesome, just listen to "... A Distance there Is..." and you'll see it, or "Sweet Art Thou".
Liv Kristine's voice is so beautiful... it gives to the music a special sound of melancholy, beauty... and Raymond's grunting is excellent too, both voices are just perfect together.

Great album, one of the first ones I'd recommend to someone to get into Gothic Metal
Jason W. - 12.04.2009 at 07:39  
The album that really defined a genre of metal for years to come (even if I think the band's followup is more expansive), and still bests most of the newer generation's attempts to reach the innovation that this album has in it. A great review of course!

I recall having a meeting with my radio/music teacher about ten years ago, telling him that I wanted to play him a song that helped change music for me: I played him "Dying- I only feel Apathy", and watched him run out of the room as Raymond began his growls. Intelligent lyrics, massive sound, and still great after all these years!
Morphis - 14.05.2009 at 06:04  
Very nice comments and review. I got no words.
FELIX42 - 14.09.2011 at 03:01  
For me......the best "gothic doom" works ever....with "velvet darkness"...of course

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