Rating:
8.1
Theatre Of Tragedy - Velvet Darkness They Fear
1996


01. Velvet Darkness They Fear
02. Fair And 'Guilding Copesmate Death
03. Bring Forth Ye Shadow
04. Seraphic Deviltry
05. And When He Falleth
    1 - Dialogue From "And When He Falleth"
06. Der Tanz Der Schatten
07. Black As The Devil Painteth
08. On Whom The Moon Doth Shine
09. The Masquerader And Phoenix


The following review concerns Velvet Darkness They Fear, the second album of the Norwegian Gothic ensemble Theatre Of Tragedy, released one year after their wonderful eponymous debut album. Velvet Darkness They Fear is a fine and strong continuation of the style the musicians brought to audiences with their first release, emotional and graceful songs in an atmosphere of doom and Gothic styles. Theatre Of Tragedy's sound is genuine, clearly distinctive from their colleagues of Tristania and Sirenia and more centered around mellow melancholy, in some ways more similar to My Dying Bride.

Velvet Darkness They Fear (what a title... in fact, Theatre Of Tragedy's titles always were well picked...) indeed has velvet darkness. The music does strongly associate with the feeling of dim candle-lit chambers with soft and heavy dark tapestries, with beakers of dark blood-red wine on the tables and radiant beautiful girls with prominent cleavage waiting for us to come and... drown in the bliss....

The album is a good and strong one of the era when Raymond still sang with fine growls suitable for the music instead of the carrot-voice he's using now. Liv Kristine is the queen of the album as she was also on the first release and remains later on Aegis (let's forget the sexy-bitch vocals on the infamous disco hit releases). The tender and slightly sad voice of Liv Kristine on Velvet Darkness They Fear is what makes the music most calming and enjoyable. She indeed is one of the loveliest singer in metal both in her stage presence and way of expressing herself in her songs.

The keyboard passages appear as the most expressive part of the instrumental construction and contribute a lot to the atmosphere. Some bands use more expressive and symphonic string melodies, Theatre Of Tragedy's trademark indeed is mainly piano, creating the distinct chamber music effect. A positive side is the old fashioned attitude and the lyrics in older English languages.

Now some prominent songs that can be found on this release, first of all, the beginning of the album with the title track as introduction and the second song "Fair and Guiling Copesmate Death" are both very suitable for opening the album in proper mood. My personal favorite is the German language track "The Dance of Shadows" or "Tanz der Schatten", one of the most haunting songs on the album and of all the music of the group. "And When He Falleth" is an interesting and thoughtful song with a pleasant dialogue from a play. "On Whom The Moon Doth Shine" is a song resembles the style of My Dying Bride but, of course, in Theatre Of Tragedy's own sauce with Liv Kristine as cherry on top of the tart.

Theatre Of Tragedy made a beautiful chapter in the history of Gothic music. The second part of their trilogy of three grand albums is an important piece of music and delightful for those who appreciate that style and the voice of Liv Kristine.

Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Band profile: Theatre Of Tragedy
Album: Velvet Darkness They Fear


 


written by Ernis | 13.06.2009


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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Uirapuru - 16.06.2009 at 16:25  
This is not my kind of band. But i have to say that I really liked this album, even more than the previous one. Liv Kristine is an amazing singer, ''Seraphic Delvitry'' is awesome.
Mr. Doctor - 16.06.2009 at 16:48  
What a beautiful album. Liv's voice was just breathtaking in the first three albums. It unbelievable.

I actually think that the first three albums are unique, at least back in the 90's no one did that kind of music and jaw-dropping performance.
Just listen to the ending of the second song. The way Liv and Raymond sings different lines with a powerful piano. That atmosphere it's just beyond words.

I would give them a 10 for performance and a 9 for originality but that's just me of course since I really liked your review. Well done!

a overall rating of 9,1 from me
MrSpaceman |BR| - 16.06.2009 at 21:20  
Agree with Mr.Doctor. Back in the early 90's the Theatre of Tragedy stlye was very unique, and this album has an incredible atmosphere that can't be found in other gothic bands which are too chessy and repetitive.
Velvet Darkness They Fear its a balanced and interesting mix of My Dying Bride melancholy that was being spread by their first albums with the beautiful of such a voice like Liv Chirstine.
Finally, they pulled out all of these gothic 'beauty and the beast' bands out there, and in my opinion, none of them has beaten this masterpiece. Most of them are really boring and has added nothing to music.
I would give 9,5/10 to this album.... I think that only Lacrimosa and Moonspell delivered so interesting gothic music along with Theatre of Tragedy (btw, I'm supposing The Gathering as a Doom Metal band, even with a girl singing).
Ernis - 17.06.2009 at 13:21  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 16.06.2009 at 16:48

I would give them a 10 for performance and a 9 for originality but that's just me of course since I really liked your review. Well done!

a overall rating of 9,1 from me

I agree with your opinion....I also like the album...but I can't give it a too high rating...it'd turn out unfair if every review of mine would end with a result above 9.... this album also has minuses and there is possible to achieve something more.....

But definitely....ToT's first three albums are a trilogy of distinguished Norwegian melancholic gothic metal.... they are meant to be remembered and admired....
Mr. Doctor - 17.06.2009 at 14:00  
Written by Ernis on 17.06.2009 at 13:21

I agree with your opinion....I also like the album...but I can't give it a too high rating...it'd turn out unfair if every review of mine would end with a result above 9....


O well, in that case is easy to understand. What matters is the review itself, not the rating... So it's good
Andresopeth - 17.06.2009 at 16:41  
My favorite album of this band, the atmosphere is so dark and makes me feel trapped into their music, is a soft demostrastion that goes deep in my mind when i listen to it, Personally i love thw way Raymond and Liv combine their voices and the way the piano does what is expecting to be done: set the atmosphere!

In my opinion i would give this album 9

By the way, the artwork of the album is very artistic and emotive.
Ernis - 17.06.2009 at 17:31  
Written by Andresopeth on 17.06.2009 at 16:41

My favorite album of this band, the atmosphere is so dark and makes me feel trapped into their music, is a soft demostrastion that goes deep in my mind when i listen to it, Personally i love thw way Raymond and Liv combine their voices and the way the piano does what is expecting to be done: set the atmosphere!

In my opinion i would give this album 9

By the way, the artwork of the album is very artistic and emotive.

That's true....I also like the cover art....it's enchanting....
Mr. Doctor - 18.06.2009 at 01:58  
Damn... I really want a HUGE poster of the cover art in my room.
H-metal - 18.06.2009 at 02:06  
Carrot-voice? Funny. BTW, enjoyed your review.
Ernis - 18.06.2009 at 08:07  
Written by H-metal on 18.06.2009 at 02:06

Carrot-voice? Funny. BTW, enjoyed your review.

Thanks a lot....

yeh, we say like that when a singer has that kind of a distinctive nasal voice....there's a popular singer in Estonia who's called "the carrot-voiced man" because of his singing style.....also can be called "vegetable voice"....can be drawn parallels with chipmunk voice....
mynystry - 03.01.2013 at 20:51  
Very good review of an excellent album. I surely miss the ToT of those days!
Erik M. - 22.05.2013 at 23:13  
Good review, but the rating is too low in my opinion. It at least deserves a 9,0, but I personally would give it even higher than that.

Written by Ernis on 17.06.2009 at 13:21

Written by Mr. Doctor on 16.06.2009 at 16:48

I would give them a 10 for performance and a 9 for originality but that's just me of course since I really liked your review. Well done!

a overall rating of 9,1 from me

I agree with your opinion....I also like the album...but I can't give it a too high rating...it'd turn out unfair if every review of mine would end with a result above 9.... this album also has minuses and there is possible to achieve something more.....

But definitely....ToT's first three albums are a trilogy of distinguished Norwegian melancholic gothic metal.... they are meant to be remembered and admired....


I agree with Mr. Doctor here. But honestly, what do other reviews have to do with this? If this album is worth a 9,0 then it's worth a 9,0. Other reviews shouldn't influence the rating at all.

Also, as a fellow gothic metal fan, would you care to look at my (gothic albums) list and see if I missed some gems? I'd appreciate it!

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