Thursday, May 20, 2010

Theatre of Tragedy: Forever Is the World (2009) Review

I never realized I was such a fan of gothic metal, but it does seem like I've been reviewing a lot of it lately.

Norwegian group Theatre of Tragedy have had an unusual evolution in their sound. The only consistent element in their 15 year career is the combination of male and female vocals. For their first three albums during the 90's, they were a promising gothic metal band, doing their lyrics in Middle English. The last of this era, Aégis, saw the group ditching the "beast" element of their beauty and the beast vocals in favor of a more muted, clean vocal style by the male vocalist.

In 2000, they made an abrupt shift to industrial rock / electropop with modern English lyrics, almost sounding like Madonna with an edge. They would continue this style for one more full-length, and then switch back to gothic metal on 2006's Storm (an excellent album), although keeping some of the energy and melody of their industrial era.

On their latest, Forever Is the World, they have stuck with the gothic metal. Sadly, they have ditched the lessons they learned in their industrial era in favor of essentially replicating 1998's Aégis.

The Verdict: Like Aégis, this album probably will not appeal to your average metal fan. Ever since that album, they've barely qualified as metal (or maybe not at all). Gothic rock fans will be a much more ready audience. It is still good, owing mainly to the female vocals, but not great. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

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