Theater of Tragedy - Storm - 2006 - Massacre Records
1. Storm 2. Silence 3. Ashes and Dreams 4. Voices 5. Fade 6. Begin and End 7. Senseless 8. Exile 9. Desintigration 10. Debris
“Storm” is the first release from Norwegian gothic metallers Theater of Tragedy after their much publicized split with singer Liv Kristine Espenæs in 2003. While she went on to record two excellent albums with her new band, Leaves’ Eyes, Theater of Tragedy regrouped and recruited a new singer, Nell Sigland, to fill Liv’s shoes. Nell also has a very beautiful yet powerful voice, and does an excellent job taking Liv’s place in the band. However, a few other issues plague Theater of Tragedy that makes their material somewhat mediocre at times.
Like many bands in the gothic metal genre, Theater of Tragedy rely not on guitar technicality and speed but atmosphere, melody, and emotion to drive their music. With that said, it’s pretty difficult to successfully pull this method off without sounding rather boring. On songs such as “Silence,” there is a dynamic interaction between the guitars and keyboards, with very strong melodies. In addition, tension is built up and released well during transitional periods, and Nell’s soothing voice flows over everything smoothly. However, the formula goes a bit awry during parts of “Voices,” where, despite a good intro, progression isn’t made towards making the song remotely interesting. Another significant flaw with this album is the voice and vocal arrangements surrounding male vocalist Raymond Rohonyi. He sings in an almost Rammstein-like spoken technique, which frankly does not fit in very well with Theater of Tragedy’s music at all. In addition, the majority of his vocal parts (most notable seen during the album’s opening track, “Storm”) are “sung” during slower, almost industrial-like (in a VERY watered down way) interludes. This really does not vary much throughout the album.
Despite most of what I’ve said, “Storm” isn’t a terrible album. It just seems like certain members of Theater of Tragedy (especially Nell and keyboardist Lorentz Aspen) are very talented and know what they’re doing, while others don’t fit so well and don’t contribute in a positive way. I’m not too familiar with their other albums featuring Liv, but since Raymond is also on all of them, I would be inclined to expect similar problems. Fans of the genre would be better suited to sticking with Leaves’ Eyes. However, if you’re a junkie for female fronted metal, picking this up won’t hurt.
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