Theatre of Tragedy - _Velvet Darkness They Fear_
(Massacre Records, 1996)
by: Pedro Azevedo (9 out of 10)
I expected a lot from Theatre of Tragedy after their self-titled debut, and they didn't disappoint me. This Norwegian 7-piece melodic, classical-influenced doom band still features the best female singer in the world, Liv Kristine Espenaes, which is a guarantee of excellence. Raymond's grunts are as good as ever, and he now uses clean voice once in a while. The melodies are as excellent as before, with Raymond's grunts, together with some well-placed powerful guitar parts, assure the powerful edge we all like to complement the melodies. Therefore, they haven't changed much since their debut, as they have kept all their main characteristics. This album represents a slight improvement over their excellent debut, at least in what concerns some aspects of production. I can't decide whether I like this one better than their debut or not. Maybe the debut's melodies were just a tiny little bit better sometimes, maybe this one has a slightly better planning involved. two great albums, that's all. Perhaps the only reason why they're not getting a 10 score is because they haven't shown nearly any improvement over their debut. The vocals are still the most remarkable part of the music, but it's due to their combination with the excellent classically-influenced instruments and the very good melodies. This is just one of those bands where everything seems to fit right in, nothing seems out of place, not even the excellent, beautiful digi-pak, possibly the best digi-pak I have ever seen. One of the top five albums of the year, no doubt. Excellent.

(article published 4/2/1997)

10/1/1998 A Bromley 5 Theatre of Tragedy - Aegis
6/7/1997 P Azevedo 7 Theatre of Tragedy - A Rose for the Dead
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