Reviews & Recommendations
O Canvas!, wherefore canst thou these images not allow? -
I deem a projection of my Theatre they should be! -

-- Theatre of Tragedy
Theatre of Tragedy
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Artist Listing: A - F G - R S - Z
Nell Sigland - Female Vocals (2004 - ...)
Raymond I. Rohonyi - Programming, Male Vocals
Lorentz Aspen - Keyboards
Frank Claussen - Guitars
Vegard K. Thorsen - Guitars
Hein Frode Hansen - Drums

Liv Kristine - Female Vocals (1995 - 2003)

"Their musical style on the debut-album has become darker and far more atmospherically and emotionally laden than their earlier material. It thrives further on the duality and contrasts between love and hate, heaven and hell. Liv Kristine's melodic and classical soprano voice floats like an angel over the dark and slow music at the same time as the hate and angst is pictured in Raymond's voice. His poems, soliloquys and plays are well written in mid-english theatric style, not unlike the master playwright Shakespeare himself (No comparison intended). The vocal lines between the two vocalists are put together as a musical play where hate, love, death and religion are relevant topics. All in all hybrid of atmospheres, melancholy, theatric acting and emotions accompanied by dark, slow and gothic-styled metal spiced with classical piano. "
-- Dirk Büttner

 Theatre of Tragedy Discography - Album / CD Reviews

*** 1995: Theatre of Tragedy audio

"Although dark metal bands featuring a light or soprano female vocalist dueting with a grunting death metal styled male singer are in abundance through the heavy metal world, Theatre of Tragedy seems to be the cornerstone and standard setting band to whom all others are compared. (...)
While Theatre of Tragedy is not a bad album, there does seem to be a feeling that a true catalyst for the dark and gothy music has not been found. Yet, this album and band seems to be the holder of the flame for comparisons within the style. There are certainly more interesting examples of the style out there."
-- John Chedsey,

***½ 1996: Velvet Darkness They Fear audio
One thing gothic metal bands of the 90's have learned to perfect is production, and Velvet Darkness They Fear is an example of that musical production savvy acquired in the genre. The lyrics are dark and written in mid-english a la Shakespeare, dealing with the three d's (devils, darkness and death) and are very ToT-like, i.e. small theatrical dialogue pieces stressing the contrast between Liv's angelic voice and Raymond's devilish growling. The final product is quite impressive, yet tends to lose its charm after several listens. While songs like And when He Falleth and Der Tanz der Scatten will stand the test of time, the rest of the album will end up being just another gothic-metal track in a sea of similar sounding records.
-- Said Sukkarieh,, 3/01

*** * 1998: Aégis audio
"With just two albums this Norwegian band made a jump to the top of the Gothic Metal-scene. (...) Raymond has drawn his inspirations from myths, fairy tales and legends once again but also from the mysterious being named "woman" - its role as incarnation of beauty and object of desire, a fact that is proven by songs like "Cassandra", "Lorelei", "Angelique" or "Venus". (...) At first one will realize that the aggressive aspect of THEATRE OF TRAGEDY's music (Raymond's grim voice) has nearly disappeared while the rhythmic and melancholic side has gained the advantage - Raymond's vocal performance fits and complements perfectly to Liv's vocals that enchant you once again. If you mix this up with the special guitar work of Tommy Olsson and Frank Claussen, the very attractive synthesizer work of Lorentz Aspen, Hein Frode Hansen's drum performance and - last but not least - the decent bass work of Eirik T. Saltro you'll get a cocktail of Gothic Metal that is still unique and that sounds 100% like THEATRE OF TRAGEDY. Although many people will be shocked that Raymond doesn't growl that much, [but] the perfection this record is stamped by compensates this loss completely. "
-- Oliver Schönknecht, Nightshade Magazine

***¾ 2000: Musique audio
"For some bad mooded gothic-rockers this record might have pulled their souls even further down, all other fans of heavy but nevertheless mass-compatible sounds should definitely check out Musique. The norwegians are not in the least interested about their self-created conventions on this album. The times of grieving clumsiness, calculatable alternating growling-vocals and angelic-voices and static roaring gothic-metal sounds, which has found uncountable imitators in the second half of the 90s and was ruminanted with a penetrance, which lets someone loose even the interest in the original, Theatre Of Tragedy themselves, are over.
That was one of the reasons for the radical change in style on Musique.
Theatre of Tragedy mix electronic coolness with actually wonderful hooklines. The structure of all the songs might be a bit of the same -- Kraftwerk-like sound-puzzles with controlled speaking-voice from Raymond I. Rohonyi vary with electrifying mega-refrains from Liv Kristine Espenæs -- but they hit just as well, over and over again, exactly the point."
-- Jan Jaedike, via

**½ 2002: Assembly audio
"Long gone is the soothing ethereal singing of Liv Kristine, and long gone are the solemn serenades of gothic metal melodrama. With 'Assembly', Theatre of Tragedy meet with the standards of contemporary crossover metal and deliver an album which stands solitary in relation to all their previous accomplishments. It is groovy, it is edgy and it is hi-tech with occasional soft spots here and there to meet with the requirements of all potential buyers.
(...) Some songs are good, others are not, and particular tracks are as close to full-fledged commercialism to be resembled by artists such as Lambretta or Lisa Miskovsky. This does not sound like Theatre of Tragedy anymore, but unless they make it into the charts this time, they never will."
-- Tomas Pettersson ,

***¼ 2006: Storm
Tracklisting: 01. Storm 02. Silence 03. Ashes and Dreams 04. Voices 05. Fade 06. Begin & End 07. Senseless 08. Exile 09. Disintegration 10. Debris

"Following their mediocre fifth studio album 'Assembly' (2002), and their split with frontwoman Liv Kristine, there was little hope for a strong Theatre of Tragedy comeback.
Does 'Storm', -their first release in four years - featuring new frontwoman Nell, live up to the reputation this band has built as forefathers of the Beauty and the Beast Gothic Metal genre? Well first and foremost, Nell Sigland's voice sounds very much like Liv Kristine's and she does an excellent job hitting all the right notes... so we can put this matter to rest. 'Storm' was written and produced with the intent of being a balance between 'Aegis' and the new electronic sound the band debuted with 'Musique'. In fact, the record seems to rely much less on keyboards than 'Musique' did, and guitar riffs are more prominent. Unfortunately, Raymond did not abandon his new distored-vocals trademark.
The first single Storm which includes another potential hit track Begin and End, have all the ingredients for pop crossover. But the rest of the album doesn't stear clear of the same formula, making for a tedious listen. Occasional use of Raymond's clean vocals and grunts would have offered some variety, and made the record more enjoyable. But aside from that, 'Storm' is a decent album offering melodic metal with a healthy dose of pop-sensibility."
-- DJ Avalanche,, 4/06

*** 2009: Forever is the World
Tracklisting: 01. Hide and Seek 02. A Nine Days Wonder 03. Revolution 04. Transition 05. Hollow 06. Astray 07. Frozen 08. Illusions 09. Deadland 10. Forever is the World

"The start of the first track, Hide And Seek is as moody as a sulking teenager until Nell cuts in and raises the bar several notches. It's an epic sound that'll transport you to a land far from Earth. The aura surrounding the music is almost surreal and the result is highly impressive. You’ll soon sway to the darker, mechanical keyboard feel of winning tracks like Revolution plus the echoing, almost Big Country meets electronic, hypnotic atmosphere for Hollow, with main vocalist Nell Sigland holding court with a siren song of a voice. Sigland’s vocals are by no means perfect, but they are solid enough to help usher in the “new” direction that Theatre of Tragedy seems to be taking on the album. Sometimes the guitar parts recall the 'Draconian Times' Paradise Lost explosive sales period, most evident on the doom-laden Frozen where Raymond Rohonyi provide that death growl contrast to the otherwise serene arrangement. The album then continues in a similar vein for its entirety. There are numerous stand out moments, harmonies and compositions that will blow your mind but the songs themselves blur as a whole. In the end that's what this album comes down to. As a line-up of individual songs it's distinctly average."
-- MisterBeefy,, 9/09

Recommended Links:

The Official Theatre of Tragedy site

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