Theatre of Tragedy - Forever is the World

Title: Forever is the World
Artist: Theatre of Tragedy
Genre: Gothic, Metal, Rock
Release Date: 18th September 2009
Label: AFM Records

Album Review

At the latest since its club hit `Tanz der Schatten´ (1996), THEATRE OF TRAGEDY has been known as a pioneer regarding the “Beauty and the Beast”-phenomenon basing on the combination of male growls and fairy-like female singings. Though this fusion has always been a trademark of the Norwegian band, some things have changed over the years. Until 2003, the today’s LEAVES´ EYES-front woman Liv Kristine had been responsible for delivering the clear female vocals. After she had left the band, the former THE CREST-vocalist Nell Sigland completed THEATRE OF TRAGEDY in 2003. Contrary to strongly Industrial-influenced or electronically orientated long-players such as `Musique´ (2000) and `Assembly´ (2002), the previous release `Storm´ (2006) went back to the usage of rather organic sound elements and turned away from providing too many electronic gimmicks.

Now, three years later, the newest full-length recording entitled `Forever is the World´ is going to be released on 18th September. Generally, this piece of work is clearly identifiable as a THEATRE OF TRAGEDY album. The guys from Stavanger remained principled and picked up the thread of the straight `Storm´-style containing a lot of Rock appeal that I personally appreciate. The still catchy and Pop-influenced hooks make an excellent match with Nell’s girl-like and at the same time expressive timbre. The experienced vocalist’s singing is also in harmony with Raymond’s vocals, although you won’t find many common parts. This time, Nell’s soprano is dominating the entire production. And there’s an additional change compared to previous releases: After focusing on rather clear and deep vocals, Raymond growls again.

There are two songs I would like to highlight in particular. My most favourite track `Hide and Seek´ - which also opens up the recording - is a real classic and typical anthem that will please long-time fans as well as newbies. Introduced by a slow Doom guitar, the firstly dark song creates a melancholic atmosphere intensified by growling male vocals. Finally, the turning point is reached when Nell is singing the dramatic chorus in a passionate way. Thus, `Hide and Seek´ totally represents the aforementioned “Beauty and the Beast”-effect and could have been taken from one of the first THEATRE OF TRAGEDY albums. The second gem `Hollow´ is a splendid piece perfectly merging both voices. Firstly restrained, the song becomes increasingly dramatic reaching the climax when Raymond starts to growl and resulting in a packed soundscape.

Thus, ´Forever is the World´ will be a pleasing package if you prefer Doom-orientated guitars combined with fragile female vocals. This new piece of work also conjures up images of `Velvet Darkness they fear´ (1999), as one can’t deny a certain affinity to that 10-years-old long-player. After I had listened to it several times, the saying “Cobbler, stick to your last” came to my mind, because that’s what THEATRE OF TRAGEDY did. Therefore, you won’t get a totally new sound experience, but a well-produced kind of retrospective.


01. Hide and Seek 5:24
02. A Nine Days Wonder 5:17
03. Revolution 4:04
04. Transition 4:59
05. Hollow 6:10
06. Astray 3:41
07. Frozen 5:20
08. Illusions 4:45
09. Deadland 4:40
10. Forever is the World 4:40


Vegard K. Thorsen - guitar
Nell Sigland - vocals
Raymond Istvàn Rohonyi - electronics, vocals, vocals
Frank Claussen - guitar
Lorentz Aspen - keyboards
Hein Frode Hansen - drums

Website /



Music: 8
Sound: 8
Extras: -
Total: 8 / 10

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