Theatre Of Tragedy - Aégis review
|Band:||Theatre Of Tragedy|
06. Samantha [bonus]
10. Virago [Japanese bonus]
This is one of the most beautiful albums I've ever heard. One of the pioneers in the "Beauty and the Beast" Gothic Metal movement, Norway's Theatre Of Tragedy reached their apex with their third album, Aegis. After two albums of melodramatic, theatrical Gothic Metal which hinted at so much potential, they refined their sound, streamlined their approach, and wrote the best songs of their career.
Gone are the monstrous growls of Raymond I. Rohonyi, instead opting for a cleaner delivery that is subtle in its approach but much more effective. Yet, it is his female counterpart, Liv Kristine Espenaes, who really shines here. This woman possesses one of the most beautifully angelic voices I've yet to hear in music, and her performance here is stunningly breathtaking. Her voice is predominant throughout, Raymond's used as more of an effect to compliment Liv, save for a couple of songs. The lyrics are written in a type of Old Romantic poetry, and although this makes it a bit difficult to sing along, it also adds to the overall vibe of the album. Aegis is based on the concept of the various incarnations of females. Beautiful and mysterious, yet vicious and ruthless all the same, man will never understand woman completely. She can take man to the highest of Heavens, and with one look, one word, she can send him down to the darkest pits of Hell. Yet, no matter, man will always desire woman. He is a slave.
Musically, this is honestly the most beautiful music I've ever heard created with basic Rock instruments [guitars, bass, drums etc.]. A much lighter work than previous recordings, Aegis is an album that would likely appeal more to Gothic and Darkwave audiences than Metal fans. The only thing keeping this album linked to Metal is the thundering drums and the power of the guitars in certain sections. Songs like 'Angelique', 'Siren' and 'Venus' are pure ethereal beauty, while 'Lorelei' and 'Poppaea' are more uptempo, Goth rock numbers still maintaining the effervescent aura of the rest of the album.
In terms of what the band were attempting, this is an outright masterpiece. Perfect all the way down to the beautiful layout and the crystal clear yet powerful production. Unfortunately, the band would choose to try its hand at electronic club music on its next album, harboring none of the exquisite beauty of its past recordings. Thankfully, they left us with this gem before losing sight of themselves...
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