Theatre Of Tragedy - Forever is the World
AFM Records
Gothic Rock/Metal
10 songs (37'46")
Release year: 2009
Theatre Of Tragedy, AFM Records
Reviewed by Alex
Major event

I have belabored enough a few years ago while reviewing Storm why a Theatre of Tragedy release can be considered a major event and how much I was disappointed with the band electronic-techno direction on Musique and Assembly. With those considerations out of the way I can focus my attention solely on Forever is the World, the band’s second album after reinventing itself with the new lead singer Nell Sigland at the helm.

Apparently, not having any more appetite for their own experimentation Theatre of Tragedy looked a bit to the past to produce the present. Forever is the World is a logical continuation of Storm, with a healthy revisit of Aegis and even a quick remembrance of Velvet Darkness They Fear. And just as Storm, Forever is the World will be judged looking at both sides of the coin. For those who tend to see the cup as half-empty, Theatre of Tragedy has irretrievably stagnated, but those who prefer the half-full variety will applaud a catchy, thoughtful, clean, more somber gothic metal/rock album from the Norwegians.

By far, the most of the songs proceed in a confident mid-tempo manner, quiet introspective moments alternating with slightly heavier build-ups (Transition). Hollow features an interesting percussion in its first third and short Astray also offers an interesting, stumble-without-falling rhythmic solution. Most of the songs on Forever is the World are pretty directly structured, with Hollow and Frozen being more compositional and opus-like, yet never losing the darker tranquil mood of the overall album. The end of Illusions hints at more energy, which carries over into Deadland, the song Nell’s older band, The Crest, could have written for Theatre of Tragedy.

The production of the album is impeccable, and almost could be called sterile, if the band did not make a conscious effort to provide more “muddying” of the guitars, shifting songs like Hide and Seek and Transition into more metallic territory. However, what elevates just about any song on Forever is the World is its piano/synth melodic aspect. Sometimes more electronic (Transition), sometimes grand piano (Frozen, title track), the keyboards are an essential piece in the Theatre of Tragedy sound of today, A Nine Days Wonder completely exploding with a piano piece about a minute before its end. A symphonic arrangement here and there (A Nine Days Wonder, title track) provides a slight sense of grandeur so cherished by these genre veterans.

Ever since Nell joined Theatre of Tragedy, the band has been experiencing a syndrome of an older sports team, of sorts, who just secured a transfer of a younger up-and-coming star. To showcase this star’s talents, the rest of the team adapts to a style of play most suitable to its frontperson. Nell absolutely does not disappoint, and continues to be in front of the rest of the collective, her tender, almost vulnerable, manner of delivery providing warmth to an otherwise cold and withdrawn sounds in A Nine Days Wonder, Frozen and, especially, title track. Raymond Rohonyi is a bit more than an afterthought on Forever is the World. Making appearance on about half of the tracks, he even gives a hint of a death grunt (Hide and Seek, Frozen), but is content with more subliminal whispers and spoken words on Astray and Illusions. I still need to voice my disappointment with the stubborn refusal to do a duet between the two singers, a brief glimpse what could have been provided by layered vocals at the end of Frozen.

A higher quality and more even album than Storm, Forever is the World sees Theatre of Tragedy making up ground on the rest of the gothic rock/metal pack. While still in the middle, the band is moving back up in the standings, using all of its veteran guile and newfound Nell energy to sustain this upward movement.

Killing Songs :
Hide and Seek, A Nine Days Wonder, Frozen, Forever is the World
Alex quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Theatre Of Tragedy that we have reviewed:
Theatre Of Tragedy - Storm reviewed by Alex and quoted 68 / 100
Theatre Of Tragedy - Assembly reviewed by Jack and quoted 60 / 100
Theatre Of Tragedy - Closure:Live reviewed by Marc and quoted no quote
Theatre Of Tragedy - Machine (EP) reviewed by Marc and quoted no quote
Theatre Of Tragedy - Inperspective (EP) reviewed by Marc and quoted no quote
To see all 7 reviews click here
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