From Italy to Sweden to Poland, Europe is full of gothic metal bands that are fronted by angelic-sounding female singers. But Theater of Tragedy are no bandwagon-jumpers; they've been at it since 1994, although they have had their share of lineup changes along the way. On 2009's Forever Is the World, Nell Sigland (who replaced Liv Kristine Espenaes for 2006's Storm) continues to sing lead for the Norwegian band -- and while admirers of Espenaes (who joined Atrocity founder Alexander Krull in Leaves' Eyes) were sorry to see her go, Sigland has shown herself to be a highly capable replacement. She handles herself well on Forever Is the World, which -- truth be told -- has almost as much to do with goth rock as it does with gothic metal. Some parts of this consistently melodic CD are metallic enough to be called gothic metal, but other parts really aren't terribly metallic. And even at its most aggressive, the frequently pop-minded Forever Is the World never becomes terribly harsh or flat-out vicious. In fact, Evanescence fans should have no problem getting into this material. But while the 49-minute disc is hardly an exercise in metal purity, that doesn't mean that the songs are not enjoyable. Forever Is the World isn't among Theater of Tragedy's essential albums, but it is consistent and pleasingly solid. If one is comfortable with the album's abundance of pop gloss and pop slickness and doesn't expect skullcrushing ferocity, Forever Is the World is an easy album to like.