Theatre Of Tragedy: Liv Kristine Espenaes, Raymond J. Rohonyi (vocals); Pal Bjastad, Tommy Lindal (guitar); Lorentz Aspen (piano, synthesizer); Eirik T. Saltro (bass); Hein Frode Hansen (drums).
Recorded in Sweden in December 1993 & January 1994.
The odd but supremely recognizable vocal contrasts on Theatre of Tragedy's self-titled debut are what makes this band both memorable and limited in their Euro death/goth delivery. When Raymond Rohonyi answers fellow vocalist Liv Kristine Espenaes' muted soprano with an outrageous death metal growl, the experiment takes on a comic proportion. The rest of the band (Tommy Olsson and Frank Claussen on guitar, Eirik T. Saltroe on bass, Hein Frode Hansen on drums, and Lorentz Aspen on synth) dish out mostly standard riffs and arrangements that suffer a bit from weak production. There are some bright spots during songs like "To These Words I Beheld No Tongue," a more atmospheric track that makes much better use of the group's unique vocal pairing, but there are not enough well-arranged numbers to warrant a recommendation. ~ Vincent Jeffries