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Theatre of Tragedy / Where Angels Fall / To-Mera / Pythia / The Mariana Hollow - Underworld, London PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ben Spencer   
April 01, 2010

THEATRE OF TRAGEDY

with WHERE ANGELS FALL

and To-Mera, Pythia and The Mariana Hollow

The Underworld, Camden, UK

14th March 2010

Words by Ben Spencer

Live pictures by James G @ Altercarnated Photography 

Theatre Of Tragedy was a band that reminded me of my long haired, gothic trench coat wearing youth. Between the ages of 17-18, I was gradually treading through the gothic genre of music that was originally sparked by symphonic metal band Nightwish and their CENTURY'S CHILD album. This album unlocked a genre of music at the time that I was ignorant of and yet longed to pursue. My journey began with Lacuna Coil, Tristania and  Flowing Tears. One day I came across an album cover where a white rose lay across a red one with the italic font 'Theatre of Tragedy'. This band intrigued me and so I very quickly obtained this album along with the more cohesive and better produced AEGIS album. My interest in this particular genre of music desensitised over the course of the next year and without sight or sound of these guys on music channels, I merely assumed that their flames had extinguished with the changing of times. To discover that the band was still around and that their show at Camden Underworld would in fact be their last was an opportunity I did not want to miss out on. 

The South Eastern train services were experiencing several delays on this particular Sunday, so I was unfortunately unable to witness the opening performance of The Mariana Hollow. However upon my arrival second band Pythia were assuming positions on stage and with a ‘on your marks, get set, go’ energy, they raced through their set with an adrenaline that held these guys as one of my favourite acts of the evening. I had never personally heard of them before but with anthemic moments found in ‘Sarah (Bury Her)’ it becomes almost impossible for anyone not to feel sucked in, the experience itself felt like regaining consciousness from a deep slumber and to be welcomed with the aroma of strong coffee. The quintet led by Emily Alice and her metal comrades are indeed worthy defenders of their realm.

The third band to continue tonight’s show was another female fronted act To-Mera. To-Mera were perhaps one of the more ambitious bands of the evening and yet as their set progressed what became evident was an overambitious semblance of music that presented them as a disjointed puzzle: with pieces that were either missing or pieces that did not fit the overall picture itself. I personally have a strong passion for progressive music and musicians who emphasize upon technicality, however what holds a band like To-Mera back from being one of these bands is their inability to rope ideas together and create a cohesive journey. The set delineated itself from the other bands over the night as To-Mera spoke a foreign language that seemed indecipherable. These guys will turn most bangers into confused head scratchers.

Main support Where Angels Fall stood out in my mind as ‘a return to form’ act of the evening. The performance flowed organically into its genre however the vocalist failed to project herself against a truly worthy wall of sound, one that was dark and sinister. I was left wanting to discover more from them as Where Angels Fall display strong potential. Give these guys a couple of years and I am sure they’ll be stealing hearts of the current Christina Scabbia fans.

 


The moment we had all been waiting for had arrived. Theatre of Tragedy entered the stage majestically and was ready to paint their final portrait. The lighting in the Underworld brightened for the headliners and then contracted as if the band themselves could swallow any such source with the dark void of their set. The set could best be described as a juxtaposition between angelic vocalist Nell Sigland and the husky demonic growling of Raymond Rohonyi. Together these two polarized forms of vocals battle it out in a world of darkness and desperation. Although I have been exposed to this method of dualistic emphasis of dark and light shared between a clean vocalist and one that growls, the balance between both in Theatre of Tragedy felt like a scale that constantly tilted either way and it was their mastery of this concept that kept the crowd glued to their set. 


I was also able to recollect certain songs the AEGIS album that I had spinning on my CD as a young metal fan. Raymond weaved imagery through the whispering narrative of ‘Cassandra’ which lay between the melodic guitars and slow bass. Meanwhile the energy of ‘Lorelei’ sent shivers down my spine. The gothic six-piece from Norway tell a story of romance, love and ultimately demise, one that you could imagine Catherine dying in the arms of Heathcliff in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.


Like all tragedies a sense of balance suffices during the closing curtain of any performance. The closure of Theatre of Tragedy left a somewhat nostalgic and bittersweet sentiment on my part as I had witnessed the end of their era and the end of the show. These headliners were indeed worthy of surpassing all prior acts in terms of performance and even though they disappear into the wilderness the unparalleled passion put into tonight’s show is one that will stay with these loyal fans as they bid farewell to this theatrical experience.

Theatre of Tragedy

Where Angels Fall

To-Mera

Pythia

The Mariana Hollow 





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