This was one of the biggest disappointments I've ever had when regarding to buying an album without listening before. Theatre of Tragedy
made three great albums before releasing "Musique
", starting with a very melodic doom metal and then changing a bit to a more gothic-metal sound in Aegis
. All albums had great lyrics in early modern english, had great vocals by Liv Kristine
mixed with male grunts (on the first 2). I believe that by this time they got a bit tired of the "formula" and decided to go "electronic". Is that wrong? Well, Samael
did that with a s-u-p-e-r-b album called "Passage", so you might think that a great band like Theatre of Tragedy
wouldn't have a hard time in doing the same. Wrong
. Totally wrong.
It's not that the songs are so bad (well, some are!), it's not that I don't like electronic metal because I do. Musique
simply is awful! Being used to great works i just couldn't accept such a failure from a band like that. Some lyrics are amongst the worst I've ever read. Can you believe that a band that could write something like "Prophetess or fond?, Tho' her parlay of truth: "I ken to-morrow - refill me if ye can!", Yet the kiss and breath - Apollo's bane -" could now write something so idiotic like "I synthesize and press the lighted key, Turn it on compose a melody, Redo from start, need more rhythm, 1 and 4 was for the Commodore, A catchy beat I put it on repeat"...? How could this be possible? This particular song and lyrics made me feel that I was listening to a totally unexpected peace of garbage!
Then OK, I settle down a bit and I had to think that I could not judge an entire album just because of a terrible moment. So let's say that I also ask myself what is that vocalist accent all about?? "Machine
" is not a terrible track, it has rhythm, along with a ridiculous interlude with some keyboard effects, "City of light" starts with a distorted male vocals, has a catchy refrain but it's as boring as it can be on all the other moments, nevertheless is one of the "not so bad" songs in the album. "Fragment
" is again, very boring, because it keeps using the same formula of "City of Lights": a good refrain and a amorphous middle section... "hope it gets back to the refrain" - it's what you find yourself thinking once again! Then I keep listening and nothing really comes up, except from "Commute" (nice intro), "Image
" which has a good rhythm a rock approach with a quicker tempo (maybe my favorite track on the album). Also the last section of "Retrospect" is a nice moment to listen, the thing is "will you still be listening to the track on that last minute?". "Reverie" has a very good work in guitars and drums... on the refrain... all the rest is dull, boring, repetitive once again... Some editions had a bonus track that I find curious, just that because it's really a B-Side song with no much added value to the album and worse than that: it's a bit nonsense since it has very little to do with the remaining album.
Let's put things this way: considering the band's previous career this is by far their worst album with too much experimentation, useless lyrics, bad use of Liv Kristine
vocals. They are still a good band of course, and they show it many times with some good details along the themes, but the overall is poor, confusing and boring. Really, hope they get back to what they do best because they won't last long with this kind of album.
Ed: the band dismissed in 2010, 10 years after this album, and they only repeated this kind of sound in one more album, returning to a more gothic approach on the last 2 albums. It is still one of my favorite bands.