(Aureal Music/, Sony BMG, 2011)
Theatres des Vampires, with Lacuna Coil, leaders of Italian gothic metal, are returning in full force and represent their ninth studio album „Moonlight Waltz“ and with it another musical turn in their career which dates from the mid 1990′s when Theatres des Vampires started their career as black metal band that slowly but surely transformed to one of absolutely finest Italian gothic metal representatives with tendency to, if they continue this way, soon reach the throne of the genre they represent.
„Moonlight Waltz“ is the successor to the album „Anima Noir“ released in 2008. And the album that heavy Goth metal places a bit in the background while on the surface pulls slightly modified synth-pop sound with strong violins that makes this album a real little masterpiece starring the great Sonya Scarlett who this time truly shone in a full vocal glory and with whom in impressive ‘back’ vocal parts equally impressive shines Fabio Varesi. The album opener is the song „Keeper Of Secrets“ which with its slightly psychedelic intro reminds of Cradle Of Filth and that is really strong ‘opener’ which variety around melodically orchestration and symphonic elements in which vocal line takes great Snowy Shaw (Therion, Dimmu Borgir). Orchestral parts and rich dramatic arrangements with carefully balanced Sonya’s voice are outline of the whole album and, undoubtly, the result of the work with Luca Bellanova and Classic Music Academy of Rome. The second song, „Fly Away“ turns to gothic rock spectrum, it’s very listenable, memorable and powerful and it is followed by „Moonlight Waltz“ which is opened by gentle piano chords and fascinating Sonya’s voice here in its best. „Moonlight Waltz“ is surely one of the key songs on the same titled album and the song that could, due to its layered and deep, dark sound largely determinate future music journey of the band. „Carmilla“ and „Obsession“ has all potential of rebellious song as both are lively and colorful arrangements that reflects voices but in spite of that none of them is showing the attention to be as the concert opener song. The great advantage of „Moonlight Waltz“ is that each song has a character, and a factor of surprise is fully reached by the cover song of Italian band Meacano „Figlio Della Luna“ in which Sonya again charmed by the fantastic vocal performance giving the best out of herself. No less impressive is piano in „Black Madonna“ while in the wild but in the same time balanced „Le Grand Guignol“ Sonya joins Cadaveria who impress by a bit subdued but very expressive growl where a worthy rivals are Sonya’s expressive voice and lively blistering arrangement. Beside gentle „Illusion“ characterized by the noticeable synth background with the piano in the first row I must mention the song „Meduosa“ which is closing the album in which the band is joined by multi-talented vocalist Eva Brežnikar of the Laibach.
„Moonlight Waltz“ is the album I’d refuse to name ‘vampiric’ so I can avoid too many attention to it payed by goth teenage girls who are convinced Stephanie Meyer invented vampires and gothic literature. „Moonlight Waltz“ is an album that isn’t sinister and bloodthirsty but is in all elements gothic and in a first place theatrical. Theatres des Vampires are completely fulfilled its mission to make dark and abandoned castles, sad violins, fangs and strands tied up in corsets tangible to everyone, but it seems they still hasn’t fulfilled the task to, with theatricals in their music and live shows, strongly reject triviality whose note is still present in their music piece so in the end in this album will more than fans of smart, sexy and sinful vampires from Anne Rice’s novels enjoy those loyal to vampires presented by Stephanie Meyer in her „Twilight Saga“.
Review: Ivana Sataić (email@example.com)