Having not heard any material by Theatre Of Tragedy since “Aegis”, I was rather curious to hear if the band was utilizing Liv Kristine in a more prominent role. As I later found out, the bands previous release and this latest release are more along the lines of Kristine’s debut solo release.
Musically, the band has strayed far away from their death / black metal roots. In the process of evolution, TOT now sounds like a heavy metal synth pop band! Combining elements of Berlin and Missing Persons with metal, Kristine’s vocals sound closer to the seductive tones of Terri Nunn rather than the quirky vocals of Dale Bozzio. Still TOT trades male and female leads throughout most of the 11 songs.
Automatic Lover, Universal Race, and Superdrive are all potential singles and underground dance club hits. These songs are immediately catchy with their pop elements abounding. That is not to say however that the heavy guitars are gone, quite the contrary. TOT is a forerunner in trying to integrate classic heavy metal back into the pop realm. Somehow TOT pulls off this rather bizarre mix of styles.