December 26, 2020

The Norwegian rock band Theatre Of Tragedy built up quite a reputation during a career that began in 1993 and ended in 2010 during which they morphed from doom metal through industrial rock to become a fully fledged Gothic metal band. They produced seven very interesting albums during their career and they were always capable of surprises regardless of the genre they were currently involved with.

Of course, they were mainly known for the contrasting vocal styles as they mixed and matched deep bass male vocals and the wonderful soaring beauty of a female soprano voice which we all now know as ‘Beauty and the Beast vocals’. Musique was album number four being released in 2000 and was the start of a totally new period for the band as they started to experiment with industrial rock with this album also being very much an electro pop release rather similar to the ’80s works of artists like John Foxx. By this time, the line-up was Raymond I. Rohonyi and the awesome Liv Kristine on vocals, Frank Claussen on guitars, Lorentz Aspen on keyboards and Hein Frode Hansen on drums. Rohonyi impressed with his somewhat fey but striking delivery that was just so Fad Gadget, Gary Numan, John Foxx and, dare I say, even Plastic Bertrand. As usual, Kristine took lots of plaudits with her sublime soprano delivery and it was a shock when she left the band in 2003 having been replaced by the similar and quite excellent Nell Sigland.

Musique has been out of print for some while now and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its release AFM have re-released the album in expanded and re-mastered format and it gets a vinyl release for the first time. Both CD and vinyl formats get an extra disc of 11 bonus tracks which includes the French version of Image and a couple of previously unreleased songs in Quirk and The New Man plus a number of alternative versions of tracks on the original album.

The album scores on many fronts as the band does electro very well and it is now available again with the bonus disc of extra tracks making this an essential purchase for fans eager for ‘new’ material and is also a must listen for casual fans of the band to see just how different Musique was compared to what had gone before.

Musique (20th Anniversary Edition) track list

  1. Machine (4:14)
  2. City Of Light (4:09)
  3. Fragment (3:59)
  4. Musique (3:29)
  5. Commute (5:25)
  6. Radio (3:39)
  7. Image (3:09)
  8. Crash/Concrete (3:21)
  9. Retrospect (4:03)
  10. Reverie (5:26)
  11. Space Age (3:47)
  12. Image (French Version) (3:10)
  13. Fragment (3:47)
  14. Machine (4:29)
  15. City Of Light (4:16)
  16. Reverie (4:42)
  17. Radio (3:40)
  18. Commute (5:32)
  19. Retrospect (4:03)
  20. Quirk (3:36)
  21. Crash/Concrete (3:20)
  22. The New Man (3:21)