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Theatres Des Vampires (TDV) formed in 1994 by Alessandro Nunziati and, soon after, recorded their first studio album in 1996 that was single-handedly recorded by Allessandro himself. Allessandro would go by the handle of “Lord Vampyr”. By 1999 they would have a stable list of band members that would go on to record a series of successful albums under multiple labels, but gaining the most recognition under the English label, Plastic Head. The current line up consists of Gabrial Valerio on drums, Zimon Lijoi manning bass, newly added Giorgio Ferrante on guitar and lead singer Sonya Scarlet.

Okay, I’ve heard of a Sonya Scarlet a few years back. She was once banned from certain venues for cutting herself on stage live. She would even go as far as letting fans drink her blood at concerts. So holy crap, this is THAT Sonya Scarlet on vocals!

With all of that being said, I’ve rarely had much exposure to TDV over the years. Maybe I should remedy this? However, for a band with over 20 years of experience in the gothic-metal scene I’m sad to say that very little from this 2016 release really rocked my world. Perhaps it’s obvious to those that have kept up with TDV in recent times that their style has changed pretty drastically from their origins of occult black metal but, to old school fans, the shock of hearing the heavy keyboards-driven-nearly “Evenescence-ness” (gulp!) might turn some off.

Rather than going over the entire album I would recommend two tracks that I feel really stand out the most. ‘Pierrot Lunaire’ has the strongest showing by Scarlet and pushes the most balance to their standard keyboards and symphonic metal. The song opens with a creepy overtone and quickly picks up into a nice complement of well written and well performed vocals and excellent transitions from keyboards of wispy fortune to deceptive guitar riffs. ‘Seventh Room’ is an excellent show-floor title that I can fully endorse. While this track does continue the keyboard driven style with dashes of down-tuned guitar riffs that every other song on this album offers, it also does sprinkle in dashes of harsh vocals along with a glimpse into the past of how brutal this band once was. Every other track feels like slightly above average filler. I’m sorry.

Most of everything you’ll hear on this album has been done by similar acts like Lacuna Coil or even Sirenia to a much more polished degree. This is not to say that ‘Candyland’ doesn’t have its enjoyable spots, as I found myself having a pretty decent time during the first couple listens, but it just isn’t anything super original, nor is it “That Album” that will bring in new listeners. It’s a somewhat better than average gothic metal album; if you’re into that then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
Scarlet Records
Review by Joshua Jaeger
14th Oct 2016
1) Morgana Effect
2) Resurrection Mary
3) Delusional Denial
4) Parasomnia
5) Candyland
6) Your Ragdoll
7) Pierrot Lunaire
8) Photographic
9) Opium Shades
10) Seventh Room
11) Autumn Leaves
"...a somewhat better than average gothic metal album..."