By Dr. Abner Mality

Sometimes a reviewer has to step outside his comfort zone and sample something different. With THEATRES DES VAMPIRES, I tried my best. This female fronted outfit with its vampire obsession is far more melodic and commercial than my usual thunder and mayhem. Despite a sincere effort, I just cannot get into a disc this sugary and overproduced.

This is Gothic evening gown metal with a strong dose of symphonic and light industrial sounds. Well, if it's catchy enough, it can work. But for night crawling bloodsuckers, there isn't a lot of real darkness to be found in TDV. The darkness is there, but it's not deep or dangerous...more like a light bit of shade, like a fast cloud flying past the moon. The one very impressive aspect of the band is bewitching singer Sonya Scarlet. She puts on a vocal clinic over the course of "In Nomine Sanguinis", changing her vocal tone and intensity. She can scream and snarl on "Lady Bathory", croon seductively on "The Void Inside" and "The Bride of Corinth", whisper like a ghost and cut loose with operatic tones. Without her, THEATRES DES VAMPIRES would be lost in the graveyard.

Still, the rest of what's here is just too glossy...the second half of the album in particular allows sappy melody and delicate keys to run riot. The crunching guitar sounds completely anonymous and indeed, I see there's no listing for a guitarist here. At one time, TDV had more of a black metal vibe. I wish some of that would have been retained and the industrial elements emphasized and deepened more. As it was, by the time I got to "The Golden Cage" and "The Void Inside", my interest was gone and my attempt to give this a chance evaporated. These vampires need more bite.