Theatres des Vampires are an Italian gothic metal band with seductive tones to tempt the most innocent of listeners to take a step into the darkness. I’ll give you a little insight into the band name itself, the members were inspired by the fictional Parisian theatre where vampires would pose as mortal actors and perform for the human audience created by the outstanding gothic fantasy author Anne Rice. Everything about this band speaks internally to my creative side so when this came into planetmosh headquarters I knew it was one I had to take on personally.
The album Candyland is inspired by the incredibly haunting Pennhurst asylum which after some research has one of the most fascinating backgrounds. I looked into the asylum before listening to the album and couldn’t resist asking the band for a little information regarding the choice Candyland as the album title and why they chose to focus it on Pennhurst itself, here is Sonya’s response: ‘The name of the new album is inspired by a room, different from all others, with colored walls and bars on the windows. A room described as hell on earth by the inpatients of the infamous Pennhurst asylum in Pennsylvania, where for decades adults and children with severe mental problems where hidden away from the public eye. A sad but alas true story, and the patients themselves renamed that room – with its brightly colored walls from which nobody could leave – Candyland.
Candyland is a journey through the corridors of the asylum, through the dread of those who – locked away inside the bulwarks of Pennhurst – were left to live in the lone company of their deepest and most harrowing fears, told through their words, accompanied by their cry of desperation. Never to be understood. Never to be free. Never to be truly alive.’ With the background now buzzing through my mind it’s finally time to enter Candyland.
We are introduced to the asylum with the rather enchanting track Morgana Effect, beginning quite melodic before the demonic yet seductive tones of the enchantress Sonya begins which takes this track to a whole new level. Drums begin to thunder a short time into this track creating something rather beautiful with heavy bass tones tearing into this track like Zeus’ lightening striking with every single note. The lyrics gives the audio listener an insight into the mind of the previous occupancies of the asylum itself, taking you through the false euphoria the mind creates under such pressures of society’s view of what is deemed acceptable. If you love bands such as Motionless In White and New Years Day you are going to love this track.
Resurrection Mary tells the listener of a patient who is trapped within the asylum, her troubles and how she is to escape by running for her sanity. The melody on this song is one which is extremely catchy not to mention the lyrics involved too, it manages to create a feeling of hope yet entrapment, which is something extremely difficult to create so outstanding job on this song guys. This is definitely one track I will have on repeat!
Delusional Denial kicks off with a thunderous drum beat which is enough to wake any vampire from their eternal sleep. This song has the use of whispers throughout the first verse which really sets the tone for the asylum setting, also it has the use of male vocals which create the story of a worker at the asylum talking to his patient, taunting her throughout the track. It has elements of incredible riffs and spellbinding tones to help take you through this patients denial of insanity versus their normality, amazing track in its entirety.
Parasomnia has a similar fight or flight to the tracks entrance sparking a similarity to that of the mighty Nightwish. The lyrics once again creates the perfect imagery of a patient and their struggle with their own reality of having to face their nightmare over and over again, never to awaken from their slumber. Once again this song has an extremely catchy melody to entice the listener to continue with the journey through Candyland with the band.
Candyland has one of the most haunting entrances I personally have heard before the enchanting Sonya comes into the track with a beautiful piano setting the scene of a patient facing the therapy room. This is one of the slower tracks from the album which is interesting as it happens to set a different tone from the other songs amongst being one of the more haunting songs from the album.
Your Ragdoll has a killer intro not to mention an outstanding melody to match, your well and truly into Candyland by this point as a listener and this song is one which carries you through the patient rooms of Pennhurst. This is definitely a song to get you moving those new rocks and rocking the hell out.
Pierrot Lunaire is a rather powerful element from this album with a taunting introduction, the thunderous drum beat and heavy bass throughout it once again has a different feel to the other songs from the album. The versus have an attack feel within the vocals with the chorus having rather angelic tones, it is a very unique track and one I know will be within my top 3 without question based on the guitar solo alone, it is beautiful.
Photographic is an electric beat starter which is pretty much guaranteed to get you dancing from the get go. Sonya tells us the story of a white room within the asylum and how the patient feels whilst being trusted from utter darkness into a pure white light and back again. It is incredibly catchy with both the melody and lyrics not to mention it had me dancing throughout the songs entirety.
Opium Shades adds yet another element to the album, it seems to spread like an infection the more you listen to this song, catchy yet reserved with its seduction. Killer solo once again on this song however the instrument which stands out the most to me throughout this song in particular would have to be the bass tones and use of piano to give an almost aged feel to the music, different but in all the right ways. Which introduces us beautifully into the Seventh Room.
We are taken automatically into a heavier track when introduced into seventh room. Not only is this track instantly introducing us to the vocals of Fernando Ribeiro (moonspell) but it creates many different layers throughout this song giving a full picture of insanity. The only thing I will say is holy hell the bass in Seventh Room is enough to bring many women to their knees before being lead into the seductive temptress vocalists, an outstanding track I must say!
Autumn Leaves is the final track from what I can honestly say is a phenomenal album thus far and we are not to be disappointed by the last song in the slightest as it has not only got a beautifully haunting piano melody leading us into the strong vocals it also has the melody that is unique to Theatres des Vampires throughout. A truly seductive end to a delicious album.
I would have to say that Photographic has to be my personal favourite track from Candyland not only for its melody but also for the catchy lyrics trapped within the chorus. It truly has been an absolute pleasure to review this album. Theatre des Vampires you have done a truly incredible job; thank you and good night." - Planet Mosh