Tragedy In Hope – Smile At Death

Hailing from Saint Petersburg, Russia, Tragedy In Hope are a symphonic black metal band that truly takes pride and puts the hard work in to go above and beyond within their chosen craft. Who does all this hard work, you may ask? Well, Encyclopedia Metallum says that there are two people that are part of the band, with Alexander Dovgan on the drums and  Alexander Giller taking care of vocals but another site, Facebook actually, says that it is only Sasha Giller in the band, yet it lists only songwriting as his credits. So, I am not to sure on who is in this band and what they even do but whoever it is they really have been putting in the extremely hard work. Starting in the year 2017 and being rather busy in those few short years, with 4 singles, one full length and an EP, which is the release that we are talking about here, “Smile At Death”, under their/her(?) belts already.

Not only have they produced a decent amount of output since they have come into existence, they have also put in an enormous amount of work for each and every release. With every one being very meticulously written and theorized and interconnected with the artwork, music and lyrics all interlacing with one another in a very precise and deliberate way. A way that makes it all that much more impactful and meaningful to the listener/experiencer, if they are actually willing to put in the time and effort on their end as well, this EP (as I am sure with most of their releases) works the best when experienced as a complete piece, as a whole. Skipping around or segmented listens do not play well to its strengths and can make the impact not as powerful or striking.

After all that, I bet you are wondering what this band, Tragedy In Hope, actually sounds like. I mean, that is why we are all here, right? Well, I would have to say, in my humble opinion, that this band sounds a little like later Emperor with some touches of Cradle Of Filth and King Diamond, along with his theatric stylings and sensibilities thrown in. Now, it is not like you can sit there and go, “that point is Emperor and this point Cradle Of Filth,” and so on. They/she, whoever it may be makes their art their own baby, their own thing, those reference points just put in, by me, for easier digestion for you on what they sound like.

In the end, symphonic black metal as a whole is usually not my bag, baby, but when it is rather well done, all around, much like most of the classics, I can really get down. And I do have to say that Tragedy In Hope’s EP “Smile At Death” is really, really well done, may not be near classic level but I would say it is not too far off. As stated earlier, when listened to as a whole, this EP is really good; alone, the tracks do not work as well, yet neither does it make them bad. Tragedy In Hope, whoever they are, are really good, as is “Smile At Death,” and should be heard/experienced to be believed.

Self released
Reviewer: Ben Schultz

Nov 28, 2019

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Tragedy In Hope – Smile At Death

review Tragedy In Hope - Smile At Death

1. Alone In The Woods
2. Smile At Death
3. Pierce The Heavens
4. Grim Love Story

3.5

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