TRAGEDY
"Disco Balls to the Wall"

(Napalm)

01. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
02. You're The One That I Want
03. Evil / Baker Street
04. Stayin' Alive
05. Sweet Caroline
06. Raining Blood / It's Raining Men
07. How Deep Is Your Love
08. Aquarius / Let the Sunshine In
09. Africa
10. Total Eclipse Of The Heart
11. Tragedy
12. Dancing Queen
13. Skyfall

RATING: 6.5/10

Heavy metal is serious business to devoted metalheads the world over. It's also fair to say that heavy metal can take itself too seriously at times. But that doesn't mean that everyone in metal is afraid to crack a smile. TRAGEDY resides on the extreme end of that comical spectrum. But for the band members themselves, it's clearly more than a flash-in-the-pan joke, considering that the unit has already issued eight releases. Come 2021, TRAGEDY is now poised to release "Disco Balls to the Wall", an obvious play on words pairing disco balls with the title of ACCEPT's classic album "Balls to the Wall". And the title is definitely an adequate representation of the band's passions for both heavy metal and disco.

The New York-based act is indeed an "all metal tribute to THE BEE GEES and beyond," as "Disco Balls to the Wall" takes a metallic spin on popular, mainstream disco songs from the seventies through the eighties. The vibrant, shining core of the pop songs remain throughout, but these classics are encased in a package of hard-hitting, driving guitars and the rest of the trappings of heavy metal music. ABBA's "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" kickstarts the entertaining 14-track release, sure to find appeal amongst a generous portion of glam rock and metal fans. It's interesting how well the song lends itself to the heavy metal format.

TRAGEDY's rendition of "You're The One That I Want", the John Farrar song performed by JOHN TRAVOLTA and OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN for the 1978 film version of the musical "GREASE", leaves quite an impression. The verses are subdued and impassioned, while the chorus is high energy and up tempo. They could have done without the backing death growls during the chorus, but embarrassing moments will be inevitable for most "comedy metal" bands. Where they do succeed with the blending of pop and the harder side of metal, however, is with their mashup of SLAYER's "Raining Blood" with THE WEATHER GIRLS' "It's Raining Men", even though the references to the SLAYER song are quite minimal.

"Disco Balls to the Wall" is incredibly dynamic, nuanced and layered. The release requires several listenings to fully grasp. But as enjoyable as the album may be, it's likely that TRAGEDY won't have a lasting impact on the metal scene. After all, and even though they're immensely talented, at the end of the day TRAGEDY is a cover band.

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