Rating:
9.0
Tristania - Darkest White
31 May 2013


01. Number
02. Darkest White
03. Himmelfall
04. Requiem
05. Diagnosis
06. Scarling
07. Night On Earth
08. Lavender
09. Cypher
10. Arteries


Dear Divided Fanbase of Tristania,

If you found the last album, Rubicon, to be too scattered, or were turned off by the jagged edges and right turns, it's ok: you can come home now. Darkest White is streamlined, focused, and solid as hell. If (like me) you found Rubicon to be quite a masterpiece, then you'll still find the band's haunting essence very present here… and ready to carry you away in gothic bliss like never before.

Perhaps one of the band's most focused albums to date, each song here is a soaring exploration of dark, desolate beauty. The songwriting is solid and very streamlined; no matter your thoughts on Tristania's evolution, the surprises in these tunes will make you smile, not turn away.

Darkest White embraces an emotional thread throughout the album. There are ups and downs but we never lose hold of this ever-present emotional heaviness. This album is draining and uplifting at the same time. Musically, there are ups and downs also: the penultimate track, "Cypher," features some heavy bass and even sludge-like distortion; the chorus of "Requiem" has a sharp and clever syncopation in its gorgeous vocal line that may be the first thing to grab you about this album. There are other surprises I'll let you discover, dear readers, but they are all placed nicely on a bed of beautiful and melodic gothic metal, with dark, haunting, addictive melodies.

At first this album seemed too "clean" in comparison to Rubicon and others, yet that was just a superficial impression. Over the past several albums, Tristania has explored beautiful gothic metal through many strange means and I've enjoyed every second of those journeys. I suppose it caught me off guard that they kept the "strange" to a minimum here and used it only when it would perfect the music further. The goal here is achieved: an album where every single song is a unique and exquisite moment in time.

What a journey this has been already; it took me several spins to even decide if I liked Darkest White. In the beginning all I could hear were the things it wasn't, instead of what it was. Some albums make an immediate impression while others really do need time to settle in your ear. But once you hit the sweet spot with understanding the music, well, that's the beauty, isn't it? Ten times for ten individual songs to each reveal themselves; the discovery of Tristania. And there are few such wonderful experiences.


Band profile: Tristania
Album: Darkest White


 



Written on 31.05.2013 by
Susan
Susan appreciates quality metal regardless of genre. Metal Storm Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Susan ››



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Unhealer - 31.05.2013 at 05:00  
I gave it one shot and I was left with that bittersweet feeling of "I don't like it but I want to listen to it again". And I usually end up liking those albums, so let's see what happens next...
Ap46 - 31.05.2013 at 05:07  
Tristania, then Sirenia. Let's see who has done the job correctly and who has not
Rasa - 31.05.2013 at 05:09  
As I have hoped, it did not disappoint. Surely heaver than Rubicon and more "in your face". In a way it sounds for me like a continuation of Ashes rather than two albums past that period. Arteries, Cypher, Himmelfall - these are the highlights for me so far.
theembryo - 31.05.2013 at 05:17  
Mariangela not singing in title track....? Anyway, this and "Lavender", and yes, "Cypher" are absolute first-time listen quality for me here. Well done, and bravo for the review as well from Susan
annodomini - 31.05.2013 at 08:58  
I am totally shocked! This is such a surprise! Tristania always was a qualified songwriters, but this time they toped themselves! Vocal lines are just spectacular, the variation between vocals are surprising, and the melodys... It's amazing to see how they managed to create a very original album in this genre. I mean all songs sounds fresh and quiet unique, with lots of influences from other styles, specially blues, what is significant in Mary's vocals. The only filler for me is "Night on earth". All other songs equaly amazing.

My favorites so far - Requeim, Diagnosis and Number.

And the lyrics are poetic again!
Mr. Doctor - 31.05.2013 at 12:44  
Welp shit, your review got me interested. I never checked out Tristania before. I don't like many gothic metal bands and usually I preffer the older sound but still, definitely interested because of the review.
BloodTears - 31.05.2013 at 13:41  
Written by Mr. Doctor on 31.05.2013 at 12:44

Welp shit, your review got me interested. I never checked out Tristania before. I don't like many gothic metal bands and usually I preffer the older sound but still, definitely interested because of the review.


If you don't like Tristania, you can't marry me Also, maybe you'll like it, I don't know.

Susan, that first sentence ahah so true! Of course I'll be checking this out when I can grab it. I am actually more optimistic now.
Draugen - 31.05.2013 at 14:26  
That's it, now I'm definatively going to give this album a chance. Hopefully I will end up being positively surprised.
Vilovita Rusalka - 31.05.2013 at 15:08  
Disappointment once again... But that's just my opinion and preference.
annodomini - 31.05.2013 at 17:06  
I believe the problem of thos who are disappointed is that they still are hoping to hear old Tristania. These guys are the best creative crew Tristania ever had, even better then Veland-era. They just play a different style. It's pitty that fans of Tristania rate this by 2 or 3, because I always thought that people who like music like Tristania are open-minded, but it seems, they can't get out of the box and appreaciate different approaches.
Ap46 - 31.05.2013 at 18:38  
Ok, i listened to it and i think it's a good album. It has some twists and turns that keep you interested for the most part. But, i think it goes down in the middle and then up again at the end, so i find myself skipping 2 or 3 songs that do nothing for me. It's good though.
Dark†SymphonY - 31.05.2013 at 18:50  
Another great review from Susan , definitely makes me want to play the album now. A couple of tracks are uploaded on YouTube and sounding not too bad. I can hear a definite improvement from the last album.
Epictemptation7 - 01.06.2013 at 18:59  
Wow this is great, Gothic Metal is healing now
AnGina-- - 02.06.2013 at 14:11  
I'm not even sure if it makes sense to write these words, because it seems some of you just don't want to understand it, but I'll give it s shot anyway. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm pretty sure some share my point of view - it's not that we/I don't like DW because we're hoping to get ''old'' Tristania back, we just don't like it. Period. Do you guys like all albums by your faves? I certainly don't. There are albums from bands that I like, that are shitty. There are albums from bands I dislike (meaning I like the majortiy of their work), that I fancy. We're not teens anymore, it's not obligatory to like just about anything our ''fave'' band releases.

DW is Tristania's 7th full lenght album. Of these 7, mr. Veland was only a part of 2. Meaning, anyone still hoping of anything going to the origins, is pointless and even stupid. So no, it's not about old Tristania, not about Veland, it's about simply not liking the album because of its very own fetaures.

Open-mindedness? I can't understand this one either, goes as well as the first point - not liking an album or a band doesn't mean, one is close-minded. I myself listen to a variety of genres outside metal and I embrace just about anything that I, for some reason, fancy. I don't have guilty pleasure, merely pleasures. Again, not liking an album is not a matter of open-mindedness, it's matter of taste and preferences.

I'm glad Tristania still has many admireres, I congratulate them on their long path, on their new album and all the positive reviews they are getting. But don't use the same old story over and over again to bash anyone, who doesn't agree that the album is superb. I won't lie, I was so dissapointed with Ashes when it came out and never liked anything post WOG as much as the previous ones. But nonetheless, over the years I found new depths in Ashes/Illumination/Rubicon, there are still some songs on the albums I adore deeply. Maybe it will be the same with DW, but overall, it's just not an album for me at the moment.

I enjoyed reading the review though, even thoug I disagree with Susan's points of view. But nonetheless, it's well written and it gives me a view from the other side; what appeals some on DW and makes this album so likeable and I simply can't argue with that at any point, because it's merely a matter of opinion.
Cassian - 02.06.2013 at 16:19  
Only listened to the album once, and my first impression is Mariangela's singing has got much more persuasive. It's not an accessible album though. The only song that has got my attention is "Requiem". Still need some more spins
Gothnica - 04.06.2013 at 21:09  
Please Darkest White can't be best than Ashes,and Illumination,
Susan - 07.06.2013 at 05:35  
Written by Gothnica on 04.06.2013 at 21:09

Please Darkest White can't be best than Ashes,and Illumination,


Really tough call since all 3 are so different. That's what I love so much about Tristania: sure, there are "periods" of a few similar albums but each is so unique it's almost impossible to compare one to the next. Seven treats for the ear this band has given us.
Spell - 11.06.2013 at 10:59  
Vibeke was Tristania, Tristania started going downhill after world of glass imo and totally fucked up when they picked this new chick instead of seeking a proper replacement to Vibeke. now they sound like just another chick band.
DoomRules - 28.06.2013 at 20:38  
We have to overcome that the old Tristania never will return, however this record clearly shows a
development as a band, we must recognize that they are very good musicians.
E†han1994 - 05.07.2013 at 19:42  
Written by AnGina-- on 02.06.2013 at 14:11

I'm not even sure if it makes sense to write these words, because it seems some of you just don't want to understand it, but I'll give it s shot anyway. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm pretty sure some share my point of view - it's not that we/I don't like DW because we're hoping to get ''old'' Tristania back, we just don't like it. Period. Do you guys like all albums by your faves? I certainly don't. There are albums from bands that I like, that are shitty. There are albums from bands I dislike (meaning I like the majortiy of their work), that I fancy. We're not teens anymore, it's not obligatory to like just about anything our ''fave'' band releases.

DW is Tristania's 7th full lenght album. Of these 7, mr. Veland was only a part of 2. Meaning, anyone still hoping of anything going to the origins, is pointless and even stupid. So no, it's not about old Tristania, not about Veland, it's about simply not liking the album because of its very own fetaures.

Open-mindedness? I can't understand this one either, goes as well as the first point - not liking an album or a band doesn't mean, one is close-minded. I myself listen to a variety of genres outside metal and I embrace just about anything that I, for some reason, fancy. I don't have guilty pleasure, merely pleasures. Again, not liking an album is not a matter of open-mindedness, it's matter of taste and preferences.

I'm glad Tristania still has many admireres, I congratulate them on their long path, on their new album and all the positive reviews they are getting. But don't use the same old story over and over again to bash anyone, who doesn't agree that the album is superb. I won't lie, I was so dissapointed with Ashes when it came out and never liked anything post WOG as much as the previous ones. But nonetheless, over the years I found new depths in Ashes/Illumination/Rubicon, there are still some songs on the albums I adore deeply. Maybe it will be the same with DW, but overall, it's just not an album for me at the moment.

I enjoyed reading the review though, even thoug I disagree with Susan's points of view. But nonetheless, it's well written and it gives me a view from the other side; what appeals some on DW and makes this album so likeable and I simply can't argue with that at any point, because it's merely a matter of opinion.


That's fine. If it's not your thing, then it's not your thing. I think most of us just get pissed off when people say that it sucks just because Vibeke isn't on it. When they just pin down the entire album's quality on one member's absence.
Daggon - 29.08.2013 at 04:02  
I used to enjoy female fronted metal bands a lot in the past, but I don't know, maybe it's me, maybe I can't enjoy this type of music anymore, or maybe the music that most female fronted metal bands play is bad, artificial, focused on the image of their singer instead of focusing on music quality, I don't know, I hope some band will prove me wrong in the future, but in the meantime, I just can't say that I find this album boring.
E†han1994 - 23.10.2013 at 01:44  
Written by Spell on 11.06.2013 at 10:59

Vibeke was Tristania, Tristania started going downhill after world of glass imo and totally fucked up when they picked this new chick instead of seeking a proper replacement to Vibeke. now they sound like just another chick band.

That's your opinion, but to be honest, I think Vibeke is overrated (By that, I mean she's good, but not so much "amazing" or "unique"). I also think every other "chick band" sounds like Tristania's early work, not this album.
I also think getting someone like Mary to take Vibeke's place was a great idea, seeing as how Anders and Einar clearly wanted to take the band's music in a new direction, and getting a singer with a different style has enabled them to do so much more easily.

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