Tristania - Ashes review
|Release date:||January 2005|
03. The Wretched
07. The Gate [ltd. ed. digipak bonus]
Norway's leading Gothic Metal band nowadays has to be Tristania, since Theatre of Tragedy went electronic and lost their singer and Sirenia haven't risen as high yet, only Tristania keeps the music really alive.
And now when they are about to release their fourth album, the expectations are sky-high all around the globe, because after such unexpected success "World of Glass" became, everyone want yet another album in that class. And "Ashes" it meant to be that album, but is it? Read below and judge for yourself.
It's been 4 years since "World of Glass" was released, the album that was the first without the famous guitarist and brain Morten Veland.
Many foresaw the end of the young and talented band, but they showed everyone that they could manage without Morten.
But after such loss, it's easy to divine the fans into two groups, the one that stays with the first band and the one that moves on with the new (and of course those that likes both). Personally I was never into Tristania but Sirenia really caught my interest, and to be perfectly honest with you, I've never really liked "World of Glass" either. It's a decent album but Sirenia's debut was so much better.
But this review is about Tristania's "Ashes" and already in the first song I could hear that this would appeal me much more than the last album.
First of all, this album feels slower, the songs never gets any faster than mid-paced, and Vibeke's howling voice (She doesn't sing as operatic now) grant the album a atmospheric feeling that I think "World of Glass" didn't have.
Second of all I think "Ashes" is more worked-through, all the arrangements is better, the production too and the music flows together with all the three singers in a much better way.
And it's much more Gothic than earlier, at least mentally, you'll get this feeling of grief and sorrow.
One thing I like above all is the clean male-vocals; I think it's done by Mr. Östen Bergöy, it's simply one of the best elements this band has. But too be honest isn't his voice that superior, but together with everything else, it's so beautiful. And with Vibeke's atmospheric voice and Kjetil's growls (I guess he's doing those) it's priceless.
Unfortunately I never heard their earlier albums, but I heard that "Beyond the Veil" is supposed to be their best album, and if that's true, it has to be one hell on an album, because "Ashes" is not only good, it's beautiful, it's sad and it's tearing you apart.
But if we shall bring forward the "bad" parts too, I have to complain about the songs in general; they are a bit too alike. The variation could have been better.
And the cover is bad, it's very, very boring and it will not win any prizes, that I promise you.
And it could also be a bit longer too, the album (without 2 songs) is 42 min, and that feels short when you listen to this kind of music.
Plus that the songs are still very complex, it can take much time to really get into some of them.
But in general I have to admit that "Ashes" has changed my view of Tristania, and I'm prepared to "crown" them "Master of Norwegian Gothic", at least until another band show me that they can better.
I recommend you, fan of Gothic with female and both clean and growl male vocals to run to your local CD-store on the 24th of January. Make it the first thing you do when you get out of bed, because that day, you might find Tristania's "Ashes" there.
Check Out: The entire album.
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