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Tristania: Ashes

While I felt much of this CD was enjoyable, I found there were some weird moments in which I had trouble defining the sound I was hearing. It kicks off right away with the guttural growls of Kjetil Ingebrethsen. He is accompanied by the almost angelic voiced Vibeke Stene. I found it unique that three singers are present in this group from Norway as usually in a group like this you will have both a male and female singer. One sees this most often in bands like Nightwish and Lacuna Coil. However, in the case of Tristania you cannot compare them to either of those bands. Tristania is unique in its direction as more of the Gothic style than that of straight ahead power metal. I felt this group had the most in common with Epica from the Netherlands.

The lineup is massive with 7 members, and that's a lot for a metal band these days. In addition to the aforementioned singers, the lineup consists of Osten Bergoy (Vocals), Einar Moen (Synth & Programming), Kenneth Olsson (Drums), Rune Osterhus (Bass), Anders Heyvik Hidle (Guitar).

While I am not fond of the growling singing style, this fits within the context of Tristania's music. The opener "Libre" is a driving track with some great guitar work by Anders, however my favorite tune of the entire CD would have to be "Equilibrium" for it truly captures a dark and moody Gothic feel. "Cure" is a nice slow piece, that does not lose any of its dark emotion due to its speed. There are only 7 tracks on the piece yet this is enough to get a good idea of the group. My promo copy did not come with a lyric sheet for me to absorb any of the themes that they are delivering, but there are some photos. Vibeke is a stunning young woman who's voice matches her features. An important aspect is so many of the image-driven instances of music these days.

Tristania proves to be an interesting band and I feel with SPV handling their releases and tour efforts that we will be suitably impressed in the future from these folks. If Dark Gothic Metal is your style, then please give the band a chance, you might enjoy it.

Track Listing
1. Libre
2. Equilibrium
3. The Wretched
4. Cure
5. Circus
6. Shadowman
7. Endogenesis

Added: September 8th 2005
Reviewer: Ken Pierce
Related Link: Tristania's Website
Hits: 3623
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Tristania: Ashes
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-09-08 07:08:39
My Score:

Classy gothic death metal is all the rage on the latest from Norway's Tristania, a seven-piece band that has conjured up some powerful & dark sounds on Ashes. With the musicians providing a huge wall of massive sounds with guitars, keyboards, bass and drums, their is plenty of room for the three featured vocalists to display their talents. Vibeke Stene is one of those singers, and not only is she stunning to look at, but has range beyond belief, as her wonderful soprano style soars above the moody arrangements on "Equilibrium" and does battle with the death metal & gothic vocals of Osten Bergoy & Kjetil Ingebrethsen on "Libre". At times the band sound like a cross between Epica, Lacuna Coil, or a heavier Leave's Eyes, but when they get really heavy you can almost compare them to Battlelore. Other standout tracks include the punishing death metal stomp of "The Wretched", the lovely "Cure", and the melodic yet somber "Endogenisis". While the music is pretty straightforward and not overly complex, there are plenty of orchestral keyboards and crunchy guitar work throughout this CD. Ashes is highly recommended to anyone who likes metal with a variety of styles, as this one covers the gothic, death, power, and progressive spectrums pretty well.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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