Tristania - Ashes

7 songs
42:38 minutes
***** ***
Steamhammer / SPV


Tristania from Norway was formed in 1996. On their past three CDs, they combined elements of thrash, black and gothic, succeeding to win fans from all kinds of different styles. The new album Ashes is again a riskless attitude where the same ways are followed. The opener Libre, the only shorter song on the album, begins with a harsh black metal start before merging into a more moderate gothic sound. The following Equilibrium is totally different. Tristania, who have three singers, offer a much more melancholic song where calm and deep Nick Cave like vocals are confronted with higher Nightwish like chants. To avoid the listener to get into the right mood for this album, the third song The Wretched is again completely different, setting black metal vocals into very symphonic metal opera surroundings. Bizarre, but very interesting. Cure is again a more melancholic song with dominating fairy like vocals. Acoustic guitars help to make this a very relaxing song. The most psychotic track is Circus where the title really fits. It's incredible how many changes this song contains. Shadowman is another dark and epic song surprising with classical moments, strings and pianos. The album ends with Endogenesis, a calmer and beautiful track with acoustic guitars. I really like this album because it's full of variations, preventing it to become boring. Evanescence or Nightwish may be the most popular gothic metal bands, and although Tristania's sound is less compatible for the masses, it certainly is richer in music and structure. This album surprised me in a positive way and it deserves some attention by everyone who likes death, gothic and symphonic metal.

Back to Reviews