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Tristania “Ashes” SPV Records 2005 reviewed by: Ken Pierce

Track Listing
1. Libre
2. Equilibrium
3. The Wretched
4. Cure
5. Circus
6. Shadowman
7. Endogenesis
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 with 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). I apologize for my keyboard not recognizing some of the letters in their names.

While I am not fond of the growling singing style, this fits within the context of the Tristania 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 reviewers 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.


Rating: 7/10

Tristania Homepage: www.tristania.com


--Ken Pierce 1.20.05
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: TRISTANIA
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
AshesTristania
2005
Ken Pierce1/19/2005


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