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.
Tristania Homepage: www.tristania.com
--Ken Pierce 1.20.05
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