Tristania - _Tristania_
(Napalm Records, 1997)
by: Henry Akeley (7 out of 10)
This Norwegian sextet plays a mellow, doomy style of metal which often rings with very gothic tones, owing to the inclusion of glimmering guitar lines, sprightly keyboard phrases, and female vocals. In fact, the band often sounds more goth than metal -- but a metallic foundation is present in the form of crunchy (albeit slightly muted) rhythm guitar, doomy tempos, and gruff/raspy male vocals, which thankfully avoid the pompous tones crooned by many a gothically garbed lothario. Vibeke, the bands female vocalist, also adds a touch of distinction by singing in an unusually full, warm voice: definitely more earthy than ethereal, never ghostly, but occasionally haunting nonetheless. Evocative keyboard melodies are central to some songs, in a way which reminds me a bit of Limbonic Art, though Tristania has a much more mellow and organic overall sound. Whereas your friendly neighborhood black, death, and grind bands all hammer out a raging cacophony of distortion and speed, Tristania favor a very open, laid-back, minimally crowded presentation. This well-produced MCD contains three songs (plus a well-done intro) and lasts for just under 28 minutes. Seems like a promising debut to me, and I imagine that some people who especially like gothic music (or related styles) will really like this a lot. It's a bit soft and (a bigger problem) a bit conventional in composition for my tastes, but the band's upcoming full-length is supposed to be "symphonic goth metal" with black metal elements, which could be interesting... we'll see.

(article published 1/1/1998)


CHATS
1/10/2001 A Bromley Tristania: Unveiling New Realms of Music
1/16/1999 P Azevedo Tristania: Flowing Midwintertears
ALBUMS
12/26/2006 J Ulrey 7.5 Tristania - Illumination
10/19/2001 C Flaaten 8 Tristania - World of Glass
1/15/2000 P Azevedo 9 Tristania - Beyond the Veil
4/13/1998 P Azevedo 9 Tristania - Widow's Weeds
GIGS
1/14/2002 D Rocher Tristania / Rotting Christ / Vintersorg / Madder Mortem A Night to Remember, a Bill to Forget
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