Trist - _Willenskraft_
(Cold Dimensions, 2009)
by: Pedro Azevedo (5.5 out of 10)
Tristan -- the person responsible for Trist and Lunar Aurora (as Aran) -- has made it abundantly clear in past efforts that the dark ambient genre is not a mere sideshow for him, and on _Willenskraft_ it certainly shares center stage with his black metal. The lengthy ambient sections are centered around the sound of waves, with the ocean serving as backdrop for other subtle constructions. Inhuman sounding voices eventually start to appear, and the black metal slowly emerges from the depths of those cold waters. It's all quite well done, although for my taste rather excessively drawn out (what I just described takes well over ten minutes to unfold).

The style of black metal on offer is of a somewhat ethereal variety, not overly aggressive and driven by programmed drumming, fuzzy guitar, abstract vocals and keyboard touches -- not of the symphonic variety, but rather more aligned with the dark ambient leanings present elsewhere on the record. The music can be quite repetitive, with the same motifs explored at length, only to be replaced by another ambient passage later on. This leads to what starts out as a reasonably interesting composition ultimately becoming tiresome, as not enough seems to happen to keep the listener sufficiently interested.

_Willenskraft_ has some good ideas on display, with "Herzenswunsch" in particular standing out, but there is also a great deal of very passable material. If hypnotic compositions with a lot of dark ambient thrown in might be your thing, then it could be well worth a try. Most listeners will likely find _Willenskraft_ more tiring than captivating, however.


(article published 15/4/2009)

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