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Tristania


Skadi
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Tristania was one of the most solid and recognizable Gothic Metal bands from the late-90s/2000s, but just a couple months ago they announced their complete cease of activity. Tristania is no more.

The band was founded in 1996 by Morten Veland, Einar Moen and Kenneth Olsson. Soon after they were joined by Anders Høyvik Hidle, Rune Østerhus and Vibeke Stene. During this time they released Widow's Weeds and Beyond the Veil. I consider this the first era.

The second era started with the departure of Morten Veland. Østen Bergøy and Kjetil Ingebrethsen joined the band in 2001. In 2005 Svein Terje Solvang would join the band. Between 2001 and 2007 they released World of Glass, Ashes and Illumination.

The third era began with the departure of Vibeke Stene in 2007 followed by Svein Terje Solvang, Rune Østerhus, Kenneth Olson and Østen Bergøy in the following years up to 2010. During this time the band was reformed with Mariangela Demurtas, Ole Vistnes, Gyri Smørdal Losnegaard, Kjetil Nordhus and Tarald Lie. The first release with the new lineup was Rubicon in 2010. Then in 2013 they released Darkest White.

 

I love the first two albums, and I liked the direction they were taking in the early 2000s. I was concerned when Vibeke announced her retirement, and then when Solvang, Olson, Bergøy and Østerhus also left I started to feel disconnected from the band. I tried to be positive but I just couldn't get into the reformed Tristania. The recent announcement about the end of Tristania is sad, but I feel like the band that I loved ended many years ago.

I'll rank the albums and link one song from each of them in case you're interested in giving them a listen.

 

7. Rubicon (2010)

Hmm. I don't want to sound harsh but if there's one word I'd use to describe this album it'd be 'unpleasant'. It's like they were trying to sound like Lacuna Coil, I don't know.

This song --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4GTG9L0594  is the one I choose to post here, not because I think it's good but because it encapsulates the many problems I have with this album.

6. Darkest White (2013)

This one is better than Rubicon but still... I just can't get into it. I listened to it a handful of times and I just can't remember much of it. It's bland and forgettable but more tolerable than Rubicon.

I guess Himmelfall is the best song of Darkest White --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vfgU1M71CE

5. Ashes (2005)

From here on I think all of them are good.

To me Ashes sounds very melancholic, as if it's the aftermath to the anger in World of Glass. There's an elegance to the melodies here that I can't forget.

Shadowman has a perfect atmosphere, this is my recomendation --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r8EBuZs0E4

 

4. Illumination (2007)

I'm probably very biased here, but I love Illumination. Back then I listened to it a lot, almost everyday. I'm not sure why I connected so much with it, many fans considered it the weakest album to date. The production is cleaner, giving an interesting edge to the atmosphere of this album. Very enjoyable.

The Ravens has always been my favorite song from Illumination --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL1jLY9bPXE

 

3. Beyond the Veil (1999)

Absolutely fantastic, you can tell Morten Veland gave it all in this. It's probably the most refined version of the 'old' Tristania, after an amazing first album they went on to make a very solid follow-up.

Beyond its veil of darkness there's a soul, something very special. Powerful and unforgettable.

I'm probably being predictable here, but Angina is the standout to me --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lJzFsPiYSM

2. World of Glass (2001)

What can I say, I like the direction they took here and how 'modern' (well, for 2001 lol) it sounds. The atmosphere is fantastic, there's anger and melancholy in this album and I love it. It's probably one of my most played albums ever, the first time I listened to it I was fascinated.

Crushed Dreams is one of my favorite songs ever --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n34AMDBu0A

 

1. Widow's Weeds (1998)

A dark and beautiful masterpiece. It definitely stands the test of time, it still sounds amazing. I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this album. It marked a period of my life. 

My favorite song has always been My Lost Lenore --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVV7XZIcFiU

 

That'd be all for now. Any Tristania fans around here? I'd love to read your thoughts.

 

 

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I came into extreme metal in the mid aughts and went through a goth beauty/beast/symphonic phase and still go back to those albums on occasion. I came in on Ashes. I dig everything up to Ashes pretty well. Beyond the Veil, of course is a classic of the genre and probably revisit that one the most. Widow Weeds is cool, too. I think they veered a little too far into the "pretty vocals" sound on World of Glass but I still enjoy individual tracks on that one as well. 

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