Release date: February 1, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Alongside bands like Theatre or Tragedy, Trail of Tears, and The Sins of Thy Beloved, Tristania was one of the “NWOGBWNSWTL’T’” (New Wave of Goth Bands With Names Starting With The Letter “T”) that established quite a strong Goth scene in Norway during the mid to late nineties. All of the aforementioned bands delivered quality music, but as the years went on, it was clear that the genre was too limiting and either the bands turned into something else –- Theatre or Tragedy, for example, is nowadays more or less a Pop band –- or turned boring. Unfortunately this album practically falls straight into the latter category, as this is the epitome of standard, quasi-melancholic Goth Metal.

The opener, “Libre,” has some quality tendencies… the track is cleverly arranged and has some promising melodies, as does the heavier “The Wretched,” but overall this album is far too bland. The band is at their best when they rely more on guitars and drums to create some heaviness, than on pure atmosphere alone, but this happens far too seldom this time around. Also, the combination of the three (!) vocalists: Vibeke Stene, Osten Bergoy, and Kjetil Ingebrethsen kinda falls through as none really deliver very spectacular performances. Stene has a good voice, that has to be mentioned, but she sounds too uninspired and sings with too little power throughout, especially compared to several other female opera voices in modern Metal. The instrumentalists deliver okay performances, but none of them are ever given room to really stand out and shine.

There is no doubt that Steamhammer has invested a nice pile of gold coins into this album – the package is very professional with a dead cool cover, a 16 page booklet is included, and the band spent four months in one of Norway’s foremost recording studios, and hopefully both they and the band get something in return for their efforts. They shouldn’t expect too much, unfortunately, as the music is far too anonymous. This is never “bad,” but even after several listens there’s little, if anything at all, that manages to fasten to the brain. Sorry folks.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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