Beautiful, truly beautiful...that's Tristania (not to be mistaken with Holy Records' Tristitia). I might as well keep it at that here, but that would hardly suffice for a review, now would it?

This six-some, which combines the lyrical style of Theatre of Tragedy with the bombastic classicism we know of Therion, hails from Norway, a country as beauteous as the music they make and the serene voices of Vibeke Stene and the eight-piece choir. "Widow's Weeds" captivates from the beginning to the end, with haunting tunes accompanied by said choir and soprano, contrasting against singer Morten Veland's grunt.

The mix is excellent, the combination of instruments and vocals (grunt, soprano and choir) is superb, and the compositions really strike a chord. And if you've seen the film "Titanic" (and liked it :-), "December Elegy" is especially spine-chilling. If you like pre-"Aegis" Theatre of Tragedy, post-"Leppaca..." Therion and perhaps Orphanage, Tristania is for you. Definite "Top 10 of 1998" material!



Written July 1998


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