Tristania - Ashes
Gothic without clichés
9 songs (54'29)
Release year: 2005
Tristania, SPV
Reviewed by Jack

Tristania returns to business with a new album called Ashes. After a long 3 years hiatus, it seems indeed the band is rising from the ashes, but left Napalm Records to join forces with SPV. I wish some of their fellow compatriots had the same idea… Who said again The Sins Of Thy Beloved were slowy awakening ?

This fourth album sees the new singer Kjetil Ingebrethsen for the first time laying down his harsh vocals on record. Ronny Thorsen from Trail of Tears had indeed the grunts on World of Glass since Morten Veland had left the band prior to the recording giving the band no time to find a new vocalist. First of all, Kjetil Ingebrethsen is the perfect choice for the band as he really delivers on this new album. Secondly, I heard he is quite an awesome live performer. I cannot confirm this because I haven't seen the band since Morten's departure. Østen Bergøy, now a permanent member, handles the clean vocals again while Vibeke Stene enlightens this album with her graceful voice. Anders Høyvik Hidle and Einar Moen contribute to the vocals too.

Musically speaking, after the somewhat disappointing third album, World of Glass which offered a blend of several elements of gothic metal and rock, black and death metal, industrial and classical among others, the band returns with quite bold music. Gone are the gothic elements such as violin, symphonic choirs and other pompous stuff. You'll still find some of those elements throughout the album though, but they are not really as predominant as they were on the previous album.

After three or four spins I really thought I was going to shoot this album down in flames and compare it with Sirenia's latest work etc, but since I even forgot to review it, I had to give it more listens afterwards and it really grew in me. It's not a masterpiece, neither is it their best. I still strongly believe Beyond the Veil and especially Widow's Weed are their best, but this new one tops their previous album easily and offers the band a good margin of progression in their new musical direction. Their music definitely sounds more fresh and light and spacious while it sounded somewhat clinical on their previous album. It remains a bit repetitive though, but also very much progressive and atmospheric and emotional. Captivating sometimes, refreshing certainly. Gothic without the clichés. If you liked Deadlocked, this one sure is for you.

The limited digipack edition comes with a bonus track, The Gate, that isn't really worth digging, but after all limited editions are made to be sought and bought. On the other hands the band didn't record any cover songs this time. Damn it. I like cover songs!

Killing Songs :
Libre, Equilibrium, Cure, Endogenesis, Bird
Jack quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Tristania that we have reviewed:
Tristania - Darkest White reviewed by Jared and quoted 85 / 100
Tristania - Rubicon reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Tristania - Widow's Weeds reviewed by Goat and quoted 92 / 100
Tristania - Beyond The Veil reviewed by Jack and quoted 90 / 100
Tristania - World Of Glass reviewed by Jack and quoted 80 / 100
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