Finally returning with a full length since “Rubicon”, today we have Tristania and their latest opus “Darkest White”. Being one of the few surviving bands of the original wave of Gothic Metal bands from the late 90’s, Tristania has been evolving with time and adapting their sound to be catchier and diverse. Since the departure of their iconic singer Vibeke back in 2007, this band has slowly been coping for this loss with the addition of Mariangela Demurtas and Kjetil Nordhus vocal talents.
“Darkest White” delivers the best songs of this latest era of the band, delivering over 50 minutes of lush symphonic elements, excellent vocal arrangements, and quite powerful music in general. Opening with “Number”, we immediately thought we had the wrong album playing since this track starts very heavy and almost Black Metal-esque. As the chorus part comes in, we immediately get the traditional Tristania vibe thanks to its richness and catchiness.
As the album progresses, tracks like “Darkest White”, “Himmelfall”, and “Requiem” deliver powerful doses of commanding riffs and excellent drumming. The band’s sound is quite inspired and very diverse transforming from brilliant melodic passages to harsh and fast paced sections. The combination of Mary and Kjetil’s vocals is just perfect with the harsh screams just adding that extra level of aggression to the music that many bands of the genre seem to be losing these days.
As we love the mellow side of the band, “Diagnosis” is one of the best songs they have written in years. The track is very melancholic, the vocals are quite moving and the overall Doom-ish pace of the song is just perfect. The catchiest track in this release has to be the epic “Scarling”, a clear example of Tristania’s ability to deliver excellent chorus sections with engaging melodies. The band returns to their heavy side with the deranged “Arteries”, a very weird and seemingly out of place track that is quite heavy, but it soon progresses to a nicely mellow conclusion.
As a band with a very long and successful career, Tristania shows that they are not stuck in their old ways and they keep pushing the boundaries of their sound. Filled with powerful guitars, excellent drumming, and majestic vocal arrangements, “Darkest White” is one of the best releases that the band has ever put out. If you are a fan of the band and Gothic Metal in general, you do not want to miss this excellent album.
|Album: Darkest White
Label: Napalm Records
Release: May 31st, 2013
Genre: Symphonic/Gothic Metal