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Tristania – Darkest White

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on 18th May 2013 by Nico Solheim-Davidson, the North Sea Poet

Darkest White
Released 3rd June 2013
Gothic Metal/Symphonic Metal
Released via Napalm Records

Tristania have been an essential part of Norway’s metal since their formation in 1995. Following a number of line-up changes over the years, Tristania have reinvented themselves but kept true to their roots. With six albums already released, Darkest White is the band’s seventh studio release.

Number begins the album with its black metal inspired riffs, running in the same vein as bands like Mayhem or a less melodic Immortal. The harsh vocals of Anders help cement the black metal sound but it’s the vocal work of Mariangela that brings the more harmonious elements to the song, whilst the subtle uses of keyboards injects the gothic elements. The title track, Darkest White, differs vastly from the opening song; featuring more use of male vocals and a constant flow of keyboard passages while the guitars belt out alternative sounding riffs.

Other tracks on the album seem to changes from a keyboard-laden sound to a guitar-driven one, displaying the emotional vocal workings of frontwoman, Mariangela. A lot of the songs on the album, overall, aren’t as powerful or emotive as they could be, leaving a lot to be desired, especially for new listeners to the band.  Lavender is quite a relaxing track, the kind you can just chill out to with beer in hand and the use of vocals throughout the song just make it evermore soothing. Arteries brings the album to a vicious end, in similar fashion to the way the album began only taking the song on the more destructive path of death metal influenced sounds followed by some adept conjuring of bloodthirsty vocals and melodic clean singing.

Darkest White shows a vast evolution in Tristania’s sound, though it sounds to be an album that the listener won’t grasp straight away. The constant change of sounds and musical elements throughout the length of the album took away the emotional levels usually found in Tristania’s music.


Nico Davidson

Tristania online: