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Year: 2005
Format: CD
Label: Steamhammer/SPV
Genre: [Melodic Death Metal]
Overall Rating: 7.5
Music: 7.0
Production: 8.0

Ashes is Tristania's fourth album, and it will be published by Steamhammer as Tristania's contract with Napalm Records expired. Due to some confusion, the closing track "Bird" isn't included in the promo CDs as they only contain 7 tracks (42 minutes of music). However, the final album will contain 8 tracks or 9 if you buy the limited digipack (thus containing about 56 minutes of music). It goes without saying, my review will be based on the promotional copy I've received.

Three years have already passed since Tristania's previous album 'World of Glass', and some line-up changes have taken place. Nowadays, Tristania consists of three singers (two male and one female). As Kjetil Ingebrethsen takes care of death metal growling, Østen Bergøy and Vibeke Stene bring in contrast with their clean delivery.

Tristania's music is somewhat diverse — their soundscapes vary from calm to raging, but the atmosphere remains mainly eerie and dark. The structure of Ashes is quite organised as the aggressive and calm compositions take turns. The softer side of Tristania is represented with 'Equilibrium' (the duet between Vibeke and Østen), melancholic 'Cure' (which is the most beautiful song on this album) and Shadowman (which contains intro reminiscent of the Gathering's work).

Ashes was recorded at Toproom studios in Oslo, where Tristania co-produced it with Børge Finstad. Actually, both the mixing and mastering have been handled quite well. In addition, the recordings are relatively clean without losing any detail of atmosphere.

Tristania's music isn't too original as there are few quite obvious rip-offs audible. Nevertheless, Tristania succeeds in creating rather even material in terms of quality. In case you like the softer side of Therion and Opeth, for example, then you might like this album.

Release date: 24.01.2005

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- MAGE (30.12.2004)

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Ingebrethsen, Kjetil: Vocals (Extreme)
Stene, Vibeke: Vocals
Bergøy, Østen: Vocals (Clean)
Moen, Einar: Synth & Programming
Olsson, Kenneth: Drums
Østerhus, Rune: Bass
Hidle, Anders Høyvik: Guitar
Producer: Finstad, Børge
Mixing by: Unavailable
Mastering by: Unavailable
Tristania - Ashes  CD  Cover Image
01. Libre
02. Equilibrium
03. The Wrteched
04. Cure
05. Circus
06. Shadowman
07. Endogenisis
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