Tristania

Therion – Beloved Antichrist Review

Therion – Beloved Antichrist Review

“After a 5 year hiatus, the madman Christopher Johnsson and his crew of musical misfits have returned in a big way with Beloved Antichrist, a TRIPLE album metal opera with 46 tracks running over 3 hours in length. Yes, this is essentially Swallow the Soprano, and it’s every bit as artsy fartsy as you feared, with numerous vocalists, endless interludes and more movements than a terminal dysentery ward. It’s yacht metal for the Lincoln Center set and the only album in recent memory to qualify as a lifestyle choice.” Opera-core forevermore.

Aeternitas – House of Usher Review

Aeternitas – House of Usher Review

“When Steel Druhm pitched my weekly Hot Pocket and Fanta allotment down the Well of Rookie Souls, he shouted something about it being “ultra mega super cheesy.” I thought he meant my pepperoni-infused beauties, but it turns out he was talking about the cheese-nuke of an assignment he dropped on my work slab.” Loosen the jazz hands.

Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies of the Night Review

Leaves’ Eyes – Symphonies of the Night Review

“In 2009 I received a promo for Liv Kristine’s ‘new’ band Leaves’ Eyes and I was curious. The record was called Njord and as a fan of Liv’s voice and epic symphonic metal I figured for sure that I would be in for a treat. I was wrong. I was so very, very wrong. My complaints about the album were many—but a lot of it had to do with the fact that it was so compressed that it never felt heavy and the song-writing was just plain mediocre. Meredead, which followed two years later on schedule, was also a miserable record. The folky stuff was of the “let’s throw in a flute, hooray folk metal!” genre and I simply didn’t even have the patience to finish reviewing it. But because I am a masochist (and I’ve always liked Liv’s voice ffs!), I broke out Symphony of the Night when it arrived in my box.” Always a sucker for a lady with a pretty voice, Angry Metal Guy gave the new Leaves’ Eyes a chance. Is this turning into Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football?

Tristania – Darkest White Review

Tristania – Darkest White Review

“Norway’s Tristania was one of those quirky, but compelling bands that really grabbed my attention with their Beyond the Veil album. Their strange mash-up of goth, death, black and symphonic metal was quite intoxicating and had more moods than any crazy ex girlfriend you care to mention. Follow up World of Glass was also gripping and fascinating, but as the years went by, Tristania‘s wow factor rapidly drained away. By the time of 2010s Rubicon, they had become a mere shade of their former selves and the album felt like run-of-the-mill goth-metal with little to set it apart from the legions of similar female-fronted acts. I expected more of the same here with Darkest White, but I was pleasantly surprised by the improvements the band has made in their approach and song writing.” Since all we do is review death metal that sounds like Septicflesh, Steel Druhm thought it might be a good time to review some goth-metal. Tristania was available, so here they are for your viewing and reading pleasure.

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving Review

Within Temptation – The Unforgiving Review

As one of the elevated culprits who took guilty pleasure in bringing the so-called “female fronted” symphonic metal genre to fame, Within Temptation has often been right next to the milestone names of Tristania, Theatre of Tragedy, Nightwish, After Forever and the like from this infamous subgenre [Also known as “Chick Metal” by this member of The Patriarchy – AMG]. This is often accompanied by blunt comparisons, senseless “expert” statements and, of course, rabid hate from people who just can’t appreciate chicks in metal [Example: my earlier comment. – AMG]. But hey, life goes on and so does the music industry. Whatever the case, unlike their colleagues who have gone through hard time line-up changes that have proven catastrophic at times, Within Temptation has continued to add new chapters to their own story. Through times of war between legions of Tarja and Anette die-hards, crazy Vibeke rumors in the air, Floor & Sander drama break-ups, the flame of Within Temptation continued to burn ever brighter, offering fascinating music with each release.

Shadows’ Grey – Bonjour Tristesse Review

Shadows’ Grey – Bonjour Tristesse Review

You know, if you read this blog all the time you’d probably be getting the impression that I hate female fronted bands who are doing sort of the gothy thing. But that’s not true. It’s actually something I really enjoy when it’s done right! I have no issues with gothic metal, I don’t find the sort of dramatic, over-the-top stuff to be a turn off really. It just needs to be done well, something that it is serially not. And there are varying levels of ‘not done well,’ but let’s say that Shadows’ Grey, the German band formerly known as Scargod who had one EP in 2007, is one degree of the idea.

Sirenia – The Enigma of Life Review

Sirenia – The Enigma of Life Review

So, I must admit, I was excited to hear this new Sirenia record. For whatever reason I’d not spent much time getting to know the band of former Tristania founding member Morten Veland and I guess I figured that Sirenia had to be pretty good ’cause, well, I’m willing to give people who have done cool shit the benefit of the doubt. Of course, it’s been a decade since the band formed and I’ve never had the kind of intrinsic motivation to actually go out there and try to learn the about the band, and after listening to The Enigma of Life I’m pretty damn glad I never wasted my damn time [see the final note, however – AMG].

Tristania – Rubicon Review

Tristania – Rubicon Review

Norway’s Tristania have been quite the durable and enduring entity, weathering the ebb and flow of musical trends and surviving numerous line-up changes and defections, including that of founder Morten Veland. From their humble doom/death beginnings, the ever changing line-up has increasingly evolved into a standard gothic metal act with less and less emphasis on the metal part of the equation and that process continues for better or worse here on album six, Rubicon. Long gone is the Tristania that delivered the genre classic Beyond the Veil and well regarded follow-up World of Glass. Instead, Rubicon finds them dealing in fairly average, somewhat nondescript, if professionally done gothic music that’s very light in the metal department.