Album: Darkest White
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Gothic Metal
Darkest White is the 7th album of Norwegian gothic metal pioneers Tristania, a band that has been at the forefront of the gothic and symphonic metal scene since their start in 1995.
Tristania have had some tumultuous years since front lady Vibeke Stene, praised throughout the symphonic and gothic metal scene as one of the best soprano vocalists, left the band in 2007.
Many fans of the band lost track of what was going on, and stopped keeping an eye on Tristania, in which currently only 2 of the original members are still present. The others joined in the past view years, giving Tristania an audible shot of new blood and energy.
Darkest White is the second album with Mariangela Demurtas as lead vocalist. Her vocal style is very different from Vibeke's style, but surprisingly suits the music of Tristania very well. Mariangela's vocals are lower, very powerful and sonorous, and remind me of Ana Lara from Oratory.
The 10 tracks on Darkest White are a delight: heavy tunes, delicate emotional instrumentals, the combination of the voices of Mariangela and Kjetil, all coming together in catchy melodies.
Although nothing about Darkest White is innovative work, and by times sounds like a continuation of Storm by Theatre of Tragedy, this is pure gothic metal, done just right.
Among the most interesting tracks on Darkest White, are the opening track “Number”, in which the vocals seem to become almost an instrument, “Diagnosis” with its eighties vibe, “Scarling”, in sound similar to earlier work by Lacuna Coil, “Lavender”, the necessary power ballad of the album and the deeply atmospheric “Cypher”, with its references to the work by Opeth.
To conclude, Tristania are back at full force and at the very front of the gothic metal scence. Darkest White is a delightful album, not innovative, but full of craftsmanship, and a true joy to listen to.
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