Beyond The Veil
Review by Jack on February 19, 2002.
Tristania are one of those bands who do not and will not conform to the strict adherent guidelines that some bands are known for (ie Cannibal Corpse with gore-grind death metal and Darkthrone with traditional Norwegian black metal). Tristania utilize elements from all spectrums of metal and roll their musical abilities and coherency into a unique blend of pure metal.
It is very hard to find a fault in Tristania and “Beyond the Veil” and I truly believe they are a band that no-one will ever really dislike (providing that their passion is metal, of course). I believe it comes down to the issue of diversity and reinventing themselves through each track, which in turn puts out a different perspective than you would have perceived the last time you listened to a Tristania song. Serenity, brutality, melody, guttural death surges, ambient keyboard passages, wretched black screams, epic orchestral choirs, clean harmonic male and female vocal surges, soothing string workings; Tristania does all of this on “Beyond the Veil”. This should give you an account of how divergent Tristania really are.
The one thing that I find lets “Beyond the Veil” down a little, and ultimately sees them fall short of absolute mastery for this reviewer is concerning the issue of lyrics. While not overtly bad, the standards of music that Tristania set would perhaps indicate that the lyrics wouldn’t be anything short of Shakespeare. Lyrics are over-poetic, a little cliched and a tad bland. Too much emotive language is used throughout “Beyond of Glass” to be able to take the album seriously as perhaps Tristania may want the consumer to do so. Throughout all the gothic clap-trap that Tristania are exposed to, this may have had negative influences upon them lyrically.
Whilst I am skeptical of the lyrics of Tristania, there is absolutely no fault I can pick out with the musicianship displayed by all members of this band and I am grateful that Tristania exist as a band in today’s metal scene. “Beyond the Veil” is a spellbinding album of beauty.
Bottom Line: With music that is near faultless and variation that is quite diverse, Tristania are masters of what they do in metal. I suggest a little dent in the old piggy-bank or whining to mother for an extension to the old weekly allowance may be a good idea.
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 9 out of 10