Here's a translation of the review on the pre-release concert and prelisteing of the album, taken from a Norwegian site with pics: here
. Please ignore the bad grammar you'll come across. I just prioritised getting this translated ASAP.
"Tristainia and the record company SPV/Steamhammer, recently invited press from all over Europe to a pre-listening of the forth-coming album Illumination. The event took place, where Tristania’s history began, on a small island named Tau, just outside the city of Stavanger.
It was not that easy to get a proper first impression of the album that was presented, but that Tristania have become calmer and less gothic was striking. The first impression was rather anonymous. The growling male vocal is gone (Kjetil Ingebrethsen), and the music relates to Vibeke and Østen’s calmer (clean) vocal. To exceed last years album Ashes is not easily done. But before any righteous verdict should be given, the impression of the album finally boiled down to that this album was pleasant listening, but lacked transitions. Despite this, the songs Sanguine Sky and Lotus in particular, distinguished themselves. In the meantime, we who where present, could enjoy ourselves with the album that won’t be launched anywhere until late January.
The event was absolutely brilliant, and it has to be said that even though Tristania as a band have now become reasonably ”big”, they are all pretty down to earth. No indication of superficiality and they are indeed a very likable crowd.
The next day, the time for concert at Folken had come, where Tristania were about to present 5 songs from Illumination among others, during 90 minutes with live sound and show. As artists, should they be more nervous before playing in front of an audience that haven’t heard anything from the band previously, or should they be more nervous when playing in front of your own local crowd who already are dedicated fans? A good question where the correct answer is not so obvious, but Tristania were quite tense on stage. Apparently they’re almost doing too much of their own thing, when they should’ve had more interaction with their own band members and audience. Vibeke probably went into her own trance, and that’s quite all right, because she sings her classical soprano-vocal so well that you do get equally impressed each and every time you hear her. It’s an outstandingly good quality within the classical female vocal, something Tristania are quite aware of, because she’s made use of everything she’s worth. The male vocal contribution, Østen, kept good eye contact with the audience by the way, and shows that he has grown with the task, both as a vocalist and an artist on stage. He and Vibeke suit each other very well, and together they portray a perfect duo in a synchronized contrast.
The concert endured over 90 minutes, and when it’s Tristania who perform on stage, it’s a big chance that the bad songs are left out. Simply because they have yet to deliver a bad album, and while the band has continuingly re-newed their sound since their first release, it never gets monotonous. Undersigned was very contempt with the set list, and greatnesses from Ashes were also performed. But the sound during the concert was somewhat strange/weird. In fact, the sound was so weird that you got kind of dizzy, that you had to go outside for a rest, together with the other attendants who felt the same way.
Tristania are probably not to blame, but as the only band on stage this evening, it ought to be possible to make demands on optimal conditions for themselves.
Tristania live 2006 do absolutely deliver. And even though it was a high number of attendants, there would have been room for more. Those who weren’t there can regret it, and should seize the chance when they’re offered the opportunity. For hereunder the genre of “dark rock”, which they now can categorize themselves within, this hold a high international standard. And finally, you could wonder: where was synthist/programmer Einar Moen during this show?"