First I have to say I don't want to do a negative review of Ashes, I am just giving my opinion and some of my friend's one as well, I don't pretend to offend anyone by writting this-
When I first listened to Ashes I was a bit decepcionated with libre beggining... where is all that Orchestal sounds so common in BtV or WW? I think growl sounds are too much used this time, aproaching too much to Death style, which I may not dislike, but that wasn't what I expect to hear when I am listening to Tristania, where are those beautifull songs like My lost Lenore, A sequel of dacay, Decemer Elegy... where growl sounds where in its just quantity. I have passed whole evenings listening to BtV, WW, even WoG... but ashes...
Kjetil is a good singer but he appears too much in some songs for my opinion, the great contrast between good and evil("vibeke and Kjetil(sorry)") is good but vibeke apears less than expected. Clean vocals apears as a third dimension very good, and intermediate point (maybe mankind?) and that is great.
Of course not all in Ashes is bad!
One great point is that Clean Vocals are great! and Vibeke is better in each album! Their duet in Equilibrium is fantastic!
Sincerelly I liked the album, and I am willing to see it live(unfortunatelly not gigs anounced around here!),but not as much as I had expected, but I just hope next album would be a bit more melodical just like angellore,sequel of decay, my lost lenore...
There are lots of Death or somehow black melodical bands, but there is just one true Tristania style, but for how long?