I've heard so many great things about tristania and now I want to buy one of their albums. So can you guys please tell me which one I should start off with, or which is your favorite. I heard that BTV was their best but I would like to know your opinions so I don't waste my money.
I really don't advise buying anything until you've heard it first, especially if you're strapped for cash. I do it, and though some of my impulse buys have turned out to be eons better than I expected, a lot go the exact opposite way.
So, I'll go along with the crowd and say it depends on your taste. For me, I was introduced to Tristania with World of Glass
, and having thoroughly enjoyed it, and after hearing all the wonderful things about Beyond The Veil
, I quickly bought that album. However, the HUGE difference in sound meant that it took me quite a while to acclimate myself to BTV. It is now my absolute favorite album of any band of any genre. But I had to learn to accept the growls and such, which now I enjoy, but did not care for at the time. So, here's what I'll tell you:
If you want keyboard-driven and lush, go for Widow's Weeds
. It's made mostly out of simple but engaging melodies, and has a very archaic and very beautiful sound. If it has any drawbacks, there are some *minor* production flaws (i.e., drums are barely audible at times), and some of the melodies seem to be recurring. And if you don't like the growls, then this one certainly isn't for you.Beyond The Veil
is probably the most straightforward, in-your-face wall of sound that Tristania has done. It's mostly guitar-driven, with the keyboards used for melody and ambience and to create a more proactive sonic environment. Again, mostly growls, but I think the vocal interplay is at its most disciplined and appropriate on this album. The vocal arrangements seem to be designed to fit the atmosphere and lyrics instead of trying to showcase each vocalist's individual talents.
The World of Glass
album reduces the growling and goes back to a keyboard-driven environment, but it goes from a romantic/medieval-type sound to an underworld-ish, somewhat electronic environment. It has a nice even split of growls, female vocals, male vocals, and choirs. A lot of the 'hardcore' old-guard fans look down upon it, since it was such a drastic change. So, expect something different.
And finally, Ashes
is the one you want if you hate keyboards and only want guitars. This one, as much as I try to like it, just does not strike my fancy, save for two songs. It has a more distant, detached feeling to it; the layering is cut back drastically, so the arrangements aren't so "busy." This makes it a lot more accessible, but also takes away some of the emotion in the previous albums. Vocally, it's a decent mixture of the three (no choirs this time).
Hope this helps a bit. But I think it'd be best if you got some samples to hear first. Or, just buy the whole collection!