Tristania here presents, gracefully and confidently, the best gothic metal album ever made. This is not only the best album of the band, but the best album ever made in my eyes. It's perfection in its overall atmosphere, vocals, lyrics...every single song on this album enchants me in a different way. Morten's layered harsh growling is epic and addicting, and Vibeke sounds as if she came out of a beautiful 17th century opera. She sounds divine like an angel. (Or a fallen one based on the album...) Even though this album is over a decade old and Tristania has evolved into making completely different music (which is still amazing, may I add), this album will always be a huge mark on the career of this prestigious band. Its beauty can never be tarnished.
Beyond The Veil - Beautiful subtle opener by Vibeke, leading into the amazing bombastic instrumentation and vocals of Morten. The sound is addicting and invigorating. An instant headbanger and done with absolute perfection. 5/5 +++
Aphelion - This song is lyrically amazing, as well as instrumentally. Morten sounds vicious yet vulnerable and Vibeke sounds absolutely divine, especially in her lines near the end of the song. It's almost like an epic gothic dance. 5/5 ++++++
A Sequel Of Decay - Haunting song that makes one feel strangely nostalgic. One of the most beautifully atmospheric songs ever made by the band as well. Vibeke's voice with the choir sends chills down one's spine and Osten's parts are amazing. The violins add to the perfection and the whole song has a very gothic/fallen angel church like feel to it. Definitely a song to show to new fans. 5/5 +++++
Opus Relinque - This song is one of the creepiest songs written by Tristania, yet it retains it purifying, yet twisted beauty. The song is vicious and eerie, as well as versatile, as it changes from a heavy bombastic chaotic gothic explosion, to a soft chanting of choirs...singing "Agnus Dei." A very addicting song.
Lethean River - Very beautiful and peaceful in a strange way (even though it's still heavy) It has a very pure sound, especially with Vibeke's vocals that seem to cleanse a soul...kind of like a river would wash someone clear. In a way, it's very atmospheric...like looking over a massive beautiful landscape.
...Or Ruins And A Red Nightfall - Definitely the best track on the album. The sound is so hypnotic and inticing. Morten's vocals are incredible...mixing death shrieks and low growls in a strange gothic waltz. Osten delivers one of my favorite lyrical lines of all time in this song, "Perchance to dream, you're my dancing queen. Behold the haven of life." Vibeke sounds divine as well, like an enchantress or an angel. It seems to have a sense of nostalgia, wickedness, and purity all at the same time.
Simbelmyne – Very short, but haunting piano track that adds a good opener to the next song. It’s a creepy interlude that definitely gets to me. 5/5
Angina – Vibeke delivers, in my opinion, her best vocal performance here. She shows her skill, her beauty, and ability to entice and lure someone into this chaos. Morten also displays a lot of his skill in this song as well. The piano and violins are very impressive and they just add to the already perfected song. 5/5 +++
Heretique – Great headbanger. This song is really fun to listen to for me. The male choirs are great and Morten’s voice is amazing as well. The piano at the beginning is eerie as hell and it sends chills up your spine. 5/5 ++
Dementia – A short outro. It’s also simple, yet in its really small amount of lyrics…it still delivers perfection and beauty. It’s so heartwrenching and sad…leaving the listener with a sense of dread and sadness. 5/5 ++
Vocals Performance: 5/5
Instumental Performance: 5/5
Lyrical Performance: 5/5
Overall Feeling: 5/5
Total: 20/20 (A+)