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Author Topic: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"  (Read 3043 times)

reumeren

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Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« on: 15 June 2013, 20:47:02 »

I'd very much like to hear your thoughts on DARKEST WHITE.


First, the overall impression:
It's a very raw and stripped down album. The sound is dirty, with few synth parts, and very prominent harsh/extreme vocals. As a fan of extreme metal in general (though mostly black metal), this appeals to me very much, BUT it is also a double-edged sword.
The in-your-face rockers - like Number, Darkest White and Arteries - benefit greatly, and their raw emotions are enhanced, but the softer songs, with slower mood and grander choruses sound thin and crippled. Songs like Scarling and Lavender could really use a production like the ones found on Rubicon. They end up sounding like demos, like they were written with a more "common" Tristania production in mind. Anders said that they wanted to re-create the atmosphere they had on live concerts, where many of their songs sounded raw and heavy, but on the record, it kills many of the songs for me. It's a good album, better that Illumination, but I think Ashes and Rubicon had overall better material

3.5/5

Song by song:

NUMBER
Excellent track! The "black metal esque" opening melody sent chills down my spine, and the verses were fierce and powerfull. Anders' vocals are perfectly fitted for this sound; they are venomous snarls and raspy shouts - hateful and angry! Mary's vocals are very dramatic, and the stripped down production brings out her strength, I think. The synth in the middle was a huge plus!

DARKEST WHITE
Another excellent track! My pick for the best song on the album. Fantastic guitar riff, amplified by double-bass drums and Kjetil's roars. The choruses are very catchy and memorable, and the playful piano parts in the background are a nice detail. Impossible not to headbang in the middle.

HIMMELFALL
A slower song, compared to the two openers, but still an excellent song. The main riff (after the opening/initial riff) is friggin' cool. The vocals are nicely placed, with deep vocals by Kjetil before Mary makes her grand entrance. The lyrics are a bit silly ("Free your dog of desire..."), but the last lines were haunting ("Raise your glass for those who smiled - swaying from their ropes"). The song builds up nicely towards the end.

REQUIEM
A masterpiece. Pure and simple. My second pick for best song of the album. Mary's performance makes this song, especially her vocal melodies during the verses and in the chorus. The agressive riffs and the quiet build-up at the end had me stunned. This is the last song in a line of excellence!

DIAGNOSIS
Interesting songwriting, with hectic music and slow vocals.... too slow! It doesn't really go anywhere, and I feel like this is a filler. Here the production becomes a burden for Tristania. On Rubicon, songs like this wound shine, but it sounds flat here.

NIGHT ON EARTH
Riff-gasm throughout the song, strong vocals by Anders and Mary. The only problem I have, is that it's too short. It sounded like it was building momentum, but sadly it didn't go far enough. I understand that they are going for short and compact songs, but this one could have been an epic.

LAVENDER
The low-point of the album. It's epic, sure, but the production makes it stripped down and empty. It needs a certain "lushness" that all Tristania albums had, but Darkest White does not. I'm not saying that stripped down can't be beautiful, but the song sounds like a demo with this songwriting and this production.

CYPHER
Here the album does a comeback. It's a very epic and beautiful song that works WITH the production, not despite it (like Lavender). It builds up and releases an orgasm of majestic artistry! Very epic, and very good!

ARTERIES
Perfect closer! It ends as the album begins: HOLY SHIT THAT RIFF IS AWESOME! Another silly lyrics though ("The pacifist, the pussyfist").
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Illuminated World of Ash

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #1 on: 15 June 2013, 23:39:21 »

^Don't agree with you throughts on Lavender. It's a great song and I somehow enjoy that lack of production on that one because if contrasts with the more emotional parts of it. Kind of reminded me of the Illumination album. Diagnosis seems like a cool song to me also. About the lyrics, yeah, silly points here and there, but overall AMAZING.

Agree with your opinion about Night on Earth, Himmelfall, Number and Arteries though. ;)


I loved Requiem and Cathedral a lot more than when they came out as live songs and I think that Darkest White songs will sound even better live now. The raw sound as an album is a bit too much, I wouldn't listen to Darkest White two times in a row I mean, but having a bunch of songs from it in a Tristania set sounds really promising. Hope they'll come up with other old songs they don't usally play (Wasteland's Caress and Bird, pleaaaase :P).
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Rover

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #2 on: 05 September 2013, 19:03:46 »

My quick $.02...
By now I can say I love the album (drat... I forgot to put the microSD card with it into the phone!) - but I won't dare to call it the best in their discography or even second best. I love the short, punchy tracks like Number, Darkest White, and especially Night on Earth (apart from the sheer edge, this one has a very interesting melody that somehow reminded me of the unexpected sounding one in Protection. Oh, and I really dig the lyrics), but I'm not so fond of the mid-paced tracks - I feel they would've been better with the richer production, exactly as Reumeren said. Even Rubicon had some of this (the piano and violin on Amnesia come to mind). I'm the one to always bemoan Einar's absence, as I feel his playing was instrumental (pardon the pun) to the band's sound.
Requiem is fantastic though, especially the intro riff and the bit at 1:29. One of my favourite tracks for sure. Proves that while Tristania is vocal-driven band for most part, this doesn't mean they can't write good music!
One other oddity I found... correct me if I'm wrong, but there isn't a song with all three vocalists (in the vein of Selling Out, etc.)?
« Last Edit: 05 September 2013, 19:11:06 by Rover »
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Illuminated World of Ash

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #3 on: 05 September 2013, 20:44:19 »

^I realized the same! All of the songs have "only" two out of the three vocals (not counting the male backing ones) or one (Cathedral and Cypher).

But that makes each song a bit more memorable I guess... sometimes less stuff on the songs is better, especially for this album which is more 'primitive' in some ways (reminded me of The Gathering's 'Home' :P). The songs have their own personality by not featuring every single vocal on them, but still mantaining the Darkest White sound. If Lavender and Scarling had grunts they wouldn't be the same for example. :D
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NSpen

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #4 on: 06 September 2013, 04:08:29 »

^I realized the same! All of the songs have "only" two out of the three vocals (not counting the male backing ones) or one (Cathedral and Cypher).

Not quite, Number has the quiet () chorus from Kjetil as well as the main vocals from Anders and Mariangela.

My favourites are Number, Darkest White, Himmelfall and Night on Earth.
Diagnosis could join them if the whole song was as good as the start - I love Mariangela's vocals there, reminds me of Anneke on early The Gathering, and the short chorus is good too - but I'm not so fond of the middle section.  The doomy outro with intertwining guitars is cool though.
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Rover

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #5 on: 06 September 2013, 15:07:33 »

Ah! Good catch NSpen.

If I have to choose one favourite song, it'd be Night on Earth.
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NSpen

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #6 on: 07 September 2013, 15:04:27 »

Night on Earth guitar tab, including vocal lines and harmony in the chorus ;)
http://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/t/tristania/night_on_earth_guitar_pro.htm
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Rover

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #7 on: 07 September 2013, 19:56:59 »

I see they're playing it live now... cool, I hope it stays in the set for a bit. This was one of the songs that I kept on repeat today as I was travelling outta town. Lyrically it sounds like a dark inversion of another popular song - Tender Trip on Earth - and since I was digging that one when I was in a romantic haze last year, I'm digging the new song now, since that stuff has worn off and worse things are happening. :) Tristania always has a song or two to fit my mood perfectly (Selling Out after being fired, etc.) :)
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Naudiz

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #8 on: 14 September 2013, 05:04:39 »

I finally got to listen to the album. Laaaate, I know, but somehow there never was the money und opportunity.

It took me a while to get into the album. I didn't expect such rawness, although I knew Cathedral and Requiem from the live videos on Youtube. Especially Number caught me totally unaware - but I have to say, I absolutely LOVE the black metal edge! I also like the somewhat dirty production, and I don't think the slower songs are 'crippled' by it, as reumeren does. But that is surely a point that splits the fan, since everyone has their own taste.
I agree with reumeren when it gets to the sometimes silly lyrics, though. Still, I like them a lot, although I still mourn that Morten isn't there with his great gothic lyrics. But, Tristania have taken a whole different way ever since he left, so it's okay for me. What's not that okay is the fact that Einar doesn't contribute that much anymore - I really miss his outstanding keyboard arrangements.

I think Darkest White is a good release, but really not their best, although better than Rubicon imo (never really got into this album, sadly). The new-found edginess suits the vocals really well and makes Darkest White a not-so-usual gothic metal release that surely stands out of the great mass of bands in this genre. On my blog, I will rate it with 4 out of 5, with my favourite songs being Number, Himmelfall and Arteries.
But, and that's my overall problem: It isn't the Tristania I loved for so long. It's not that I can't adapt to new directions (Elvenking changed from somewhat jolly folk power metal to a sudden, raw harshness with "The Scythe", and it's now my favourite album of theirs). I just can't stand it when there's almost nothing left of the trademarks. And that's the case with the new Tristania.
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Rover

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #9 on: 17 September 2013, 08:46:55 »

Evolution is good in my book, so I'm glad that we only got a moderate amount of Morten's "true gothic" lyrics, but it's bad that Einar is no longer actively involved with the band. Maybe that'll change at some point. YMMV.
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Illuminated World of Ash

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #10 on: 23 September 2013, 00:37:35 »

I love Mariangela's vocals there, reminds me of Anneke on early The Gathering.
That's interesting! I just imagined Tristania making music a little bit in the vein of Mandylion and Always...
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vanessaweber

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Re: Your Thoughts on "Darkest White"
« Reply #11 on: 30 September 2013, 06:50:36 »

My favorite tracks are definitely Number, Requiem, and Diagnosis.

But ESPECIALLY Requiem. The maelstrom of emotions that this song manages to thrust upon me is unbelievable.
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