Tristania are a Gothic Metal
band from Norway that was formed in 1995 by Morten Veland, Einar Moen and Kenneth Ølsson. Anders Høyvik Hidle and Rune Østerhus joined shortly afterwards. Vibeke Stene was initially recruited as a guest singer for the demo recording, but she later joined as a regular member. During the summer of 1997 different labels showed interest in the demo. Tristania signed with Napalm Records and released their first EP, Tristania
Tristania's first full-length album, Widow's Weeds
, was recorded at the end of 1997 and released early 1998. The album is gothic metal with elements from a large variety of genres including symphonic metal, death metal, classical music, and black metal.
The band's second full length album Beyond the Veil
was released in 1999. In December 2000 Veland and the rest of the band agreed on going separate ways, due to musical and personal differences. World of Glass
was released in September 2001, with guest contributions from Ronny Thorsen
, Pete Johansen, and Jan Kenneth Barkved. Østen Bergøy, who did guest vocals on the previous albums, became a full-time member at this point. The album added classical and industrial elements to Tristania's sound, and included the band's only cover version: "The Modern End," originally by Seigmen. "Ashes" was released on SPV/Steamhammer Records in February 2005 and featured a stripped-down sound that de-emphasized the classical and operatic elements of the previous albums.
Tristania's fifth album, Illumination
, was released in January 2007, with touring guitarist Svein Terje Solvang added as an official member. Vorph of Samael appeared as a guest singer and a string quartet appeared on several songs. Shortly after the release of the album, Vibeke Stene suddenly decided to quit her musical career in order to focus on family and her work as a teacher. After holding auditions for a singer with a voice different than Stene's, Tristania recruited singer Mariangela Demurtas from Sardinia, Italy, who officially joined the band in October 2007.
Østerhus and Solvang both quit the band in 2008. Ole Vistnes joined as the new bassist and Gyri Losnegaard later joined as second guitarist. The new line-up featuring Demurtas on vocals debuted on 29 February 2008 at a festival appearance in Kiev, Ukraine. The next member to depart was drummer Kenneth Olsson, who was replaced by Tarald Lie; while singer Østen Bergøy scaled back to part-time status with the band due to family commitments. Kjetil Nordhus was added to the lineup on clean vocals. The band's sixth album, Rubicon
, was released on 25 August 2010.
The demo for the seventh album that gave birth to the final version of the songs in Darkest White
were produced between June and September 2012. Soon after, the band readjusted the songs by themselves, in an improvised studio at Ole Vistnes' apartament, between September and December 2012. On January 2013, the band enetered the studio to make the definitive recordings of the album, finishing in less than a month, the band's shortest recording period so far, and released the album in May 2013. The album was critically well received, and often considered the "real come back" for the band after Vibeke Stene's departure.
- Anders Høyvik Hidle – guitars (1995–) / harsh vocals (2006–)
- Einar Moen – synth, programming (1995–)
- Mariangela Demurtas – vocals (2007–)
- Gyri Smørdal Losnegaard – guitars (2009–)
- Ole Vistnes – bass, backing vocals (2009–)
- Tarald Lie Jr. – drums (2010–)
- Kjetil Nordhus – vocals, acoustic guitars (2010–)
Notable Past Members:
- Morten Veland – harsh vocals, guitars (1995–2000)
- Vibeke Stene – vocals (1997–2007)
- Østen Bergøy – vocals (2001–2010)
- Widow's Weeds (1998)
- Beyond the Veil (1999)
- World of Glass (2001)
- Ashes (2005)
- Illumination (2007)
- Rubicon (2010)
- Darkest White (2013)
This band displays the examples of these tropes:
- Ambiguously Brown: Mariangela
- Bald of Awesome: Kjetil Nordhus
- Costume Porn: Vibeke and Mariangela wear some truly beautiful outfits live.
- Cover Version: "The Modern End" by Seigmen
- Darker and Edgier: Ashes lyrically and musically, with the harsh vocals having a bigger role and the symphonic elements of the previous albums gone
- Despair Event Horizon: A common lyrical theme.
- Epic Rocking: A lot of their earlier songs are quite long, usually about 7 to 8 minutes, with "Midwintertears" being the longest at 8:32.
- Genre-Busting: No one seems to agree on what genre they fit into - variations on Gothic Metal, Symphonic Metal and Death/Doom seem to be the most common classifications for their music but they also have elements of Black Metal, Industrial and Alternative Metal
- Gothic Metal: The poster band for the Norwegian Gothic Metal scene.
- Harsh Vocals: Generally range between blackened screams or higher-pitched growls.
- I Am the Band: Anders Høyvik Hidle
- Lighter and Softer: Illumination, particularly musically
- Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: Usually 7-8 as their lyrics often have themes of despair and hopelessness. "Ab Initio" and "Deadlands" might be able to scrape a 6 for having somewhat bittersweet lyrics but they certainly don't get any happier than that. Most of the songs on Ashes, and possibly "Fate", are a 9.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually 7-8, but varies greatly - ranges from a 2 ("Ab Initio") to a 9 ("The Wretched")
- Religion Rant Song: Quite a few, the most blatant being "Sacrilege", "Illumination" and "Cathedral".
- Revolving Door Band: To the point where only two members that founded the band are still around.
- Soprano and Gravel Vibeke and Mariangela(Soprano), Morten and Anders(Harsh), and Kjetil and Osten (Tenor)
- Special Guest: Vorph of Samael provides guest vocals on "Mercyside", "The Ravens" and "In The Wake" off Illumination.
- Start My Own: Morten Veland left due to musical and personal differences and went on to form Sirenia.
- Symphonic Metal
- Token Minority: Mariangela Demurtas is actually Italian.
- Vocal Dissonance: Kjetil Nordhus is the one that does the clean vocals. The younger and smaller man, Anders does the harsh vocals. It'd look like it'd be the other way around.
- Woman in Black: Both Stene and Demurtas.