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on 20 January 2007
It is well known that Tristania is one of the most important and influential bands of the "gothic metal" scene (of course this term itself cannot capture the diversity and quality of their music). The previous offering of the Norwegian metallers, 2001`s "World of Glass", was the first without the main man and talented songwriter Morten Veland (now in Sirenia). Fortunately, this did not affect the high level of their compositions and "Ashes" proves it once again! The album is characterized by different moods, it is full of variations and the production is top-notch.

The opening track, "Libre", is one of the heaviest in the album whilst it introduces the three vocalists of the band: Kjetil, who does the grunts, Vibeke whose angelic operatic voice needs no introduction, and finally, Ờsten with his clean male vocals. The second song "Equilibrium" has a melancholic touch with clean male vocals, acoustic guitars and Vibeke's sweet voice.

"The Wretched" is an aggressive song with mostly harsh vocals, heavy riffs and a nice violin part in it. "Cure", the fourth track, is a very emotional and deeply touching song. Great acoustic guitars and Vibeke's voice completely captivating... Simply amazing.

"Circus" matches the dark nature of the album and "Shadowman" is a really interesting song with nice strings, piano parts and dreamy vocals. It has an eerie atmosphere and while it builds up you can even discern some Anathema elements in it.

"Endogenisis", definitely deserves to be the closing track as it is a beautiful composition that combines all of the aforementioned elements of the band.

For those of you that will purchase the digipack version, there are 2 bonus tracks that are also worth listening to.

In sum,"Ashes" is a great album by one of the leading bands (Has anyone forgotten 1999's landmark "Beyond the veil"??) The inspiration is still here, enjoy!
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on 1 May 2005
Anyone who thinks this is sleep-inducing is just retarded. Tristania sound like no other band out there, although they do incorporate elements of bands like My Dying Bride, Emperor, Sisters of Mercy and a fair few goth bands. Basically if you like Nightwish and Lacuna Coil (as I do) and want something vaguely similar and yet completely different then you should get this, but be warned that it is a lot less accessible than those two bands.
In short you get Doom and Black Metal influences with growled and clean vocals, epic keyboards and guitars, with very ethereal female vocals. The excellent drumming shifts with the music, from frantic double-bass work to sparse beats for the prolonged acoustic sections. Basically Tristania create a fantastically exciting sound and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in gothic metal.
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on 14 July 2009
"Ashes" is an intensely charged album and a credit to Tristania. The vocal arrangements lead me to suspect that Vibeke is some kind of angel- her voice is stunning; otherworldly. As always with Tristania, the instruments are simply perfect. This album firmly secures their place as a pillar of the genre symphonic metal. It is perfectly worked, has an echanting exotic quality and after many listens never ails to send shivers down my spine. I'd suggest it for serious fans of the genre, as Illumination is probably more accessible introduction to Tristania for newcomers. That is not to say that this album isn't a masterpiece, because it is, and Vibeke will never be forgotten by her fans. "Cure" is so beautiful... each track is a delight standing alone or with the rest of the album. Anyone with a gothic inclination ought to enjoy this.
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on 3 February 2005
I feel this new Tristania album is the only one to match the standard of "Widow's Weeds".
"Libre", the album's opener is amazing. Vibeke sounds quite enchanting here, with great guitar riffs and keys. "Equilibrium" has a great rythmn, one can really feel this song. "The Wretched" reminds me a little of My Dying Bride, as do several parts of this album, which can only be positive.
Without going into too much detail, I feel only to say that I'm pleasantly surprised with Ashes, it's all I listen to currently!
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on 24 October 2014
Very good album
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on 22 April 2014
I love gothic metal, but I've never liked the growls because in my opinion they spoil the music. This one starts with growls and carries on with growls right to the bitter end. Shame, because the female vocal is lovely and so is the music, but my copy of this went straight into a charity shop bag after first hearing. Glad I only bought a second-hand copy; I'd be upset if I'd paid the full price.
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on 19 April 2005
While there is no denying the passion and commitment from the band members, it has to be said that this is the most tedious album I have listened to in a long time. When I heard they were supporting Nightqwish in the UK I thought I would check them out. It looks like Nightwish played it smart and made sure that their support band wouldn't be difficult to surpass.
I can honestly say I can't remember a thing about this after playing it. It really was a struggle to stay awake. How a band with so many people in it can produce something with so little LIFE in it escapes me. Each song seems written to have as little interest as possible. There is no change of pace AT ALL. Do yourself a favour and pick another CD
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