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Originally written for a blog of mine (http://blog.nihilarchitect.net/archives/43/trist-slunce-v-snovem-kraji-rozplyvani-echa-review/)
Black metal artists attempting ambient, ends in disaster most of the time. Burzum’s work, Neptune Towers.. It usually only works if they incorporate enough of a deal of ambience into their work already such as Lunar Aurora, Darkspace et cetera. So here we have ‘Trist - Slunce V Snovém Kraji, Rozplývání, Echa’ another equally unpronounceable as long title from the Czech ’suicidal black metal’ project ‘Trist’.
I shall start of by saying that Trist has traditionally been one of my favourite ’suicidal black metal’ projects, the very tender, dreamy and romantic melodies, the hopeless and erratic screams, the destroyed recording quality and the monotonous and lengthily tracks often devoid of linear structure make them very special to me. This is largely gone in this album. Gone are the harsh, noising guitars, the screams and for most parts the drums. What we have is mostly synth work here.
The main reason Trist probably accomplished this right is that he—in fact—does not make ambient here at all. This is down-tempo, surely, but it’s not ambient, he hasn’t tried to achieve that sewery, reverbish sound of caverns and that’s why he didn’t fail at it. As I’m sure he probably would. What we have here is a collection of what seem to be string samples, organs and related instruments with high decay and release to in fact create sound-track music. A lot of the passages in this one-track album could be used as a sound-track for an emotional film being in a powerful nature-like landscape such as for instance The Last Samurai, and indeed, it resembles the original score by Hans Zimmer thereof in a way.
Occasionally repetitive, calm and tribal-like beats come into play in this piece, which is highly repetitive as a whole. The cover does the impression justice, even the colours, all though fair is fair and Rh- has never had rather advanced skills in designing covers and seems to use the same techniques over and over and also seems almost unable to make a cover that is not a simple colour adjustment of a landscape picture. As a graphics artist, I am inclined to note that there are a deal of technical flaws in that cover probably not directly visible to the untrained eye. Still, the tender fog-like nature atmosphære of it indeed suits the music, especially the fog-like part which is indeed found on the music, as well as the smooth use of colours. For a change, this Trist album isn’t harsh in its production like ‘Sebevražední Andelé’ (Whose title translates to the beautiful ‘Suicidal Angels’), but in fact rather soft and easy to the ears.
All in all the album is a welcome change from most work of Trist also indicating the man has a liking for other vessels of emotional music. I wouldn’t call it ’suicidal’, it seems to not really portray his own emotions but rather so a sorrowful—at some point even dying—landscape. Still, Trist could probably get a job as a score designer for films if he wanted.