Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Just Wow - 95%

Sue, January 29th, 2008

My favorite band got off to a hell of a start. What Theatre of Tragedy had started and suggested possible reached maturity in the young hands of Tristania. Never have I heard a debut album so strong, so composed, so simply purely ideal as this. Though the demo version of Midwinters Tears is slightly superior, this album is nearly flawless. And it sounds so good, so hard yet so seductive, so dark and gloomy and sinister and epic in it's scope and so personal in content- And all without being too obvious or pushy or even catchy. This is music on par with Beethoven, and Metal that has in my opinion, never been surpassed.

The structure is the gothic ideal: Prelude, Postlude, a symphonic centerpiece that like a chocolate truffle whets the appetite at every layer. Each individual song is a master work of wild and vicious growls, meloncholy, sad, disturbingly hurt tone and form, and as if all that werent enough to blend black metal's finest hour with pure gothic strength: There is Vibeke Stene. By sheer coincidence the most beautifull woman ever had the most beautifull voice ever, and most talented soprano skills, and Tristania found her, and where Paradise Lost might have relegated her to background vocals, Tristania put her front and center and when the choruses subside and grunt decays, she takes over and all else goes quiet, like the angels have held the winds still that we may hear the full triumph of that voice: And that was not hyperbole, it was an understatement. Vibeke is capable of what Maria Callas dreamt of, and what metalheads ever since have appreciated as the most simply beautiful sound in their libraries.

What this album accomplishes and introduces cannot be written in any review, I can only suggest why it is what it is: The music itself is what only music, not image nor poem can be. Widows Weeds is the harbinger of Tristania's reign and alone is a work of quality, high concept, and pure gothic music and gothic metal like only Norway can produce. If only Varg Vikernes could have heard what his progeny would create, If only Grieg could have known what would be done in his homeland in the far distant future, If only the cavemen beating rocks together could only have guessed what beauty would emerge from their childrens lips...Forget them all, go buy it and hear it for yourself.