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Tristania was founded 1996 in Stavanger, Norway by Einar Moen (synth and programming), former guitarist/singer Morten Veland and Kenneth Olsson (drums). A few weeks later Anders Høyvik Hidle(guitars/vocals) and Rune Østerhus (bass) joined the band.

In May 1997 the band entered the studio for the first time and recorded their demo in Klepp Lydstudio. 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 97 different labels showed interest in the demo. Tristania signed with Napalm Records and more

Tristania was founded 1996 in Stavanger, Norway by Einar Moen (synth and programming), former guitarist/singer Morten Veland and Kenneth Olsson (drums). A few weeks later Anders Høyvik Hidle(guitars/vocals) and Rune Østerhus (bass) joined the band.

In May 1997 the band entered the studio for the first time and recorded their demo in Klepp Lydstudio. 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 97 different labels showed interest in the demo. Tristania signed with Napalm Records and released the EP Tristania.

Inspired by good reviews for the first release in Europe, the band was eager to record the debut album. Tristania's first full length album, Widow's Weeds, was recorded during the last weeks of 1997 and released early 1998. The album is symphonic metal with elements from a large variety of genres, such as gothic rock, death metal, classical music and black metal. Two additional musicians who were involved in Widow's Weeds would later get more prominent roles on Tristania's albums: singer Østen Bergøy (The Morendoes) and violinist Pete Johansen (The Scarr).

After playing local concerts for a couple of years, Tristania got to do their first shows outside of Norway as support act for Lacrimosa in Belgium and at the Mind over Matter in Austria in August1998. Later the same year Tristania went on their first European tour, together with Solefald and Haggard.

In 1999 the 2nd full length album, Beyond the Veil saw the light of day. The songs were built around the same elements as its predecessor, but a little more extreme sounding. As on the debut album, Moen and Veland wrote the majority of the music, but Moen and Hidle also composed a couple of tracks together this time. Østen Bergøy and Pete Johansen were once again contributing on a Tristania album, in addition to another singer Jan Kenneth Barkved (The Morendoes, Elusive).

Tristania followed up the release with their first headlining tour with The Sins of Thy Beloved, Trail of Tears and Antichrisis as support acts the same year. 1999 also included Wacken Open Air and an additional tour together with Tiamat and Anathema.The band continued the extensive touring in2000, and went on a new headliner tour in Europe and various festivals in Europe, US and Mexico. In December 2000 Veland and the rest of the band agreed on going separate ways, due to musical and personal differences.

Focusing their attention on the composing, Moen and Hidle were soon ready with the songs that collectively would make up the third album, World of Glass. The album was recorded in Sound Suite Studio, France, during the spring of 2001. Ronny Thorsen (Trail of Tears) contributed as a guest on extreme vocals, while Bergøy and Barkved did the clean vocals. Pete Johansen played violin on his third Tristania release.

World of Glass, released in September 2001, represented the natural next step for the band after the first two albums. The tristanian sound was maintained, combined with a musical development. Musical diversity has always been important for Tristania, and this became even clearer with the new album. In some tracks the idea of powerful classical arrangements and big choirs were cultivated, while other songs had an industrial touch to them. World of Glass also contains the only cover version recorded by the band so far, The Modern End, originally recorded by the legendary Norwegian band Seigmen.

Østen Bergøy's role in the band had become more and more important for each year, with World of Glass he was also a lyricist. He joined as a regular member before the World of Glass tour. Bergøy has ever since been the main lyricist in Tristania. Kjetil Ingebrethsen (extreme vocals) also joined the band prior to this tour.

Just days after the album was released, the band started the World of Glass tour in Europe,supported by Rotting Christ, Vintersorg and country-mates Madder Mortem. The tour was a huge success for the band, and more touring followed in 2002 with additional European gigs as well as shows in Mexico, Chile, Brazil and Columbia. In 2003 Tristania decided to take a break from performing live to focus solely on the songwriting. Also the business aspect of the band had to be taken care of, and the band started to cooperate with their current management and booking agent. As the band’s obligations to Napalm Records were fulfilled with three full-length albums, the band had to consider what label to work with for the future.

As a reaction to the former releases, the band wanted to simplify the sound. They wanted to make an organic and raw album with a more stripped and harsh sound. As a result, a different recording studio was chosen for the fourth album which later would be entitled Ashes. Although the sound was simplified, songs like The Wretched and Endogenisis were more progressive compared to the former albums. Two recording periods of totally 11 weeks of 2004 were spent in Top Room Studio in Norway together with co-producer Børge Finstad (Mayhem, Borknagar, Extol, Solefald).

Ashes was released on SPV/Steamhammer in February 2005, and was followed by extensive touring. The band spent two intense months on tour. The tour was kicked off February 12th in London's Astoria supporting Nightwish. The European tour was a mix of shows together with the Fins and separate headliner concerts. Straight afterwards, the tour was continued with a Norwegian part together with Gothminister. The 3rd leg of the tour was in Latin America together with Kreator. During the summer Tristania appeared at various festivals, such as Wacken Open Air, Wave-Gotik-Treffen and Summer Breeze.

After the massive touring with Ashes, Ingebrethsen decided to leave the band as he wanted to continue his musical career at a lower lever. The band decided not to recruit a replacement, and Hidle took over the growling vocals.

As soon as the summer festivals were done in 2005, the band immediately went back to their studio to write the song material for the 5th album, Illumination. The philosophy in Tristania has always been to constantly develop and never make the same album twice. Ashes was radically different from its predecessor, and the same can be said about Illumination compared to Ashes.

Illumination was released to great reception in January 2007, and the album is by far Tristania's most powerful sounding album to date. Elements from all former albums were included, along with new influences. The album was recorded in Woodhouse Studios in Hagen, Germany. The band teamed up with legendary producer Waldemar Sorychta (Samael, Tiamat, Moonspell, The Gathering), and the result was a very energetic record. Vorph from Samael appeared as a guest singer and a string quartet appeared on several songs.

Shortly after the release of Illumination, Vibeke Stene suddenly decided to quit her musical career in order to focus on family and her work as a teacher. As a result, all planned touring activities were put on hold. The last concert that Stene did with the band was in the hometown of the band, Stavanger, where they did a pre-release concert for Illumination in front of press officials from countries all over Europe.

The band was forced to go back to their studio and announced an audition in order to find the new singer. The only criteria set for the search was that the new vocalist should sound different. The last thing the band wanted was an imitation of the former vocalist. They wanted to use this change as creatively advantage for the band. After considering hundreds of candidates from all over the world, Tristania proudly announced their newly recruited singer in October 2007: Mariangela Demurtas from Sardinia, Italy.

Demurtas immediately moved to Norway in order to work on a daily basis with the rest of the band,and the winter was spent on rehearsing with the new line-up and working on new song material. Mariangela Demurtas' great vocal abilities added more power to Tristania's sound and the band enjoyed the evolution, and working with a completely different kind of singer made it possible to tak ethe music in new directions.

A second strong addition to the line-up was the new bass-player Ole Vistnes (Zerozonic). Rune Østerhus did not have the necessary motivation for touring during the last years, and Kjell Hagen (ex-Trail of Tears) had done several tours as a session musician in Østerhus' place. When Østerhus became a father, it was time to fill the position with a dedicated full-time member. Guitarist Solvang also quit the band in the same year. Ole Vistnes is an educated bass player and has in a short period of time already become a central member of the band, who is heavily involved in the songwriting for the new album. February 29th 2008, almost a year after the release of Illumination, Tristania could finally play the first concert with the new line-up in Kiev, Ukraine on an indoor festival together with Samael and Enslaved.

During spring, Russia, Greece and Wave Gotik Treffen in Germany were visited by the band before they went on a tour in Latin America in May.

Additional line-up changes took place around 2010: drummer Olsson was replaced by Tarald Lie, and Kjetil Nordhus took over clean vocals while Østen Bergøy assumed a part-time status due to family duties. On August 25 2010, the band released their sixth album, Rubicon.

The band's seventh album, Darkest White, was recorded in January and released in May of 2013. The album was met with highly favorable reception, and widely considered a "comeback" for the band after Vibeke Stene's departure in 2007. The album was praised for its exceptional blending of the three different vocal styles provided by Hidle, Nordhus, and Demurtas.

What sets Tristania apart from other bands of the genre is their use of a balanced three-vocal style in their releases - black metal rasps, soprano vocals, and baritone vocals - where all three styles contribute substantially throughout the albums (although harsh vocals are much less prominent in Illumination and Rubicon). Their second full-length, Beyond the Veil, helped cement their status as one of the leading groups in the gothic metal scene.

Tristania Myspace: « hide

Similar Bands: Theatre Of Tragedy, Lacuna Coil, Trail of Tears, Sirenia, Silent Cry

Darkest White

29 Votes

39 Votes

58 Votes

61 Votes
World of Glass

70 Votes
Beyond the Veil

105 Votes
Widow's Weeds

62 Votes
Midwinter Tears

2 Votes

14 Votes

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