In 2001 Gothic Metal band Tristania
released their first non-Morten Veland album, World Of Glass
. Just looking at the song titles, one can tell they were a little upset with Morten leaving (look at the song titles and interpret them in relation to a band's main songwriter, guitarist and vocalist leaving), which pervades, and pretty much makes World Of Glass
It's instantly clear when listening to World Of Glass
Tristania were incredibly angry at Morten leaving the band (especially when his own band went on to suck). The emotional aspect of this record is the band's darkest. Unlike the beautiful melancholy of say, Widow's Weeds
, the emotions here are that of hatred, anger and depression. Lyrics such as 'the child in me just died/the scars in me will never heal' or 'this world/its evil ways/the pain that I hide' are evidence of this. The album is still a product of Tristania
, meaning emotionally it is top notch; the emotional side is always moving and easy to connect to. This is perfect when you're in a bad mood; 'Tender Trip On Earth' is a personal favourite. However, some of the emotions are just too dark and oppressive to be enjoyable ('Lost', 'Hatred Grows').
The main aspect of the band has always been the vocals. Unfortunately, there are some sub-par performances here, along with the usual excellent ones. Vibeke's voice feels too harsh and unmelodic at points (the start of 'Crushed Dreams'), the harsh vocals sound a little computerised and all but one of the choir parts are somehwat boring (I don't know how they went from writing such awesome choir parts to such lame ones; surely they could have just repeated the formula Morten had). Otherwise, we have excellent vocal passages as usual: the gothic choir passage at 4:20 of 'Crushed Dreams' is one of the best things they've ever written, everything in 'Tender Trip On Earth' rules, Vibeke's solo in 'Wormwood' is beautiful, and more. The core of the band still lives.
Musically the songwriting remains complex and interesting. On the albums with Morten, if breaking down who wrote the songs, one can see Morten laid down the foundations (especially with the rhythm), while Einar and Anders wrote the more complex detail. On this, Morten's foundations are lacking, but the band manage to hold it together (if only just). As Einar and Anders are the ones writing, the songs are incredibly interesting and complex, featuring dissonant violin solos, melodic black metal passages, oppressive choir sections, anthemic vocal exchanges, sombre acoustic parts and more. Instrumentally the band are fine, with the one guitar being used effectively and the drummer's playing being great as always.
While World Of Glass
is not the most consistent album, it has enough great parts to deserve a recommendation.