Review: "Widows Weeds" by Norwegian Death Metal Band Tristania
Widows Weeds and the song Pale Enchantress is a hard song to deal with listening to
Tristania is a Norwegian doom and death metal band that I got into when I was in my early 20’s. Their debut album Widow’s Weeds is the only album that I have heard and I wanted to give it a review and analysis mainly because of love for Norwegian metal. CAUTION: there is one song on this album that will be hard for many heavy metal fans to handle because of its dark riffs. That song is Pale Enchantress. The album’s cover may as well be a depiction of an old building in Europe.
How is Tristania Different from other bands of the genre?
The band was known for having guitarist and male vocalist Morten Veland and female vocalist Vibeke Stene who does the female vocals and all the choir parts. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a death metal band include choirs but these guys may be different.
About the songs Evenfall and Pale Enchantress
The song called Evenfall after the one minute prelude is a song about waiting for nightfall so that the most grievous loss can be enchanted and that the vigor a woman once lost can be restored. I got into this album for the dark, doom-filled and amazing song Pale Enchantress. There will be warning about this song. It will be too dark and gloomy for some of you to handle listening to it from the beginning until the end. The main riff is pretty slow and Morten’s growls add quite a spooky atmosphere. Instead of the screeching cat type of vocals that you hear with bands such as Cradle of Filth (which also have pretty dark lyrics) Tristania use vocal growls and choir style vocals instead. However, they are not symphonic enough for me to consider them symphonic death metal. A big roar by Morten Veland once again can leave the music fan thinking to themselves wow!
The Song Called "Pale Enchantress"
Analysis of the Songs December Elegy and Midwintertears
The song December Elegy starts with the type of vocals that we would hear from Theatre of Tragedy’s Aegis album which also came out in 1998. The album’s lyrics deal with sorrow, pain, and loss. If you were able to deal with the song Pale Enchantress and make it this far in your listening experience, consider yourself a brave and courageous music fan. But this song gets softer as the sound of water can be heard pouring. Where that water is pouring we do not know. The song Midwintertears sounds a bit like Dreams of Sanity and Holland’s Within Temptation. But the song is still gloomy in nature due to the orchestration and lower growls which are there.
Widow's Weeds: the cons of the album
If there is a weak point to this album it is that all the songs have pretty much the same structure in them. The riffs are the same style slowed down variety. The songs either start with Morten’s growls or Vibeke’s vocals. However, the song Angellore sounds a bit like Paradise Lost which finally makes one song kind of different. Osten Bergoy does the clean vocal parts for this song. That is an aspect that also makes this song sound like Paradise Lost. Then Morten’s vocals kick in as the song is about calling on Angellore to soothe the people whose hearts are now aching. However, the song is at best an average song as I feel that it seems to drag on and on. The song called My Lost Lenore starts with some piano and then you can hear the choir in the background with the soft vocals. The song Wasteland’s Caress is a song about mourning and loss. As the Siren calls a man realizes how much he misses his lost love.
The Song called "December Elegy"
How Good of an Album Is Widow's Weeds?
Overall Widow’s Weeds is a good album but it suffers from too much of the same song structure and the gloomy, dark nature may be too much for some people to handle. However, Widow’s Weeds is one of those albums that can have you wondering how you were able to get through such a somber and dark album. Even if the songs are long, the length is not the issue as much as the somber atmosphere of the songs themselves. In the beginning with the choir style vocals, it seems that this will be a superb album on the surface. Since Widow’s Weeds has the predictable song structure and the same gloomy feel, it just isn’t quite that elite but it is still a good album from a good Norwegian metal band. One of the main riffs from the song Pale Enchantress is really memorable if you are listening to this album in 2020. The end of the song has the potential to at least get tears in your eyes. It is a sorrowful kind of song but it is one of the best in the career of Tristania. If you can get past, the dark, haunting, and kind of chill effect that the music has, you will see another aspect of Norwegian metal that you might not have otherwise noticed. This album and band certainly isn’t like Dimmu Borgir with the heaviness of the guitars and evil lyrics, but it is an album with good instrumentation and sometimes soothing vocals as well.
© 2017 Ara Vahanian