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Tristania | Beyond the Veil | review | metal | Lollipop

Tristania

Beyond the Veil (Napalm)
by Scott Hefflon

My introduction to Tristania was when I realized Thomas Karlsson had penned the words for Therion's classic, Theli. Wild music, frightening lyrics I didn't want to read too closely, ya know? Tristania deserves to be lauded and applauded for being so damn good. Authentic black metal howling (a little of the shrieking, screeching, but mostly the manly roar), gorgeous male choirs, and some truly inspiring female vocals - not just the quaint afterthought of their contemporaries - make this a keeper on vocal strength alone. But that's a mere portion of the potion...

Musically, Beyond the Veil shifts from sublime wonder to fearsome rampaging so seamlessly, I can only compare it to the way you dream: One moment you're being caressed by naked teen angels and the next you're racing in a very, very fast car through city streets pursued by the Bad Guys. At least that's what I dream like... And everything I liked so much about Therion's Theli (the whole mixture of classical horror and non-poppy heavy metal the likes of which Danny Elfman just can't muster in his soundtrack work, even Nightbreed) is here in spades. Imagine a Judas Priest chugging riff slipping into a Possessed howl before bowing to sawing violins and choruses of men and women who appear as if out of nowhere, and suddenly everything fades to a thoughtful piano tinkling ripped apart by demons laughing and cackling and a soft, Enigma-style dance beat ushers you and what's left of your mind out of the theater... You want to look over your shoulder to see if any of the demons are following you (or if one of the angels would like to "get a cup of coffee"), but you don't dare... Now that's good music!

(PO Box 382 Bremerton, WA 98337)  


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