Following last week's trend of 'albums that I didn't quite got to listen to', time has come for the latest LP from Gothic doomsters Tristania to take the spotlight (more than a year after its actual release). And while myself, just as other metalheads around, suffered from cringed induced nausea after hearing their 2010 Rubicon, I was also 'fortunate' enough to hear them live at that time and realized that passing judgement at such a point in their career would be unprofessional to say the least. As such, I decided to wait for a second album in their newly found formula.
And I'm glad I did, as 'Darkest White' finds the band in a more relaxed posture, each member having settled comfortably in their role, with productive ideas being put 'pen to paper' and actual metal songs being recorded, rather than chugga-chugga riffs with pop vocals thrown over them at random. Mariangela's voice sounds appropriate to the whole ensemble now and they did right in balancing correctly the three types of vocals present on this album (male harsh, male clean and female clean). Hell, there are even some songs where Mariangela doesn't even appear and this says much about the effort put in to create a coherent album rather than relying on her image to generate sells.
With this said, what we get is an LP comprised of eleven focused songs that range from 'good' to 'tastefully delicious' to 'damn it that chorus just rocks!' to 'holy shit dat headbanging riff!'. While not a masterpiece by any definition, 'Darkest White' is a turning point for the new and modern age Tristania crew, one that starts in full force and gradually gets better up until the ending moments. Which, in turn, makes me eager to hear what they will come up with during the following years.