Tristania - Beyond The Veil
Napalm Records
Goth and Black
10 songs (52'23)
Release year: 1999
Tristania, Napalm Records
Reviewed by Jack
Archive review

Theatre Of Tragedy set the standard of the genre with the release of Velvet Darkness They Fear. Unfortunately, with the release of Aegis and later with the modern electro pop rock Musique and Assembly they took the wrong direction according to many fans. Fortunately, the second generation of Norwegian bands took exactly where they left after their sophomore album. The style has been imitated by many bands outside Norway, but none of them really achieved the standard of Theatre Of Tragedy’s natural offspring, among which Tristania, Trail Of Tears, The Sins Of Thy Beloved and Sirenia to name but a few.

Tristania was more or less the first band to follow the path of Theatre Of Tragedy, but they pushed the limits of the genre further than what the precursor ever did. They took advantage of better conditions to record their album, especially with their sophomore album. Terje Refness in Sound Suite set up the standard for the genre and many bands have since recorded under his guidance, especially now that he has settled in France a few years ago.

Beyond The Veil is Tristania’s second album and the last one with vocalist Morten Veland who left the band after the tour due to musical and artistic differences. This sophomore album is their most successful album, although my personnel favorite remains their first album Widow’s Weed. Beyond The Veil is more bombastic than their first effort which was more peaceful, relying more on the melancholic atmosphere. With this second album musical plurality was of extreme importance to the band and it can be heard on almost all the tracks. Beyond The Veil is the almost perfect combination of destruction and beauty. They achieved the perfect balance between the aggressive grunting male vocals and the gorgeous vocals of Vibeke Stene. The clean male vocals of both Osten Bergoy and Jan Kenneth Barkved add that particular touch for the genre and the enchanting choir singings hold you in awe. The band delivers a hyper-energetic album that constantly captivate the listener for the first 45 minutes. The music is very melodic with the interweaving of guitars, strings, violins and the percussion and especially the beautiful Benedictine-style male chanting and thus makes it the perfect combination for a gothic black metal band.

The only weakness of Beyond The Veil is the last couple of songs. Heretique and the outro Dementia are the two weakest songs ever done by the band and I was afraid that the guys would pursue in this way. Fortunately or unfortunately, the band and Morten Veland went separate ways and it did not happen. When I listen to the album, I always skip those last two songs and stop the player after Angina comes to an end. If the album were to feature only the eight first songs, it would definitely be a true masterpiece.

Killing Songs :
Beyond The Veil, Aphelion, A Sequel Of Decay, Opus Relinque, Lethean River, ...Of Ruins And A Red Nightfall, Angina
Jack quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Tristania that we have reviewed:
Tristania - Darkest White reviewed by Jared and quoted 85 / 100
Tristania - Rubicon reviewed by Goat and quoted 81 / 100
Tristania - Widow's Weeds reviewed by Goat and quoted 92 / 100
Tristania - Ashes reviewed by Jack and quoted 85 / 100
Tristania - World Of Glass reviewed by Jack and quoted 80 / 100
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