Tristwood - The Delphic Doctrine
Sound Riot Records
Industrial Blackened Death Metal
10 songs (42:14)
Release year: 2006
Tristwood, Sound Riot Records
Reviewed by Kayla

Tristwood has rounded out their second full-length album with atmospheric intro and outro tracks, which provide the only real respite the listener gets. The Delphic Doctrine is comprised of songs so thick they’re almost a wall of sound, replete with blasting but undeniably catchy as well. Most of the melodies are fairly simple; Tristwood are more concerned with brutality than intricate melodies; the melodies, too, are carried more in the synth than the guitars. Overall the riffing is more death than black, but it’s got enough stark edge to put one in mind of forsaken landscapes.

The production contributes heavily to the thickness of the sound, which the guitars, bass and drums blending into an almost impenetrable whole. At the best moments, this is bolstered by the melody of the synth to burrow its way deep into your brain, where it refuses to be dislodged. By The Call Of Seth – Invocation Of The God Of Blood And War, despite its very Nile-esque title, is the track that displays this brutal catchiness the best, launching full throttle after a brief intro. The title track and Nemesis – The Cyberstorm contain a few darkly shining moments of this coherence as well.

The best moments are only made better by Axumis’s vocals; he uses a full, explosive growl that complements the thick, rough sound of the guitars as well as the staccato, discordant industrial noise that pops up on tracks like The Delphic Doctrine. With so much blasting, Deimon’s drumming is almost machine-like (in fact, given how industrial-heavy the album is, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did use a drum machine now and again to bolster the more mechanical passages); together with the industrial components, Tristwood achieves a sound similar to The Berzerker or Strapping Young Lad, though slightly less mature and polished.

The similarities to Nile don’t end at long, obscure song titles. There is a thread of Egyptian influence that runs throughout The Delphic Doctrine, surfacing most visibly in the solo of Pandaemonic Paradoxon and through the entirety of Daedae Taengri. This is a welcome aspect, given the simplicity of the melodies and drumming overall, as it adds a level of interest for the listener that would probably be lacking otherwise.

The simplicity of the drumming is one of the two main complaints I have about this album. Pure blasting can work as an effect, but even The Berzerker uses a little variety now and again. Given the catchiness of the some of the melodies, it’s a little surprising to listen to the drum line in songs like By The Call Of Seth and hear nothing but blasting. However, the melodies are not without their own problems. As I said, when the parts of the song blend, it’s beautifully catchy; however, the synth has a tendency in some songs to refuse to play nice with the rest of the instruments, stubbornly floating to the top of the wall of sound and sounding cheesy instead of hooky. Daedae Taengri is the worst offender; listening to it is like being wrapped in a blanket with a stinging insect buzzing around your face. This happens in Chronos as well, but it’s not quite as extreme as Daedae Taengri.

Fans of Strapping Young Lad’s more industrial moments and The Berzerker’s more melodic ones would do well to check Tristwood out. They’ve proven they know how to blend melody and brutality, though they’re still lacking a bit in consistency.

Killing Songs :
The Delphic Doctrine, By The Call Of Seth – Invocation Of The God Of Blood And War, Nemesis – The Cyberstorm
Kayla quoted 68 / 100
Other albums by Tristwood that we have reviewed:
Tristwood - Dystopia Et Disturbia reviewed by Goat and quoted 78 / 100
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