I actually own one of TRISTITIA's former albums, more precisely 1996's "Crucidiction". I can vaguely remember that it had been a sort of Doom/Death Metal, pretty good actually, if my memory serves me right. And the moment that I put "Garden Of Darkness" into my player, it became evident - TRISTITIA is among the best of this style out there, no kidding!
We get various speeds here, slow and very slow, so to say, immensely dark and sombre and despite the at times colossal song length never even slightly boring. That is a quality that many bands do not possess, unfortunately, but with TRISTITIA, they are mastering this feat wonderfully indeed!
After the intro "The Entrance" we get eight paths (or chapters), which each of them weighing heavily on your mood, dragging it down, down, down until you are laying face down in the humid earth of the graveyard, full of despair and bereft of any will to continue to live. Especially if it is such a grey and rainy day like today, this music fits perfectly. Very slow rhythms (I still marvel at those drummers, because it is so damn hard to keep a beat like this!), melancholic, melodic guitars and a hoarse rasp for a voice, which is harsh, yet not extreme, giving the songs that last touch.
Interspersed with three short, mostly acoustic instrumentals, we get three songs with more than ten minutes playing time, which all expertly showcase what Doom/Death should sound like. Actually I was wondering why TRISTITIA never had been mentioned among the greats of this sub genre, they would definitely deserve it with tracks like "As Death Says Mine" or "There Will Never Be Another Dawn", which combine the above mentioned description.
With another great Fournier cover, which complements the sound perfectly, "Garden Of Darkness" brings us great Autumn Metal, if you want, dark, slow, still melodic, just great… (Online May 31, 2003)