You could really say that "World Of Glass" had been my most anticipated CD of the year, as their previous album "Beyond The Veil" still ranks within my all-time-top 5 of CDs. And as usual after a band has released such a brilliant album, I feel fear rising deep within of me, the fear that the next album could destroy or at least damage this almost flawless impression.
That Ronny Thorsen of TRAIL OF TEARS has stepped in as guest-singer instead of Morten Veland, is no sign of decline, because his vocals too, are a great contrast to the elf-like voice of front-fairy Vibeke Stene. Musically Gothic Metal still reigns supreme in its monumental variant. Despite the symphonic element being reduced a bit, big vocal arrangements are much to the fore, be it Ronny's Death-voice, the solo-soprano of Vibeke or brilliantly arranged choir-passages, everything moulded together into a dynamic and flowing whole.
The music itself is even more variable than before, new are a few electronic influences (which are well integrated and in no way are so strong as at THEATRE OF TRAGEDY's latest, ehm, well, musical tragedy) and a wonderful violin, which already had been there on "Beyond The Veil", but this time around has been integrated even better. Besides that we still get the already mentioned, very variable vocal arrangements and acoustic guitars, and - and I want to really point that out - still real heaviness, which sets TRISTANIA very positively apart from the majority of former genre-greats that deteriorated more and more, crunching guitars, fat double-bass (which still sound a little like a drum-computer, like always...), that is what makes the TRISTANIA-sound true TRISTANIA!
To point out special tracks is almost as difficult as with the previous album, but just try out "Wormwood", "Selling Out" (which, apart from the title, has got nothing, absolutely nothing to do with what you might fear!), "Hatred Grows" or the balladesque "Deadlocked" and you will see the magic that TRISTANIA is emanating!
"World Of Glass" is a strong album, really strong, but it still cannot reach "Beyond The Veil", maybe only time will give me the chance to really come to know and love this album (especially the electronic elements, despite their harmonic implementation are, what in the end cost this one point), but still, an essential buy for all among you, who like heavy, symphonic, variable and original music!