||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2011)|
Tristania live in Germany, 2005
|Genres||Symphonic gothic metal, death/doom metal (1996–2004), gothic metal (2005–present)|
|Years active||1995–present |
|Labels||Napalm Records, SPV|
Trail of Tears
Anders Høyvik Hidle
Gyri Smørdal Losnegaard
Tarald Lie Jr.
|Past members||Morten Veland
Svein Terje Solvang
Tristania is a band from Norway, formed in 1995 by Morten Veland, Einar Moen and Kenneth Olsson. Tristania's music is usually classified as Symphonic gothic metal with death/doom influences (especially on the early albums), due to its strong ties with the goth metal's history.
Early Days 
In 1992, Morten Veland and Kenneth Olsson formed Uzi Suicide. Since Veland was getting more interested in the UK gothic scene, his songwriting began to take a more darker feel.  Fragments of the band later became Tristania. 
Tristania was founded in Stavanger, Norway by Einar Moen (keyboards), Morten Veland (vocals/guitar), and Kenneth Olsson (drums) in 1995. A few weeks later Anders Høyvik Hidle (guitars/vocals) and Rune Østerhus (bass) joined the band. In May 1997 the band entered the studio for the first time and recorded their demo in Klepp Lydstudio. Vibeke Stene was initially recruited as a guest singer for the demo recording, but she later joined as a regular member. During the summer of 1997 different labels showed interest in the demo. Tristania signed with Napalm Records and released the EP Tristania.
Tristania's first full-length album, Widow's Weeds, was recorded at the end of 1997 and released early 1998. The album is symphonic metal with elements from a large variety of genres including gothic metal, death metal, classical music, and black metal. Two guest performers who were involved in Widow's Weeds would later get more prominent roles on Tristania’s albums; singer Østen Bergøy (who would later become a full band member) and violinist Pete Johansen. Tristania got to do their first shows outside of Norway as support act for Lacrimosa in Belgium and at the Mind over Matter festival in Austria in August 1998. Later the same year Tristania went on their first European tour, with Solefald and Haggard.
The band's second full length album Beyond the Veil was released in 1999. As on the debut album, Moen and Veland wrote the majority of the music, but Moen and Hidle emerged as a songwriting team. Jan Kenneth Barkved appeared as an additional singer. Tristania followed up the release with their first headlining tour with The Sins of Thy Beloved, Trail of Tears and Antichrisis as support acts. The band also toured with Tiamat and Anathema in 1999. The band continued touring extensively in 2000. In December 2000 Veland and the rest of the band agreed on going separate ways, due to musical and personal differences. World of Glass was released in September 2001, with guest contributions from Ronny Thorsen, Johansen, and Barkved. The album added classical and industrial elements to Tristania's sound, and included the band's only cover version: "The Modern End," originally by Seigmen. Bergøy, now a permanent member of the band, also began to write lyrics on this album and became the band's main lyricist. Kjetil Ingebrethsen joined the band prior to the World of Glass tour on extreme vocals. On that tour Tristania was supported by Rotting Christ, Vintersorg, and Madder Mortem. More touring of Europe and Latin America followed in 2002. In 2003–2004 Tristania took a break from performing live to focus solely on songwriting. Ashes was released on SPV/Steamhammer Records in February 2005 and featured a stripped-down sound that de-emphasized the classical and operatic elements of the previous albums.
The band then toured Europe and Latin America (sometimes without Moen, who chose to remain at home and focus on songwriting) along with Nightwish, Gothminister, and Kreator. After the tours, Ingebrethsen decided to leave the band as he wanted to continue his musical career at a lower level. The band decided not to recruit a replacement, and Hidle took over the growling vocals.
Illumination was released in January 2007, with touring guitarist Svein Terje Solvang added as an official member. Vorph of Samael appeared as a guest singer and a string quartet appeared on several songs. Shortly after the release of the album, Vibeke Stene suddenly decided to quit her musical career in order to focus on family and her work as a teacher.
As a result, all planned touring activities were put on hold. After holding auditions for a singer with a voice different than Stene's, Tristania recruited singer Mariangela Demurtas from Sardinia, Italy, who officially joined the band in October 2007.
Østerhus and Solvang both quit the band in 2008. Ole Vistnes joined as the new bassist and Gyri Losnegaard later joined as second guitarist. The new line-up featuring Demurtas on vocals debuted on 29 February 2008 at a festival appearance in Kiev, Ukraine. The next member to depart was drummer Kenneth Olsson, who was replaced by Tarald Lie; while singer Østen Bergøy scaled back to part-time status with the band due to family commitments. Kjetil Nordhus was added to the lineup on clean vocals. The band's sixth album, Rubicon, was released on 25 August 2010.
After the Out of the Dark Festival on 2 October 2011, the Hungarian Lambda Team released a freeware PC game about Tristania, named Tristania 3D.
On December 15, the band confirmed a new full length album on their website for late May 2013.
On their early albums the band's sound was based on melodic death metal riffs with dominant keyboard and choirs. Doom metal is another strong influence, which can be heard in the slow, melancholic riffing. Tristania put a lot of focus on operatic female vocals, choruses, and classical instruments such as pipe organ, harpsichord, flutes and violins. On the band's early albums there was also a prominent focus on the death vocals of Morten Veland.
This 30 second sample from Tristania's second album Beyond the Veil feature three distinct vocal styles with a black metal shriek followed by soprano and baritone vocals.
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Tristania stood apart from the other bands of the genre with their use of three distinct vocal styles in the "operatic soprano Vibeke Stene, clean-singing counter-tenor Østen Bergøy, and harsh, black metal-style shrieker Morten Veland". Their second album Beyond the Veil in 1999 made use of a ten members choir and featured violin passages from Pete Johansen of The Sins of Thy Beloved, earning "rave reviews" across Europe. By then, the band had risen to "the top of the goth metal heap" with their "lush, symphonically enhanced" approach. They were "dealt a potentially crippling blow" when singer, guitarist and principal composer Veland left the group to form Sirenia. Tristania has continued to prosper with subsequent releases and has since been "regarded as one of the world's premiere goth metal bands".
On later albums Tristania stepped back from the layer-over-layer production and focused more on balancing the various vocal styles. Østen Bergøy was added on clean male vocals (baritone) for the album Beyond the Veil, first as a guest singer and later as a full band member. After the departure of Veland, the death vocals were performed by guitarist Anders Høyvik Hidle and Kjetil Ingebrethsen (who joined the band officially for the album Ashes), and a variety of guest vocalists.
- Widow's Weeds (1998)
- Beyond the Veil (1999)
- World of Glass (2001)
- Ashes (2005)
- Illumination (2007)
- Rubicon (2010)
- Darkest White (2013)
Demos and singles 
- "Tristania" (demo) (1997)
- "Angina" (1999)
- "Sanguine Sky" (2007)
Live album 
- Widow's Tour (1999)
Band members 
Current members 
- Anders Høyvik Hidle – guitars (1995–) / harsh vocals (2006–)
- Einar Moen – synth, programming (1995–)
- Mariangela Demurtas – vocals (2007–)
- Gyri Smørdal Losnegaard – guitars (2009–)
- Ole Vistnes – bass, backing vocals (2009–)
- Tarald Lie Jr. – drums (2010–)
- Kjetil Nordhus – vocals, acoustic guitars (2010–)
Former members 
- Morten Veland – harsh vocals, guitars (1995–2000)
- Rune Østerhus – bass (1995–2009)
- Kenneth Olsson – drums (1995–2010)
- Vibeke Stene – vocals (1997–2007)
- Kjetil Ingebrethsen – harsh vocals, acoustic guitars (2001–2006)
- Østen Bergøy – vocals (2001–2010)
- Svein Terje Solvang – guitars, harsh vocals (2006–2008)
Timeline (Main recording members) 
Live session members 
- Kjetil Nordhus – Clean vocals (2009–2010)
- Svein Terje Solvang – Guitars (2004–2006)
- Gyri Smørdal Losnegaard – Guitars (2009)
- Kjell Rune Hagen – Bass (2005–2008)
- Ole Vistnes – Bass/Backing vocals (2008–2009)
- Jonathan A. Perez – Drums (2005)
- Tarald Lie Jr. – Drums (2006–2010)
- Pete Johansen – Violin (2010–2011)
Studio session members 
- Østen Bergøy – Clean vocals (1997, 1999, 2001, 2010)
- Pete Johansen – Violin (1997, 1999, 2001, 2010)
- Hilde Egeland – Choir (1997)
- Marita Herikstad – Choir (1997)
- Hilde T. Bommen – Choir (1997, 1999)
- Maiken Stene – Choir (1999)
- Sissel B. Stene – Choir (1999)
- Jeanett Johannessen – Choir (1999)
- Rino A. Kolstø – Choir (1999)
- Jan Kenneth Barkved (deceased) – Clean vocals (1999, 2001)
- Ronny Thorsen – Harsh vocals (2001)
- Sandrine Lachapelle – Choir (2001)
- Emilie Lesbros – Choir (2001)
- Johanna Giraud – Choir (2001)
- Damien Surian – Choir (2001)
- Hubert Piazzola – Choir (2001)
- Hans Josef Groh – Cello (2004)
- Vorph – Harsh vocals (2006)
- Petra Stalz – Violin (2006)
- Heike Haushalter – Violin (2006)
- Monika Malek – Viola (2006)
- Gesa Hangen – Cello (2006)
- "Biography". "http://mortemia.no". Retrieved April 16, 2013.
- "Biography". mortemia.no. Retrieved April 20,2013.
- "Mortemia Interview- Morten Veland Interview- Interview with Morten Veland of Mortemia and Sirenia". Retrieved May 16, 2013.
- "Tristania 3D released!". lambdateam.blog.hu. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Tristania". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
- Eldefors, Vincent. "Beyond the Veil review". Tartareandesire.com. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Sirenia". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Ashes review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
Official websites 
- Official website
- Kjetil Ingebrethsen's message regarding his departure
- Tristania discography at MusicBrainz
- Tristania discography at Discogs
- Tristania at Encyclopaedia Metallum