Depressive black metal is a hit and miss genre for many people, and when one takes a more critical look over the scene it is easy to see why. Many acts working within the genre often fall foul to ailments of song writing, poor vocal performance, horrific production and in general an immature, perhaps even whiny alias. Yet despite all the bedroom dribble that is coming out of the scene, there are certain bands that do the genre justice, who forge their music out of pure negative depression and nothing else. Trist
is one of these bands, who, over the course of his career, has released some of the hardest hitting music to come out of this much ridiculed scene. Trist
‚Äôs sound is simple yet unimaginably effective, as Trist
works within the genre constraints of the style then one would not expect much leeway in terms of song writing prowess. After all, minimalism and repetition is key in this genre, therefore song writing often gets given little thought. Trist
on the other hand is able to effortlessly craft his music using these genre constraints, and whilst Trist
might be considered standard affair by those not well versed in the genre, the music that Trist
creates is so much more than what the scene is spewing out at a rapid velocity.
shrieks, simple drumming and highly distorted guitars dominate this two track album. The songs display very little variation between each other, using similar chord progressions and melodies. Minimalism is an important aspect of what makes depressive black metal an effective genre and Trist
is able to work wonders with the tried and true formula. The melodies, despite being repeated for a very long time never wear out their welcome; the repetitious nature allows Trist
to draw out the atmospheric potential to the highest possible extreme. Not a second is wasted in Zrcadlen√≠ Melancholie
with the music constantly flowing and transitioning at the opportune moments. Minimalism is an easy to do, yet hard to get right, musicians need to ensure that the music keeps interesting throughout and never feels overly long or stretched out. Aspects such as song writing become very important in order to hold the listeners attention. If an artist fails to communicate what they had inside of themselves then the whole vision of the music becomes lost. With that being said, depressive black metal needs a special kind of musician to work with it. Trist
is one of these musicians.
The overall sound emulated by Zrcadlen√≠ Melancholie
is one of a dense cloud of misery and hopelessness. The wall of sound effect is used perfectly here, with the guitars enveloping the listener in a shroud of misery that they won‚Äôt want to break out of. The atmosphere is like nothing else, almost surreal in its simple, hypnotic delivery. The vocals in particular are worthy of note, Trist
has one of the most inhuman voices I have heard within the black metal genre and it works fantastically well when mixed with the droning and ethereal melodies. The production on this record is one of the best I‚Äôve heard within the genre, it‚Äôs suitably fuzzy with the guitars being thin and sharp, yet interestingly enough there‚Äôs an almost 3D effect to the music. The mixing is very well rounded, with each instrument being heard clearly. Production on vocals can often be a hard thing to get right within the genre, with bands such as Morbifer guilty of vocals that obliterate all instruments underneath them, on the other hand of the coin they often be too quiet. Therefore, production needs to hit the mark dead on when it comes to the vocals, as too much or too little would be detrimental to the overall stature of the music. Trist
does this perfectly. The vocals are sparsely used, only being utilized in the correct places to add dashes of misery and despair. Trist
‚Äôs voice resonates out of the misty arppegiated riffs like some unforeseen entity, always adding even more stopping power behind the music.
The most important aspect of any depressive black metal release is the atmosphere. Is the musician able to communicate with the listeners feelings? If so, how are they doing it, what does the music mean to the listener? I‚Äôve always found Trist
‚Äôs music open to interpretation, in fact I find a lot of the genre to be as such. There‚Äôs no right or wrong way to listen to this music, you could see the music as a glorification of depression or perhaps you could see it as an outlet for the musicians innermost feelings? Either way, the feelings the listener receives from this music is entirely open to interpretation. With Trist
I get a great sense of comfort, and even though the music is incredibly depressing, lonely and bleak, the music never feels hostile. It feels strangely welcoming with the cold aura always welcoming, always comforting. It sounds like an incongruous match I know, but Trist
pulls this off immaculately. Similar to Hypothermia
‚Äôs Skogens hj√§rta, the music feels as though the musician has settled into depression. As though years of fighting against it has paved way for acceptance. One of the most beautiful black metal albums I‚Äôve heard, this is essential.