Triste L’Hiver is a project not working within the confines of normal genre types. New Illusions, the newest release from the project, finds the sound jumping from shoegaze-style riffs right into a sort of pop groove; there’s a lot of distortion and repetition that recalls black metal, but there’s no vocals or slamming drums to fill out that role. Instead, the four tracks on this release tend more towards repetitively uplifting songs on par with something a post rock band might put together.
Opener “Light” really is as airy as its title suggests; a wall of distorted guitar carries on throughout while some lingering, melodic synth gives the tone a spacey vibe; drums (they sound programmed to me) help to provide the rhythm, though they’re light and metallic in the mix.
Sometimes the repetition isn’t as mesmerizing as it should be, though. The closer “Red Glow”, with its bass-heavy hip-hop hook, works in a similar vein to “Light,” but the song’s composition isn’t as interesting as the other song’s.
Still, the short “End to End” features a darker, more abrasive mix – the drums are really pared down, while the guitar’s distorted black metal riffs threaten to drown out the atmospheric vocals. It’s the best song on this album; ethereal, and often deep, the short length shows that Triste L’Hiver can write good songs without needing 8 minutes to do so.
“Callico” is also less repetitious, and though the ways it works are generally similar to the other tracks, there’s more instrumentation to it – the drums are a bit more complicated, the synth work is awesome, and the electronics come together nicely. It’s the most explicitly shoegaze of the album, but it’s done very well.
New Illusions is quite impressive, and at only 20 minutes, it’s a quick listen. Triste L’Hiver is a new artist to look out for; the pairing of all these different types of genres means that subsequent albums could be entirely different, and the possibilities for new tunes are endless.