The ones who have listened more to Tristania than me say that the band were even less inclined to sound like regular goth rock on past albums. Then I’m glad that at least a few songs, like "Mercyside", actually manages to sound like a real song, rather than an atmospheric piece where theatrical soprano Vibeke Stene wails away a bit and Morten Veland growls, bringing forth memories of bands from Theatre of Tragedy to Nightwish. I’d rather hear Osten Bergoy sing in his clear tenor over crisp guitars, that would make me remember and miss the old record "Under a Clouded Sky" by the Swedish band Bay Laurel.
I actually like a few songs in the beginning and in the end of "Illumination". But even so, and despite the fact that Tristania is one of today's most popular goth metal bands with eight or so albums behind them, I’m repeatedly reminded of the Swedish interpretation of the word "trist": "Boring".