Tritonus - Prison of Light

Tritonus Prison of Light cover
Prison of Light
TriTech Music
It’s been a long time coming. The story this Norwegian band goes all the way back to 1990 when they were created by the guitarist Carl A. Tidemann (ex-Arcturus, Winds). In 1994, they released their demo “Shadowland” and later, in 1995, they were included on the sampler “A Gathering of 8 Norwegian Prog Metal Bands”, which was released by the label FaceFront. After several line-up changes the band started working on its debut album in 2000 and finalized it in 2006! I guess that is a long time to work on an album. The weird thing is that the album was never released (even though an unmixed & unmastered copy appeared sometime in 2007) until today that the band finally released it through their own label, TriTech Music.
Today’s line-up consists of: Rolf Kristensen on lead vocals, Carl A. Tidemann (Winds, ex-Arcturus) on guitars, Thor-Axel Eriksen (Mindtech, ex- Quadrivium, ex-Dolls of Disaster) on guitars & Ole Devold (Loveshack, Mindtech, TAARN) on drums. Lasse Finbråten (Circus Maximus, Wig Wam, Mindtech) on keys, Øystein Moe (Winds, ex-Ulver) on bass, Mathis Dikkanen (Among Gods, Tog) on bass and Erik Devold on additional guitars also contributed to the album. The album was engineered by Bjørn Bergersen and Ken Ingwersen, mixed by Børge Finstad in Toproom studio, Norway and mastered by Jamie Sitar (D.O.A., Insane, Candlebox, Martone etc.) in Suite Sound Labs, Canada. The production is very balanced and tight. It has that early 00s sound (the band wanted to keep that sense and didn’t re-record the tracks) and thankfully it doesn’t sound too compressed or over-polished/digital as most of the productions of our time.
Musically, the band blends prog metal (of the 90s), with melodic metal, heavy/power metal & prog rock. The atmospheric passages are a very important part of their sound as well. “Prison of Light” may seem/sound a bit nostalgic for a guy like me but that doesn’t reduce its music quality… on the contrary. It’s accurate that if I didn’t know the release date of the album I would bet that it would have been released at the late 90s or early 00s, when the album was actually recorded. Something that ain’t incorrect at all. Every track (out of the overall 8) is well-structured, with nice melodies & great performances. The theatricality & the voice range of the singer, Rolf, is another point of interest.
I cannot tell if Tritonus are in the position to claim all those things that were on ice for about two decades but I do know that the guys are working hard to make it happen this time. Wish them lots of luck and patience cuz’ today’s music industry has really changed since the old days. Apart from the opener “Prison of Light”, the “commercial” “Demons”, the progy “Remedy”, the lyrical “Blindfolded”, the metallic “Ten Thousand Years”… the expressive, prog melodious “To Travel Without Motion” is the album’s highlight! I guess they saved the best for the end! “Prison of Light” is a comprehensive & efficiently artful melodic prog metal… right from the “old days” when music was closer to art…